Have you ever heard of yacon syrup? It is this thick, black, molasses-like sweetener from South America. My first contact with yacon syrup was almost by accident. A friend had some gifted to him from a Peruvian shaman, and he found it was just sitting in his cupboard, so he offered it to me. There it sat, in my cupboard for several months until the fated moment of our meeting. Yacon syrup has been shown to benefit both weight control and digestive troubles for bliss of the whole body.
I used to own a raw chocolate company. It was part of the life I released in order to pursue writing full-time. While making raw chocolate I was always in great pursuit of locating the most amazing, healthy and delicious ingredients to add to the chocolate elixir. Yacon came into my world during some chocolate experimentation which prompted my business partner and I to pull it out of the cupboard. It was on the occasion my dear soul sister, with whom I created chocolate magic, had some digestive upset. We put essential oils in our chocolate and had this lovely blend good for calming the belly, but needed a good medium pre-chocolate to get it down with.
I grabbed the yacon syrup and with it, dropped some oils into the spoon. She swallowed it down and with almost instant results noticed herself shift and release the stomach upset. I was so amazed and impressed by her quick change in demeanor that I decided to replicate her experience even though my stomach was fine. After swallowing down the concoction I noticed a warming sensation spread throughout my body. It was as if the yacon syrup was transporting the essential oil instantly into my bloodstream and I could feel the tingling of the oils like peppermint and fennel rushing down my arms and legs and into my head. It was amazing!
Instantly, the thought came that yacon should be added to the chocolate as a way to help distribute the essential oils we added to the mix. We did so with great success and not only did the yacon enhance and make richer the taste of the chocolate, it lowered the glycemic index for our bars making them even more diabetic friendly than they already were.
What’s in this stuff?
Yacon contains the highest natural source of FOS (fructooligosaccharides) – 40-50% in the syrup. FOS is essential for good digestion and assists the colon in producing its own friendly flora as well. FOS is a natural sugar found in certain foods. They have been shown to help in cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome significantly. Yacon syrup has a zero rating on the glycemic index and is therefore a great sweetener for someone suffering from cancer – as it will not feed the cancer cells as do other sugars.
A distant relative to the sunflower, yacon syrup offers weight control benefits according to several studies. In the Clinical Nutrition Journal, a study was reported saying: “Daily intake of yacon syrup produced a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index. Additionally, decrease in fasting serum insulin and Homeostasis Model Assessment index was observed. The consumption of yacon syrup increased defecation frequency and satiety sensation.“
In other words, yacon syrup is a great weight loss aid, acts as a productive fiber and lowers insulin resistance in those who might experience such issues which can lead to diabetes. Those who participated in the study took yacon syrup twice daily at the dose of approximately 29 grams per dose for 120 days.
Yacon is a sticky, molasses-like syrup from South America with promising benefits for both weight control and digestive bliss and it tastes great too. Taken by the spoonful or mixed in yogurt, beverages and desserts, yacon syrup is a high iron nonglycemic treat for anyone to enjoy.
Written by: Stasia Bliss