Konjac, also known as "konnyaku," "moyu" or "elephant foot yam," is a tuberous root vegetable. This vegetable is extremely rich in dietary fiber. While konjac is healthy, its soluble fiber has water-absorbing qualities, which means it can cause gastrointestinal side effects.
Whole konjac tubers are primarily carbohydrates and contain virtually no fat. According to a March study in the journal Food Reviews Internationalraw konjac tubers are made up of:. Whole konjac also contains small amounts of a variety of nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin B1 thiaminvitamin B2 niacinvitamin B3 riboflavincalcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.
Between 2 and 3 percent of raw konjac is made up of these essential vitamins and minerals. Once processed, konjac can be used as a starch, flour or gel. Konjac flour, which is primarily glucomannan fibercan be used to make low-carb variations of noodles or rice. However, very little konjac is required to make such products. Most konjac products are mainly water, with small amounts between 1 and 5 percent of konjac.
Read more: 16 Diet-Friendly Healthful Carbs. The average konjac product is essentially just fiber and no other nutrients.
Every serving of grams 3. There are no other nutrients. You'll find similar nutrition for most pre-packaged konjac products. This product's label also says that it contains small amounts — between 1 and 4 percent of the daily value — of calcium and phosphorus, as well. Konjac also has a variety of other uses. The Food Reviews International study states that konjac's texture and neutral flavor make it useful in food processing, where it is used as a thickening agent, preservative and fat replacement.
Small amounts of konjac can be found in a variety of food products — anything from the coating on a candy to a filler in a sausage.
You might even find it used as an edible packaging on your food. According to Harvard Health Publishingwomen should consume between 21 and 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should consume around 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day.
The exact amount you should consume is based on your total calorie intake. There are two types of fiber you can consume: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. You should get about 60 percent of your daily fiber intake from insoluble fiber, which supports the digestion and excretion of foods as they pass through your gastrointestinal tract.
This type of fiber is not broken down during the digestion process. The remaining 40 percent of your fiber intake should come from soluble fiber, like glucomannan. Soluble fiber can help regulate your blood sugar and cholesterol, and slow digestion. Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber is broken down when digested. Soluble fiber is broken down during the digestion process; it can help regulate your blood sugar and cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber isn't broken down — this type of fiber supports the digestion of other foods as it moves through your gut. Given that the primary nutrient you'll find in konjac is glucomannan, the main benefit konjac has is its soluble fiber content. According to the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Healthincreasing your fiber consumption can help reduce your risk for conditions like heart disease, diverticulitis, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Fiber may even help prevent your risk for certain types of cancer. Most Americans consume just 15 grams of fiber each day, about half of the total amount they should be consuming. Integrating konjac into your diet can help increase your fiber consumption and improve your health. Konjac also has some benefits that are associated with its specific type of soluble fiber, glucomannan. According to a May study in the Journal of Food Hydrocolloidsglucomannan can:.You are tuning in for Part 3 of my three-part series on how Transitional Foods affect someone who has difficulty swallowing dysphagia.
Part 1 provided plenty of information about transitional foods and testing methods. Part 2 discussed patient safety and public safety around swallowing and choking risks. Do you remember having Jell-O after your last bout with a stomach bug? I know you would rather not recall that! Seems like a simple food to handle, right? Actually, NO! It is a weird texture, going from a wiggly-slippery solid to melting in the mouth down to a thin liquid. Thin liquids drip and flows very fast.
Jell-O is a good example of a transitional food that is potentially dangerous, as it changes from a solid all the way to a thin liquid. Gelatin comes from a protein collagen extracted by boiling the bones and other byproducts of the meat industry i. Of course, a lot of sugar, flavorings and food coloring are added. Jell-O, ice cream, and popsicles are all more challenging for people with difficulty swallowing, especially if they have difficulty controlling liquids and mixed consistencies in the mouth and throat.
A mixed consistency is when you have solid pieces plus liquid in the same bite, like cold cereal in milk — See this DysphagiaCafe. Watermelon is another good example of a mixed consistency. Next time you take a bite of a juicy watermelon, pay attention to the amount of liquid that cascades to the throat. Do you feel this? Do you respond quickly with a clearing swallow? If not, you could aspirate on that liquid. So, for many people with dysphagia, we need a transitional food item for therapy that stays thick and smooth to allow time for processing of the food in the mouth and time to swallow, without thin liquids falling to the airway.
Often after some types of stroke, for example, the swallow trigger is slow. These are clear liquid gelatins similar animal-based gelatin ingredients that stay thick and smooth and provide added protein. However, please make sure to ask your speech-language pathologist, as these appear to stay moderately to extremely thick honey thick to pudding thickand thicker is not always better for all.
Some people can only tolerate a narrow range of mildly thick nectar thick liquidand cannot tolerate a thicker liquid, as the residue can build up in the throat. Disclosure: I have nothing to financially or non-financially disclose in mentioning this product. This ice cream does not thin down to a thin liquid in the mouth and throat.
It stays extremely thick aka, like a pudding thick liquidso the same advice as above: consult with your speech-language pathologist to make sure it is not too thick for you. Financial disclosure: I am a dysphagia consultant for Hormel Health Labs on an as needed basis, but I do not receive any financial incentives to promote products. Some products may contain ingredients that are not appropriate or safe for your individual needs especially if you follow a special diet due to dialysis or diabetes, for examples.
Konnyaku: Miracle Diet Food or Gelatinous Murderer!?
The Konjac Jelly product is a good example of how the global public is not aware of the dangers of dysphagia! Many of us bloggers, clinicians, researchers and global organizations such as www. Because the anatomy and physiology of swallowing are not well understood, you have products developed around the world that seem fun and tasty initially but end up being extreme choking risks.
For example, in Japan, a candy was created with Konjac jelly see other names for this product listed at the beginning of this blog, such as Konnyaku. Konjac is a common plant in Asia, which is like a potato or yam. These treats are very hard to chew and have been marketed heavily to children around the world.
Tipping your head back and sucking the jelly into your mouth may exacerbate the choking risk! This is hard pulling. As in the Fork Pressure Test of www. Even with a lot of pulling, the Konjac jelly does not pull apart. Now imagine that in your airway causing a blockage.Konjac or glucomannan is among the herbs, which as a supplement can lead to weight loss or better management of cholesterol levels. The high fiber content of Konjac provides significant health benefits.
Glycomanan is the sugar coming from the roots of Elephant Yambetter known as the Konjac plant. When dissolved in water has properties that promote the weight loss. Glycomanan is mainly used against constipation and diabetes. Apart of controlling blood sugar levels, reduces the bad cholesterol levels as well.
It may also be used in food cooking where it is used as a thickener and emulator. Konjac can be found in the form of noodles, which you can boil, cook and consume in conjunction with vegetables or other foods.
It is even available in the form of a drink. In Asia we meet it in a form of fruit jelly or even caramel. Finally, it can also be found as a supplement added to foods or used on its own. Prior to talking about the health benefits specifically, we should mention that the Konjac root has almost no caloriesmaking it extremely appealing to any form of diet followed.
And along with the virtually zero calories equivalent the next most serious advantage is that consists mainly of fiber, which as most of us know very well is the predominant element of any weight loss process. The first and most important benefit we gain for our health is that the Konjac root is a very good source of soluble plant fiber. It is a serious parameter for any healthy diet, though in almost all of these cases we need larger amounts of fiber to help us feel fuller for longer periods of time.
The reason this supplement is so effective is that it has the capacity and absorbs a large amount of fluid. It is characteristic that studies have shown Konjac root can retain up to times its weight in fluids. Furthermore, something worth mentioning is that it prevents the stomach from emptying any food quickly, having the known effect on the sense of completeness and also affecting the insulin resistance and blood sugar levels in a positive way.
As the metabolism stays at high levels while digestion slows down, the Konjac root helps the body to use additional sources already stored in it. And yet another quite important feature of Konjac root is that it helps the body to detoxify, a property being exploited by ancient civilizations and traditional medicine for centuries. Finally, a strange advantage found in this supplement is that, it can also be used as an antidote in cases of food poisoning. Studies have shown that Konjac binds bacteria like E.
The tubers are dried and milled producing flour, used for many centuries in Asia for making chickpeas, tofu and snacks, along with its use in Chinese medicine. These noodles have low calories and contain no carbohydrates, sugar or protein. The only substance contained is a kind of soluble plant fiber, called glucomannan, which was mentioned above and is not digested by the small intestine.
With the absence of carbohydrates, no increase in blood sugar is caused. They are also free of gluten. A large number of these noodles are available in liquid form or packaged in liquid. You can wash them with tap water to remove a strange smell and continue preparing them according to your wishes and preferences. Glucomannan, as any other soluble fiber, absorbs water in the stomach and thus contributes to the feeling of fullness.
It is also possible to promote reduced calorie intake and weight loss through various mechanisms. The benefits offered by glycomanan were mentioned in a previous chapter of this article. A characteristic of glycomanan is that, inflates many times of its original volume when combined with water.People in Asian countries including Japan have been eating konjac for a long time. Today, people in other countries have started to eat konjac due to the fact that they have now started to be more conscious of their health.
So what is konjac? And how can we enjoy eating it? Konjac plants mainly grow in the northern part of the Kanto area in Japan. The edible part of Konjac plants is the root that contains sugar named Glucomannan, and konjac is made by making the root into a paste and then coagulating it with an alkaline solution.
It is a great food to help reduce weight and the risk of metabolism syndrome as its texture is quite firm, which stimulates the satiety center. Ceramide in the food has anti-inflammatory benefits that can be effective for allergies like hay fever. The superfood konjac has now started to become known by many health-minded people around the world.
As konjac has a pungent taste, it is better to boil it to remove the teste before cooking, which also helps remove the stickiness. When stir-frying, it is good to dry-fry konjac first to give it a better texture. For soup or stewed dishes, put salt over konjac and knead it with a rolling pin so that water comes out from konjac and seasoning easily goes into the ingredients.
Here are some Japanese dishes that use konjac.
Japanese traditional dish of radish, eggs, fish cakes, konjac, etc. It is usually eaten in the winter to warm you up. Stewed dishes with vegetables like burdock roots, carrots, bamboo shoots, rotas roots, and chicken and kombu seaweed in dashi soup seasoned with cooking sake, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, etc.
A hot pot dish that includes sliced beef and vegetables such as spring onion, garland chrysanthemum, shitake mushrooms, grilled tofu and shirataki cooked with soy sauce and sugar. Other than the dishes mentioned above, konjac steaks pan-fried, seasoned with soy saucecold noodles and pasta with konjac noodles, fried rice with rice mixed with tsubu-konjac are also popular.
Rice sandwiches are getting popular lately overseas. How to Enjoy Eating Konjac? Foodies May 31, F ood is medicine. And some foods are more powerful medicines than others! Food is the most powerful tool to create optimal health.
Food is the first and most powerful drug in my arsenal to treat patients. Here, I share five superfoods I frequently enjoy that you should also incorporate into your eating plan:.
My three favorite seeds are chia, hemp and flaxseeds. You can add all three super seeds to smoothies, puddings or on top of coconut yogurt with berries. MCT oil. Medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs are a special type of fatty acid derived from coconut oil. You can get them in coconut oil or as a stand-alone oil. You can add MCT oil to smoothies, coffee or veggies. MCTs also provide powerful antioxidant support to strengthen the immune system.
Animal studies show MCTs also benefit liver and gut function. Fiber is vital for so many reasons, including feeding friendly gut bacteria. Studies show fiber can prevent obesity, reduce risk for chronic diseases, and decrease aging. Dietary fiber also helps balance blood sugar and cholesterol levels, aids in quick release of toxins from your gut and curbs your appetite. Glucomannan is a soluble, fermentable and highly viscous dietary fiber from the root of the elephant yam, also known as konjac.
The konjac tuber has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy and to make traditional foods like konjac jelly, tofu and noodles. You can find glucomannan as a supplement called PGX. It mixes easily into water for an easy, effective fiber source. Medicinal foods are a part of their everyday diet, and mushrooms play a huge role within Chinese medicine. Reishi, shiitake and cordyceps contain powerful healing properties that boost your immune system and support healthy hormone production.
Mushrooms are anti-viral and anti-inflammatory to support healthy liver function, optimized cholesterol levels and anti-cancer benefits. I use them often: I make a reishi tea, cook with shiitake mushrooms and make mushroom soup. Plant foods. The vast, colorful array of vegetables represents over 25, beneficial chemicals. Research shows the synergistic balance of these chemicals provides numerous health benefits.
I recommend a diverse diet with numerous colorful whole foods. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate well over varieties of plant foods. Make that extra effort to include as many varieties of these colorful super foods as you can. Eat from the rainbow: Every fruit and vegetable color represents a different family of healing compounds. Red foods like tomatoes contain the carotenoid lycopene, which helps eliminate free radicals that damage our genes. Green foods contain the chemicals sulforaphane and isocyanate, as well as indoles that inhibit carcinogens to protect against cancer.
The tremendous power at the end of our forks becomes far more powerful than anything we find in a pill bottle. Functional Medicine ultimately rests on one central principle: Taking out the bad and putting in the good. What superfood would YOU add to this list? Share yours below or on my Facebook page. Be sure to keep submitting your questions to drhyman.So I have stumbled across a light jelly snack made mostly from konjac powder from the brand Sugarlolo. What caught my attention was on the right-hand corner of the package that has '4 kcal' and 'zero sugar' written on it.
As soon as that had caught my attention, I immediately went to pick it up and read the label in more detail. Just to let you know, this is a Korean product, and as I know for a fact that Korea is all about well-being and women are always dieting, I automatically picked it up.
What makes this light snack very low in calories is that it uses 'erythritol. It contains much fewer calories compared to sugar while maintaining its sweetness. The majority of ingredients are natural and not harmful as it uses a mixture of natural thickeners, konjac jelly, and concentrated fruit extract.
The only thing that people may question is the carrageenan that is used as part of the thickening agents; however, it is still a natural ingredient, only it is questionable that it can give indigestion issues when consumed in large amounts, according to research. However since the product is quite small which comes in mL packages, I don't believe it could provide us with many digestion issues.
It would be best to see how sensitive you are to this particular ingredient; however, carrageenan is used in many products that we consume today. Overall I have been taking this konjac jelly snack whenever I needed some sweetness in my life, and this did the trick without adding any unnecessary calories. More than anything, I like how ingredients are natural and don't have unnecessary foreign additives and preservatives.
Many flavours are available, because they use real fruit extract, depending on what flavour you have the calories do differ — Example Melon 4KcalApple 5KcalLemon 7Kcaletc.
However, I don't think calories will make a difference to your intake. For more information on the ingredients list, we have added extra information if you would like to look further on what some of these ingredients are in detail.
What are the benefits of konjac? What is Erythritol? The Carrageenan Controversy. What is Citric Acid, and is it bad for you? Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate. Calcium Lactate. Close menu. Health Foods. Clean Pantry. Beauty Supplements. Super Foods. Natural Remedy. First Aid. Hair Care. Children Medicines. Eco Living. Eco Home. DIY Kits.
Shop Brands. JS Health Vitamins.February 24, September 27, Food and Drink 19 Comments. Perhaps we should get to know this potential menace lurking in the brightly lit shadows of our local supermarkets and convenience stores a little bit better.
So, what is konnyakuyou ask? Originally used as a medicine in the 6th century, this seemingly magic substance is native to East Asia and grown primarily in China and Japan.
InJapan produced 66, tons of konnyaku, with The plant itself takes about years to grow and the corms remain good for another years. Do not forget that Jell-O contains ground up animal bones. Its sponge-like absorbency makes it the perfect additive to soak up the flavor of other foods and can be eaten raw, boiled, fried, or grilled. Being high in fiber and extremely low in calories about 10 calories in a big blockkonnyaku is prized as a diet food all over the world that is, where it has not already been banned.
This is good and all, but do not forget to eat other foods with actual nutritional value or you will learn the hard-way like Japanese writer, Soichi Ohyake, who in the s, died from malnourishment by trying to diet on strictly konnyaku. Konnyaku also often appears as Shirataki noodles in Oden, which, if you are not familiar, is a wintertime collection of multiple foods like eggs, radish, chikuwa fish paste cakes kept in boiling hot water until consumed, usually for sale at your local combini.
Oden is a seriously tasty treat if you are freezing in the cold heart of the relentless Japanese winter. Most Japanese people I have asked about konnyaku seem to like it, but there are some people who do not like the texture or the lack of flavor. One of my friends in Tokyo does not like it because of how it is utilized by teenage boys, but that is a story for another day. Usually there are no additives to konnyaku and the final product looks something like a block of white frozen milk, but with seriously elastic jellified properties.
Often, hijiki seaweed is added to the product during production, giving it a gray with black specks look when completed. However, be careful when preparing this food not to eat it before it is finished, otherwise you may end up with a serious tummy ache, a numb tongue, and possibly but not surprisingly death!
Many prefectures and towns in Japan grow konnyaku, but no prefectures grow as much as Gunma, and no town grows as much as my beautiful mountain town of Shimonita, which is known all around Gunma and the rest of the country for its prized welsh onions negi and konnyaku.
InShimonita produced an astounding20kg bags of konnyaku, not bad for a town of only 10, people! It is no wonder people flock from all over Japan to hike in our vast mountains and enjoy our konnyaku in a variety of ways at a multitude of konnyaku-specialized road-side stands, drive-ins, and restaurants. You cannot drive anywhere in Shimonita without seeing konnyaku bursting out of the fields with the very idiosyncratic stem piercing out of the earth. Crazy delicious dessert konnyakus plum, the seasonal sakura, pina colada, sesame, etc.
It costs yen for adults and yen for children high school students and below. Reservations can be made Monday-Friday by calling between People with little to no teeth seemed to find themselves gravely surprised when the substance they were consuming did not melt in their mouths like other common forms of gelatin.
In Europe, the same thing was going on and after the EU konnyaku ban took effect, the market took a serious nosedive whilst the market of Locust Bean Gum, a legal alternative, saw a major increase in sales. Has this prohibition led to an underground konnyaku jelly market in Europe? Gangs and illegal importers, who of course can set their own prices, are now the only means of acquiring these sweet illegal jellies within the EU.
13 Benefits of the Konjac Plant
Are kids in the London underground stealing money from their parents and pawning their mopeds to get their fix of this tasteless monster? Only time will tell; good luck Europe, but back here in Asia, anything goes and oh, it is going! When I first came to Japan, I was on the fence about konnyaku.
I had never seen it before and did not necessarily dislike it; the texture was simply something that took some getting used to.