Konjac foods are an ideal food when it comes to satiety (feeling full). Glucomannan will increase up to 200 times of its original volume after absorbing water. This leads to the sensation of feeling full after consuming Konjac derived foods. Konjac also has the function of supplementing calcium, balancing salinity, cleaning stomach, clearing up intestine, and removing toxin inside body. Konjac can delay the absorption of glucose, effectively reducing postprandial blood sugar.
The main ingredient of the Konjac root is glucomannan fiber. Glucomannan fiber not only contains more than 16 types of amino acids but is a low-protein, low-fat, high-fiber food. Thus, Konjac can lower LDL cholesterol and blood sugar. Not only do the nutritional benefits of Konjac foods assist in a positive diet, consuming this dietary fiber can help you lose weight.
Konjac Shirataki Noodles
Glucomannan fiber in Konjac has excellent diabetic supporting effects such as increasing insulin in the blood and lowering blood sugar. Medical studies have shown that glucomannan fiber can control, prevent and treat diabetes in some cases. Konjac glucomannan is the most viscous dietary fiber, which can enhance gastrointestinal viscosity and delay the retention time of chyme. Konjac glucomannan helps to form the protective film in the intestinal wall and effectively reduces and postpones the absorption of glucose, inhibiting rise of blood sugar. Konjac glucomannan can also reduce free fatty acid levels in the blood, improving insulin sensitivity while lowering glucose tolerance. Konjac foods is an ideal food for diabetics since it can lower blood sugar, improve symptoms and effectively control the conditions of diabetes.
Konjac root has a protein content about of approximately 5% to 10%. With a total of 16 kinds of amino acids, seven of the amino acids found in the Konjac root are essential amino acids, required by the human body since they cannot be produced internally.
The Konjac root contains a number of essential minerals as well. Konjac root contains high amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper.
On average, dried crude Konjac flour contains between 49% to 60% Glucomannan fiber as the main carbohydrate. The remaining carbohydrate includes 10% to 30% starch, 2% to 5% insoluble fiber, 5% to 14% crude protein, 3% to 5% sugars and 3% to 5.3 ash (mineral content).
Konjac foods are alkaline food that provides several nutrients to the body. It contains water, protein, carbohydrate, lipids, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, pantothenate, niacin, fatty acids, folic acid and dietary fiber.
With the numerous positive health benefits of Konjac foods, it is no surprise that the demand for this noodle continues to increase.
The Health Benefits of Konjac Foods
Medical research has shown that Konjac foods have many positive health benefits. Some of the benefits include:
Control blood sugar levels
Reducing LDL cholesterol
Regulating the gastrointestinal tract
Weight Loss Properties
A Diabetic Friendly Food
Reducing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The Calcium Benefit of Konjac Foods
The Alkalinity of Konjac Foods
The Anti-Aging benefits of consuming Konjac Foods
After the Konjac fiber comes into contact with water in the stomach, the glucomannan fiber in the digestive tract helps to absorb bile acid. Contributing to the sensation of satiety, Konjac helps to achieve weight reduction when dieting. The glucomannan fiber also behaves as a prebiotic in the intestine for Lactobacillus bifidus growth.
Konjac fiber has very high water absorbent and expansion rate, it is very helpful for control blood sugar level, reduce cholesterol lever, weight loss.
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Konjac fiber, also called glucomannan, is extracted from the root of the Asian konjac plant. Besides being an ingredient in some Asian noodles, the fiber is sold as a dietary supplement in capsule form, an ingredient in a meal-replacement drink and as sprinkles you can put on your food before eating.
While fiber in general is well known to be good for you, glucomannan has caught the eye of scientists because it is particularly soluble in water, resulting in a viscous mixture that lingers in the intestines and slows digestion. A University of Connecticut meta-analysis of 14 studies involving capsules, biscuits and energy bars made with glucomannan found the fiber appears to help lower bad cholesterol, keep blood glucose under control and has a "mild" effect on body weight. The analysis, published in 2008 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, concluded that larger, longer-term studies are needed.
"We can say at this point that it is not harmful, but whether it is going to be effective over the long haul is up for debate," says Joyce K. Keithley, a professor at Rush University College of Nursing in Chicago and author of a 2005 review article on glucomannan for weight loss. A recently completed 50-person study at Rush, so far unpublished, found a modest weight loss over two months in patients taking two capsules with a glass of water an hour before each meal, but a longer-term study is needed to see if the weight loss holds up over time, Ms. Keithley adds.
For diabetics, fiber intake in general has been shown to help keep blood sugar under control. But so far there's insufficient evidence to show glucomannan is better than other fibers—particularly those you get by eating whole, natural foods, says Abhimanyu Garg, chief of the division of nutrition and metabolic diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "If you are eating papayas or apricots or dates, you are increasing soluble fiber while also getting vitamins and minerals," he adds.
And then there's the noodles with konjac fiber, often called shirataki or yam noodles, which is the way konjac is commonly translated. They are widely available in Asian grocers, usually refrigerated and packed in water. In an informal taste test, the noodles at first seemed clammy and fishy tasting. But after rinsing them in water and stir frying them with vegetables, they absorbed the flavor of the stir-fry sauce and tasted good. They did appear to be particularly filling. (The noodle importer, JFC International Inc. of Los Angeles, couldn't be reached for comment.)
Health claims for konjac noodles are generally based on tests of other forms of glucomannan. Strumba Media LLC, of West Hollywood, Calif., claims on its Web site that its Miracle Noodle product "prolongs the sensation of fullness" and will "dramatically lower calorie intake." While the company says it hasn't done any clinical trials on its product, it adds that the very low-calorie noodles, made entirely of water and fiber, expand in the stomach to make you feel full.
According to a recently published study, consumption of a proprietary fiber called PGX, made from glucomannan and other ingredients, before a meal was found to reduce pizza intake by 38 grams, or about 85 calories, in a test involving 31 adolescents, compared with a control group who had cellulose fiber before the meal. PGX is sold by Canada's InovoBiologic Inc., which funded the study. Published in September in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, the study involved test drinks consumed 90 minutes before eating. The PGX drink also outperformed an ordinary glucomannan drink. PGX, available as a capsule, a meal-replacement drink and food sprinkles, is sold under SlimStyles and other brand names.
Glucomannan has been found in several studies to improve digestion—specifically constipation. However, it can also cause gas, abdominal discomfort and sometimes mild diarrhea.