Yacón is a South American plant often cultivated for its edible roots, which can be juiced and made into syrup. The high fructooligosaccharide content of yacón has recently gained much attention, especially from health-conscious consumers. The fructooligosaccarides in yacón act as prebiotics, which support healthy intestinal flora. They also function as a type of soluble fiber that can help maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Research has found that yacón roots may help balance glucose in diabetics, bolster the absorption of nutrients, improve blood lipid profiles and even fight constipation.
Though few studies have so far been done to examine the effects of yacón on humans, one study on obese women had impressive results. The participants, after consuming yacón syrup before meals for 120 days, experienced a significant reduction in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, serum insulin and LDL cholesterol, and a significant increase in frequency of defecation.
Though more research is needed to further validate the positive effects of yacón on the human body, the abovementioned study shows a promising future for this South American plant.