Konjac is a plant used by manufacturers to make high-fiber nutritional supplements, jellies, and flours, and more recently in weight loss products, as well as playing a role in Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine. In this article, we will learn about konjac, its types, benefits and risks.
What is konjac?
Konjac is a Japanese root vegetable full of fiber, which has been used by people in East Asia for thousands of years and is mainly cultivated in Asian countries. Similar to the oddly shaped potato (because it comes from the same family as the potato), it also contains a soluble fiber called glucomannan. In fact, it has the highest molecular weight and consistency of any known dietary fiber. Manufacturers use this part of the plant as a dietary supplement and in the production of high-fiber flours and jellies.
There are many products for konjac, including:
Konjac Flour: Producers make this by grinding dry konjac husks to make flour. This can then be used to make pasta.Konjac jelly: After further processing, konjac flour can form a jelly. This can serve as an alternative to gelatin, which people can use as a food thickener.Soluble Konjac Fiber: Purified konjac gel converts it into a soluble fiber for use as a dietary supplement.
Konjac has many health benefits, and many of these benefits are related to its high content of glucomannan, which is a soluble dietary fiber that is naturally found in the konjac plant.
1. Diabetes Control:
Research suggests that taking a combination of glucomannan and American ginseng can improve the control of type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance).
A 2015 study also found that glucomannan made diabetics less likely to eat foods that can increase blood sugar levels. This is because it made them feel fuller for longer.
As konjac contains glucomannan, it is a great agent to help control sugar levels in the body, and thus helps control diabetes and its symptoms.
2. Weight control:
The glucomannan from konjac may be beneficial for people looking to lose weight. A 2005 study found that a soluble dietary fiber supplement helped overweight people reduce body weight. The participants took the supplement as part of a balanced, calorie-controlled diet.
Glucomannan might help a person feel fuller for longer by slowing the rate at which the digestive system empties. Moreover, konjac weight loss supplements aid weight loss, as they help suppress appetite and increase weight loss.
It was found that the best way to lose weight from konjac is to eat foods that contain konjac as the main ingredient. Foods such as noodles, konjac rice, and spaghetti noodles are made with konjac flour that reduce carbohydrates and therefore calories, and this is a great alternative for those who want to continue eating dishes that are usually higher in carbohydrates and calories to aid weight loss.
3. Lowering Cholesterol Levels:
High cholesterol increases a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke, and doctors recommend eating water-soluble fiber to support healthy cholesterol levels and weight control.
A 2019 study in mice found that eating konjac significantly reduced levels of cholesterol, as well as low-density lipoprotein, which is known as “bad” cholesterol. A 2017 study investigated the dose of glucomannan needed to improve cholesterol levels and found 3 grams per day to be a beneficial dose.
4. Constipation treatment:
Taking a glucomannan supplement may help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. A 2017 study found that taking glucomannan improved the frequency of bowel movements in children with constipation. However, the researchers also found that taking glucomannan did not always improve stool consistency, so it wouldn’t be the only treatment for
supplementation can reduce symptoms of constipation during pregnancy, as glucomannan was found to increase stool frequency and consistency.
5. Get healthy skin:
The glucomannan content in konjac may also help people looking to improve the health of their skin. For example, a 2013 study found that glucomannan may provide benefits as a topical acne treatment, improving overall skin health.
If you are looking for a beauty product to help cleanse your face of everyday dirt and grime, konjac sponges are a great choice. Konjac sponge can help cleanse the face thanks to its antibacterial properties, and it can also help treat oily skin problems and reduce acne. On top of that, these foams are natural and biodegradable, so when you’re done using them they can easily be composted.
6. Wound healing:
In addition to supporting healthy skin, glucomannan may also help the body heal wounds more quickly. A 2015 study in mice found that konjac supplementation encourages wound healing by supporting the immune system. However, more research is necessary to conclude that glucomannan has the same effect in humans.
7. Improves Digestion:
Konjac is water soluble and thus aids digestion, as it is able to help strengthen the digestive system , making it a great natural remedy for those with indigestion problems, and it can also help treat constipation and hemorrhoids.
8. Helps absorb minerals:
Konjac can help the body absorb minerals, making your daily healthy food even more beneficial. By aiding the absorption of minerals, it makes the use of any foods and drinks you eat more efficient.
9. Maintaining Oral Health:
Konjac has antibacterial properties, which can help treat minor oral health issues such as toothache. Konjac can also help clean teeth and fight bacteria.
10. Increase immunity:
Due to the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of the konjac plant, which makes you gain increased immunity. And your body may be able to fight common illnesses like colds and flu more effectively.
11. Blood pressure control:
If you have problems with blood pressure, it may be beneficial to add konjac root supplements to your diet. The plant can help stabilize blood pressure levels, keeping your heart healthy.
11. Maintain eye health:
An interesting benefit of the konjac plant is its ability to maintain healthy eyes . The plant can help fight problems related to the eyes, including eye inflammation. Moreover, it can help strengthen the optic nerves and keep your eyes healthy.
12. Increase Metabolism:
Konjac can be used to help increase energy levels and increase metabolism. This makes it a great choice for those looking to increase their exercise or aid weight loss.
13. Relieve PMS symptoms:
PMS can be a major problem for many women and girls, but konjac can help relieve it by providing additional vitamins and minerals to your diet. As a result, it can help overcome some of the symptoms of PMS in women
Konjac contains large amounts of anti-inflammatory agents, which can help maintain healthy bones and joints. So you may find a way to properly nourish your bones and reduce joint pain. This is particularly useful for those who suffer from conditions such as arthritis.
How to use Konjac:
Konjac supplements are available at most health food stores. The exact dose of konjac to be taken depends on the reason for taking it, as well as your age and general health status.
People sometimes use konjac powder as an alternative to seafood in plant foods, and some manufacturers also make konjac face sponges for people looking to take advantage of the skin health benefits that konjac has to offer.
Konjac Risks, Precautions, and Side Effects:
Glucomannan is good and generally well tolerated. However, as with any high-fiber product, it may cause digestive issues such as:
Konjac supplements may also expand in the esophagus or intestines and cause a blockage. The risk is greater if:
Take konjac tabletsTake konjac tablets in any form without waterTake it in elderly peoplePeople with swallowing problems
Many countries have banned the use of konjac due to the high incidence of blockages in the intestines or throat. Therefore, children and pregnant and lactating women should not take konjac supplements.
Stop taking konjac and get medical help if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction such as:
breathing difficultiesrashitchy skinrapid heart rateswelling
Konjac has been proven to lower blood sugar levels, and may slow down the absorption of sugar, so diabetics should monitor their blood sugar, especially if they are taking diabetes medications so that it doesn’t drop suddenly. Also, check with your doctor before using konjac supplements if you are taking insulin or other diabetes medications