A curious fiber with extraordinary benefits

For centuries throughout Asia, people have consumed a carbohydrate food that’s known for its health-boosting properties.

A food that’s been used in traditional medicine for detoxification, asthma, cough, breast pain, and even suppressing cancer.

Now, modern medicine is showing this food can aid digestion, reduce cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, encourage healthy gut bacteria, and help you lose weight.

Interested to know what this food is?

Gluccomman, more commonly known as konjac.

The konjac plant is a tuber that provides a carbohydrate that is very low in calories and carbohydrates but contains soluble fiber that produces a remarkable gel-like substance.

And it’s this fiber that exerts its extraordinary influence on the body….

Treat your digestive woes

The unique glucomannan fiber stimulates the digestive transit of food to help those who may suffer from constipation. So if that’s your struggle, it may improve your weekly frequency by as much as 30 percent.

But on the flip side, it also helps stabilize and bulk up stools in those who have frequent diarrhea. It’s even been shown to assist with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis!

One of the mechanisms by which glucomannan works for these conditions is its ability to influence gut bacteria in the colon, reducing inflammation and binding to any pathogens that cause irritation.

Prevent cancer and disease

Since the unique fiber travels to the large intestine intact, it leads to fermentation and feeds gut bacteria in the colon to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) — propionate, butyrate and acetate.

These SCFAs not only help reduce inflammation in the colon, but reduce systemic inflammation and boost the immune system to help reduce risk of cancer and other inflammation-induced diseases (which is most of them).

Reduce cholesterol

Participants given glucomannan for 28 days saw a 7 percent reduction in total cholesterol and 10 percent lower LDL.

In terms of cholesterol, this unique fiber directly reduces cholesterol absorption from the digestive tract. And the SCFA propionate, helps decrease cholesterol production in your body.

As a weight loss tool and appetite satisfier

If you’re trying to cut back on calories but can’t get past that hungry feeling, get hold of glucomannan powder and use it as a pre-load before meals. Because glucomannan is predominantly a fiber-rich food, it provides a ‘full feeling.’

Simply add 1 gram of the powder to a full 8 ounce glass of water 15 minutes before meals, three times a day.

In an 8 week study where adults did this, they lost 5.5 pounds compared to the placebo group drinking water, who lost just 1.5 pounds.

Regulate blood sugar levels

Several studies in diabetic participants show that eating konjac products or consuming glucomannan supplements may help lower fasting blood sugar levels by as much as 23.2 percent!

You can readily purchase konjac fettuccine, angel hair noodles, lasagne sheets and even konjac rice. Konjac is also known as shirataki.

Konjac doesn’t taste like much on it’s own but can be added to soups, stews, noodles dishes, or eaten as a pasta and rice substitute.

And you can easily purchase glucomannan powder or capsules from a health food outlet or online store such as Amazon.

Editor’s note: 38.6 million Americans take a single drug every day that robs their brain of an essential nutrient required for optimal brain health, and it’s taking their memories. Are you one of them? Click here to find out!

Sources:

  1. Tester R & Al-Ghazzawi F. Glucomannans and nutrition. — Food Hydrocolloids. 2017;68:246-254.
  2. Shah BR, et al. Health benefits of konjac glucomannan with special focus on diabetes. — Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fiber. 2015;5:179-187.

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Jedha Dening

By Jedha Dening

Jedha Dening is a qualified nutritionist (MNutr), researcher, author, freelance writer, and founder of type 2 diabetic nutrition site Diabetes Meal Plans. Her masters thesis on nutrition and inflammation was published and then presented at a national scientific conference. She has millions of words published in the health industry across various print and online publications. Having been in the field for over 15 years, she’s incredibly passionate about delving into the latest research to share the myths and truths surrounding nutrition and health. She believes when armed with the right knowledge, we’re empowered to make informed choices that can truly make a difference.