The mysterious high-fibre ingredient, demystified.
Konjac, also known as elephant yam, is a tuberous root derived from the Amorphphallus konjac plant. This natural ingredient has been used in Asia for centuries to make food like noodles and to thicken or add texture to food. The main component of konjac is glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fibre that can help improve gut health, blood sugar and lipid metabolism, and other health conditions. Konjac is also best known as an effective dietary supplement for weight loss.
What are konjac noodles?
Konjac noodles are long, transparent noodles that are made by mixing glucomannan flour with water and a little lime water to help hold the noodles in good shape. Konjac noodles contain mainly water – about 97% water and 3% glucomannan fibre. High in fibre, low in calories and contain no digestible carbs, they are the perfect weight-loss food for those who are following a keto lifestyle or want to keep carb count low in their diet!
What are the health benefits of konjac?
1. Weight Management
Konjac is beneficial for people who are looking to lose weight. The glucomannan fibre made from konjac attracts water and turns to gel-like texture during digestion, which could help slow digestion and keep you fuller longer. As a result, you are less likely to overeat or snack between meals, which eventually lead to weight loss.
2. Regulate Sugar Level
Konjac noodles doesn't spike your blood sugar the way regular noodles does, adding it to your diet as a noodle replacement may help improve blood sugar control.
A 2019 study, conducted with Type 2 diabetic rats, suggested that konjac glucomannan can help lower blood sugar level and may be a promising alternative to blood-glucose lowering medications.
3. Support Healthy Cholesterol
Numerous research studies suggest that soluble fibre like konjac glucomannan may help lower the risk of heart disease. According to 2017 meta-analysis, it is reported that the consumption of konjac glucomannan of 3 g daily is beneficial for reducing LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol of 10% and 7%, respectively.
4. Improve Gut Health
A 2008 study published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition revealed that adding glucomannan—which is the type of soluble fiber in the konjac root— to a low-fibre diet can improve bowel regularity by 30% in constipated adults. Another study from the Institute of Nutritional Science, Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan reported that konjac glucomannan improves gut health and prevent constipation in healthy adults.
Still thinking if konjac is for you? Judging by the evidence, konjac is definitely the weight-loss ingredient that you should be incorporating in your diet! Not only that it’s good for weight loss, but they also have benefits for blood sugar, cholesterol and digestive health.