H and I were doing groceries this afternoon. While we were in the vegetable section, he picked up something which looked like a sweet potato from the shelf and added it to our basket. “What’s that?”, I asked him. “Yacon”, he replied. “What’s a Yacon?”, I asked again. “Yacon”, he repeated.
When we got home, he soaked the Yacon in water and after that I thought he was going to cook it like that of a sweet potato (kamote). When he started peeling the Yacon, I asked if he were going to cook it that way. He said he was not going to cook it, he was eating it raw. “Like a fruit?” “Yes”.
He started munching on the Yacon while I was arranging the groceries and the watery and crunchy sound I hear every bite he took got me curious to try it. He gave me a slice and I asked if it tasted like apple, judging by the similar sound I heard when I saw him eat it. “No, more like singkamas.”
I’m not a singkamas eater, but I took a bite anyway.
Indeed, it was crunchy, just as I expected, but it was also juicy and sweet. It did not taste like singkamas to me but like sugarcane. After consuming a few slices, I asked H why he thought of buying and eating it. He told me it was a powerful antioxidant. He caught a glance of my questioning eyes and told me I better look on it in the internet if I doubt what he said.
I certainly did.
Aside from being a good source of antioxidants, Yacon, a root vegetable which looks like a potato, is primarily an excellent natural medicine for diabetes and liver treatment.
“The root contains 86-90% water and only traces of protein and lipids. It is high in oligofructose (also called fructo-oligosaccharide), a dietary sugar, which the human body does not metabolize, hence its potential use for diabetics and in body weight control. Moreover, increased intake of oligofructose has been associated with improved gut health because of the stimulation of (beneficial) bifidus bacteria in the colon.”
“Research has proven that is beneficial for those with hypertension. By thinning the blood Yacon can lower blood pressure by 5 to 10 percent. It can also lower cholesterol and discourage clot formation. Unfortunately, Yacon has a reputation for diabetes patients but it is also excellent to reduce hypertension problems.”
My father died of cirrhosis of the liver, a complication of his juvenile diabetes. So far, my blood glucose level is normal (90) but I’ll be crunching Yacon from time to time, just in case.