Yacón: what it is for and how to prepare it (recipes included)

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Yacon is a tuber considered nowadays as a functional food, because it is rich in soluble fibers, mainly inulin and fructooligosaccharides, which provide a prebiotic effect, being excellent for regulating the intestine.

Asimismo, is an excellent option for diabetic people who want to lose weight, because it helps to reduce the appetite and control the blood sugar, being able to serve as a substitute for common food in the food.

This tuber has a seeding appearance like a potato or camote and its scientific name is Smallanthus sonchifolius. Yacon has a slightly sweet and fruity flavor, and is mainly consumed in countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Japan and New Zealand, and can be purchased in some supermarkets.

what is it for

The yacón could provide several benefits for health, which include:

1. Regulate intestinal transit

The yacon is a tuber rich in fructans, mainly inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), these compounds are able to resist the gastric yokes, passing through the digestive tract without being metabolized, being considered as a prebiotic food.

The prebiotics favor the increase of the bifidobacteria of the colon, increase the intestinal movements and the volume of the heces, being an excellent option to combat the stress.

two. Control the sugar in the blood

The FOS content that the yacon has promotes the absorption of glucose in peripheral tissues, improving insulin sensitivity in the liver and increasing insulin secretion by the pancreas, thus favoring the decrease in blood glucose, being an option for people suffering from prediabetes and diabetes.

3. Reduce cholesterol and triglycerides

The yacon helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides because it contains polyphenols and the presence of FOS, which can help regulate the metabolism of fats in the body and suppress the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver.

4. Favor weight loss

The soluble fibers in the yacon increase the feeling of satiety, reducing the appetite, in addition to containing few calories, which can be included in diets to lose weight.

To find out what your ideal weight is, enter your data in the calculator below:

5. Help preserve bone mass

The FOS present in the yacón when they fill the colon and stimulate the bifidobacteria, promote the absorption of some minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium, minerals that are important to maintain the health of the bones and teeth, preventing problems such as osteopenia u osteoporosis.

6. Prevent cancer

Yacon is rich in polyphenols, such as caffeic acid, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, in addition to having prebiotic properties, so that it could prevent certain types of cancer, such as colon, for example.

Yacon nutritional information

In the table, the nutritional value is shown for every 100 grams of yacon:

nutritional composition Yacon Crudo (100 grams) Yacon Harina (100 grams)
Energy 33 calories 240 calories
proteins 0.40 g 4.53 g
thanks 0.11 g 0.54 g
carbohydrates 9.29 g 66.47 g
fibers 2.09 g 19.93 g
soluble fibers 12.39 g
insoluble fibers 7.54 g
calcium 11.7 mg 31.83 mg
Phosphor 22.5 mg 200.3 mg
Magnesium 3.7 mg 62.66 mg
potassium 171.2 mg 1276.25 mg
hiero 0.3 mg 3.4 mg

It is important to mention that to obtain all the benefits mentioned above, the yacon must be included in a balanced and healthy diet, in addition to regular physical activity.

How to consume this tuber

The yacón can be consumed in raw or cooked ensaladas, as a dessert or snack. To consume it raw, it is only necessary to remove the shell. In addition, this tuber can also be acquired in the form of harina, which can be used for the elaboration of bread, tarts and galletas, for example.

However, it is also possible to obtain the extract of the yacon root in capsules, however, a safe dose has not been determined for its consumption, it is necessary to consult a doctor or nutritionist before its use.

Las hojas del yacón también can be used to prepare tea. According to some scientific studies[1] [2]this also helps to reduce blood sugar, improve gastrointestinal problems and help to reduce cholesterol, in addition to having antioxidant, anticancer and antimicrobial properties.

recipes with yacon

There are several ways to prepare it, as indicated below:

1. Ensalada with yoghurt dressing


  • 2 cups of yacon cut into cubes;
  • 1 cup cooked and diced zanahoria;
  • 1/2 cup diced onion;
  • 1/2 cup of stews.

For the attachment:

  • 1 piece of chopped cilantro;
  • 1 cup of natural yogurt;
  • 2 minced garlic teeth;
  • 2 spoonfuls of lemon juice;
  • A salt and pepper pizza.

Preparation method:

For the salad, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. For the dressing, mix all the ingredients and carefully incorporate them into the salad.

2. Chips


  • 1 medium yacon;
  • 1 cup of paprika;
  • 1 cucharadite of cumin;
  • 1 pinch of salt;
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Preparation method:

Peel and cut the yacón in thin wheels. Place the wheels in a container and add the paprika, the cornmeal, the salt and the olive oil. Mix well and place them on a tray. Bake at 175ºC for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.

3. Zanahoria, ginger and yacón smoothie


  • 1 cup of water;
  • 1 large orange;
  • 1 small zanahoria;
  • 1 raw and peeled yacon;
  • 1 gingerbread pizza;
  • 1 cup of hielo cubes.

Preparation method:

Mix all the ingredients, paste and drink next. It is also possible to use other fruits.

Possible side effects

The yacon is rich in fructooligosaccharides, when consumed in excess, it could cause bad digestion, excess gas, distension and abdominal pain.


People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome must ingest this tuber with precaution and test their tolerance, having to consume it in small portions or definitively avoiding it, as it may worsen the symptoms associated with this disease.

Asimism, people with intolerance to fructose also have to avoid the consumption of this food.

Verified by RJ9823 – Public Utility – cc2.0

Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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