Konjac root. It might be foreign-sounding, but it’ ability to boost weight loss results and improve overall health hit very close to home.
Technically the root of a konjac plant – a perennial that is found in subtropical areas like eastern Asia, Indoneisa, India, China and Japan – is a starchy, tuber-like food that grows underground and helps feed the plant. Some populations also call it devil’s tongue, snake palm, voodoo lily and even “elephant yam.”
But while it does resemble a traditional yam in some ways, it’s actually quite different – both in taste, texture and in use.
Let’s take a better look at this unique root, and see how it can really impact your weight loss results and your health and wellness.
Konjac Root and Weight Loss
To start, let’s discuss the caloric content of konjac root. You see, konjac root has virtually NO calories at all. That’s right: none. That makes it an ideal choice for when you’re trying to lose weight. You can consume a healthy portion without bringing in too many calories or hurting your weight loss efforts.
It’s also primarily made up of fiber, and fiber is a crucial component of any weight loss regiment. First of all, fiber is great at regulating your digestive system and keeping your body clean and clear of toxins. It also takes longer for your body to digest, which 1) makes you feel fuller longer, 2) staves off cravings later on in the day, 3) keeps your body from absorbing all the calories and fat and 4) helps you consumer fewer calories overall.
Konjac also has the ability to soak up to 20 times its own weight in water. When combined with liquids in your stomach, this means you get fuller faster – and you eat less as a result. This is key when trying to cut calories and end up with a calorie deficit at the end of the day. You can even boost results further by drinking a cup of water before any meal containing konjac.
Other Benefits of Konjac Root
Konjac root is thought to have dozens of other benefits as well. It’s thought to ease constipation, lower cholesterol, treat diabetes, ward off acne and much, much more. Konjac can also fight off hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, thanks to its high content. This substance attracts water once digested, and it becomes a gel. This gel slows down digestion, traps carbohydrates and keeps blood sugar from spiking too much at once.
The cardiovascular system can see great benefit from konjac as well. It attaches to bile acids in the stomach and helps move them out of the body, reducing the amount of fat in your blood and thus lowering cholesterol levels across the board. Studies have also shown it can decrease blood pressure – specifically in men.
It sounds strange, but konjac can also be used as an antidote for food poisoning. A study showed that the konjac actually bound itself to bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella, helping to move it through the digestive tract and out of the body faster.
Eating Konjac Root
Konjac can often be found in noodle form, which you can boil, cook and eat with veggies, sauce and other topics. They’re typically found in the Asian food section of most specialty health food stores. You may also be able to find it in food-replacement drink form.
In Asia, konjac is often made into a fruit jelly snack or even candy. These can typically be found in the U.S. under the name “lychee cups.” They’re chewy, fruit and a little bit like Jell-o. Sometimes, konjac is used as a substitute for seafood in vegan-friendly dishes, as it closely resembles the texture of scallops and also as gelatine.
If you’re not up for cooking, eating or preparing your konjac root, you can also take it as a nutritional supplement. It typically comes in table, capsule or powder form, and it is best taken before meals with at least 8 full ounces of water. The ideal dosage is between 500 and 1500 mg per day, but as always consult with your doctor before.
It’s important to note that not all scientists think konjac is safe for consumption. It has been linked to instances of diarrhea, gas, stomach pain and more, and there have been many choking accidents that have resulted from eating it. These are more common if you fail to consume enough water along with it, because the konjac can swell up and cause intestine, throat and esophagus blockages very quickly.
If you’re trying to lose weight, konjac root – or konjac supplements – may be a great way to boost your results. Just make sure you run it by your primary doctor first, to make sure it is safe for your specific health conditions and body.
Have you ever tried konjac root before? Will you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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