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What is Konjac Root?

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  • Written By: Erin Oxendine
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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Konjac root is a type of plant that comes from the konjac tree in Asia. In Japan, the konjac root is referred to as devil’s tongue. In the United States, most people use a derivative of the konjac tree in pill form known as glucomannan. This root is also widely used in many countries for a variety of health issues ranging from obesity to colon issues.

Some of the reported health benefits from the konjac root include weight loss, lower blood sugar, and cholesterol. The way the root works is that the tubes from the plant contain an abundance of fiber, enabling it to soak up a lot of water in the body. The fiber expands in the stomach resulting in increased fullness, which may help a person eat less. In addition, this supplement may help cholesterol levels due to the fat absorption in the fiber.

The konjac root may also provide other health benefits since it is a natural laxative and can help rid the body of harmful waste and toxins. Most types of fiber form a mass in the body that is hard for individuals to digest. The fiber in the konjac plant bonds to certain substances such as fat and cholesterol, which helps to eliminate these from the body. This may also benefit conditions such as diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome.

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There are different forms of the konjac root available for consumers. Some people prefer to use glucomannan as a natural supplement while others would rather use it in prepared foods such as konjac flour and shirataki noodles. Konjac root is also available in powder form as well as pills.

Several studies have been performed to determine if the root actually provides any health benefits. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, scientists from Chung Shan Medical University reported that glucomannan helped blood lipid and glucose levels. In another study, the International Journal of Obesity reported that clinical trials showed konjac might be an effective supplement to treat obesity.

Consumers who decide to use konjac root for natural health should always consult with their doctor before taking any herbal supplements. While studies do seem positive, there may be side effects such as mild stomach discomfort or bloating. People who choose to take the pill form of konjac root will also need to take it with plenty of water to prevent the pill from swelling in the throat.

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pleonasm
Post 2

@browncoat - I quite like konjac noodles and you're right, they are very good for weight loss. They don't contain any calories which makes them superior to pasta any day.

But, you have to be careful not to treat them like they were made of ordinary flour.

For example, I often make up lots of soup and then freeze some of it to use later when I need a quick meal. I tried using shirataki noodles in this soup and it was fine when I first ate it.

But, when I defrosted the leftovers to eat, I discovered the noodles had shrunk into what seemed like bits of plastic shopping bags.

Luckily they were easy to pick out, but I wouldn't advise anyone to try freezing the konjac root noodles.

browncoat
Post 1

I have eaten shirataki noodles which are made from the konjac fiber and I have to say that they are an acquired taste. People who say they can be a direct substitute for actual noodles or pasta are kidding themselves.

On the other hand, after a while I did get to like them for themselves. If you wash them really well, they don't have much flavor, so they just taste like whatever you cook them with.

I think if they weren't billed as a substitute for pasta, I would have liked them immediately. Just don't expect too much and you will probably like them too.

And they are wonderful for weight loss, so there is that.

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