This posts looks at the benefits of yacon syrup for acne and why yacon is also the best sweetener for weight loss and gut health too. Plus, I’m sharing my favourite ways to use yacon syrup in the kitchen!
What is yacon syrup?
Yacon is a tuber, just like sweet potatoes and yams, that is native to Peru. For centuries, locals have eaten the fruit whole and used it in their salads and desserts. However, it has now gained popularity across the world due to its numerous health benefits.
How is yacon syrup made?
To produce yacon syrup the roots are processed into a powder or juice which is then filtered and then slowly cooked on a low heat till it become a thick, sticky syrup.
What does Yacon syrup taste like?
Yacon syrup isn’t as sickly sweet as honey or maple syrup. It tastes more like molasses and has a more subtle, mellow sweetness. Sometimes I find yacon isn’t quite sweet enough to balance out the bitterness of raw chocolate so I find that using yacon syrup mixed with stevia (I use NuNaturals liquid drops) combines the best of yacon syrup’s health benefits and the intense sweetest of stevia for the ideal blend!
Yacon syrup for acne, weight loss and gut health
Whether you’re struggling with acne, weight loss, digestive issues or just want to improve your health, switching your normal sugar or sweetener with yacon syrup is definitely something you should consider! Read on to find out why yacon syrup is the natural sweetener everyone should have in their kitchen cupboard to improve their health from the inside out and decrease their exposure to the harmful effects of sugar.
Why is sugar bad for acne?
If you’re struggling with acne, it’s vital that you keep your blood sugars as stable as possible to prevent spikes. Too much sugar over a long period of time can cause a condition called insulin resistance, which means our bodies become de-sensitised to the effects of sugar. The more resistance to sugar we become, the more insulin and the insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) our pancreas has to produce to help maintain the delicate balance of blood glucose.
All this excess insulin and IGF-1 circulating around the body triggers a release of androgen hormones – a leading cause of acne! An excess of androgens means that our skin will produce too much sebum, which will then oxidise and lead to clogged pores, blackheads and whiteheads which can then lead to further acne inflammation.
Sebum Oxidisation ⇰ Hyperkeratinisation ⇰ Bacteria Overgrowth ⇰ Skin Inflammation
How can Yacon syrup help acne?
Depending on the source, yacon syrup has a glycemic index between 1 and 5, meaning that it has very minimal impact on your blood sugar levels! To put this in to perspective, refined sugar has a GI of 65 honey has a GI of 50 and coconut sugar has a GI of 35!
Why is sugar bad for your gut?
Studies have shown that sugar can promote the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. The bad bacteria in our gut loves sugar and feeds off it which causes irritation and inflammation which can manifest itself into allergies, food intolerances and skin conditions.
How can Yacon syrup help?
Yacon syrup actually does the complete opposite of conventional sugar and IMPROVES intestinal health. Yacon contains an important prebiotic called fructooligosaccharides that feeds the good bacteria in our gut and can help with digestive issues such as constipation and poor digestion.
Why is sugar bad for weight loss?
Sugar consumption is a key when it comes to weight gain for a variety of different reasons. For one, it’s not just our skin that is affected by insulin resistance, increased levels of insulin levels in the blood causes our bodies to selectively deposit energy from foods into fat cells. Plus, excess sugar intake can make our brain leptin resistant, which means that the brain doesn’t account the stored fat in our bodies and thinks it needs more. This causes us to keep eating even when we don’t need to.
How can Yacon syrup help?
A 2009 study showed impressive weight loss results when Yacon syrup was included as part of a low-fat diet, with the group consuming Yacon syrup loosing 33 pounds and 3.9 inches round their waist compared to the placebo group who gained an average of 3.5 pounds and neither gained or lost any inches around their waist. While Yacon syrup is by no means a miracle natural weight-loss solution, it does show that it can have a beneficial impact on your waist line when taken as part of a healthy diet.
The reasons why Yacon is thought to be benefit to weight loss is partly down to the fact that Yacon syrup contains only 40 calories per two tablespoons compared to refined table sugar which contains 96 calories, 128 calories in honey, 120 calories in agave and 110 calories in coconut nectar. Also, as mentioned earlier, yacon syrup is high in prebiotics, and is made up for 40-50% fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Fructooligosaccharides (also found in chicory, jerusalem artichokes, onions and garlic) are soluble, non-digestible carbohydrates that pass through your digestive system completely intact – this beneficial compound keeps you fuller longer while also improving your digestion to help aid in weight loss.
The best way to use yacon syrup
While yacon syrup can be great for many things, it’s recommended that you don’t use it for baking or cooking at a high heat. This is because if Yacon syrup exceeds 120°C, the fructooligosaccharides start to break down into simple sugar forms, making it sweeter, but much less beneficial in terms of nutrition.
Is yacon syrup expensive?
Yes! Unfortunately, due to it being considered more as a ‘health supplement’ than a sugar, yacon syrup is one of the most expensive sweeteners there is! If you’re based in the UK, then the best value for money I’ve found is Of The Earth Superfoods – it’s £7.39 for 211g or £16.49 for 552g! If you’re based anywhere else in the world, iHerb have a good selection and Amazon is always worth a try!
Ways I like to use yacon syrup for acne, weight loss and gut health
- Salad dressings – it makes an amazing yacon-mustard dressing!
- Raw desserts
- Raw chocolate making
- Drizzled over oats/yogurt/granola/berries
- Fresh honey & ginger tea
- Homemade lemonade
- Homemade ‘Nutella’
Apart from baking cakes and cookies, it’s pretty much great for anything! If you accidentally do go over the 120°C mark when cooking with Yacon syrup then it’s no big deal, it still won’t cause huge issues with your blood sugars – it’ll just be a very expensive treat with little nutritional benefits!
Acne-friendly recipes using yacon syrup:
Have you ever experienced any benefits of yacon syrup for acne, digestion or weight loss? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin