Konnyaku is a Japanese traditional food.
Konnyaku is a traditional Japanese jelly-like health food made from a kind of potato called “Konnyaku potato” and calcium hydroxide or oxide calcium extracted from eggshells. The Konnyaku potato is native to Indonesia and is a kind of herbaceous perennial plant called “Amorphophallus Konjac”(K. Koch). Konnyaku potatoes are cultivated for food only in Japan, but wild forms grow naturally in Southeast Asia and China.
Japanese have been eating it over 1500 years. It was originally introduced to Japan as a medicine in the sixth century and has been eaten for almost 1500 years in Japan. It is a totally natural food. Ninety seven percent of Konnyaku is water and three percent is Glucomannan, or dietary fiber. It is also rich in minerals and very low in calories.
Full of dietary fiber
Glucomannan is a dietary fiber and it is extremely difficult for humans to digest. Therefore, Konnyaku usually just goes through your body and sweeps your intestines. That is why it has been regarded as a no calorie food for a long time in Japan. Konnyaku does have calories, however, the calories would be so few in the normal quantities that they are negligible in number.
Konnyaku is a marvelous health food
It does not have fat, it is rich in dietary fiber and is low in calories. Moreover, it has recently been found that it normalizes the level of cholesterol, prevents high blood pressure and normalizes the level of sugar in the blood. Because of these scientific findings, it has been perceived as a excellent health food in Japan.
Konnyaku helps you to maintain health and helps you to control your weight
Studies show that it will helps you to maintain health and to control your weight . It is an ideal food for weight control since Konnyaku expands in the digestive system and gives the feeling that the stomach is full. At the same time, Konnyaku cleans toxins in the intestines.
If you would like to keep your body slim, but if you do not want to give up enjoying eating, why not try to use Konnyaku in your daily eating habit? You can enjoy eating and control your weight and become healthy at the same time! Konnyaku surely helps your physical and mental health.
Benefits of Konnyaku
Ideal food for weight control and prevention of obesity
Konnyaku is not only an ideal food for weight reduction because it is low in calories and has no fat but also it is wonderful in helping maintain our health. If you take Konnyaku with other foods, you can easily feel satisfied, but still you have eaten few calories. It is quite difficult to fight hunger, so you can gain physical and mental health at the same time.
Full of dietary fiber
Glucomannan in Konnyaku is a dietary fiber which is difficult to digest. When Glucomannan in Konnyaku is ingested, it stimulates excretion and helps us to keep good shapes. To see nutrition data of fiber in Konnyaku.
Stimulation for excretion: Prevention against bowel cancer and hemorrhoids
In 1977, American Senate nourishment special committee published a report that says the shortage of fiber in eating habits is one of the causes of diseases such as fatness, constipation, arteriosclerosis, heart sickness, diabetes, cancer, gallstone, and hemorrhoids. Dietary fiber activates the function of the intestines and allows the harmful things to go quickly out of your body. As a result, it defends you from intestinal cancer.
Konnyaku is practically water and dietary fiber. Therefore, Konnyaku is useful preventing such adult diseases. It is not only a low calories health food but also defends you from bowel cancer and hemorrhoids. When dietary fiber is taken, it easily adsorbs water and it can expand ten to twenty times in the body. Then, it stimulates the intestines and helps to discharge. In other words, dietary fiber helps to excrete harmful matters from the body.
Normalizes the level of sugar in the blood and prevents diabetes
According to the studies of Ebihara (1981), if Konnyaku is taken with other foods, it reduces the speed of sugar intake and it normalizes the level of sugar in the blood. Hence, Konnyaku could prevent diabetes.
Normalization of the cholesterol level
According to the studies, Konnyaku lowers and normalizes the cholesterol level and neutralizes fat in blood but it never lowers it too much.
Prevention of high blood pressure
According to the studies, Konnyaku lowers high blood pressure.
Rich in Minerals
Konnyaku is rich in mineral. A 100 grams block type of Konnyaku contains 75 milligrams of calcium. A 100 grams noodle-shaped Konnyaku contains 43 milligrams of calcium. Moreover, calcium in Konnyaku would be readily soluble in gastric juices. As you can see in the table* below, the assimilation rate of calcium in Konnyaku is almost equal to that of milk.
Konnyaku is an Alkaline Food.
Many of our modern foods are acid foods. Konnyaku, on the other hand, is a uniquely alkaline food. It is said that modern people had better eat more alkaline food in order to keep healthy. Therefore, Konnyaku is an ideal health food for us.
Konnyaku is an ideal food for weight control and prevention of obesity because it is low in calories and has no fat. It also helps maintain our health. It is rich in mineral and full of dietary fiber. Since it is full of fiber, it stimulates excretion and helps us to keep good shapes. And ultimately, it prevents against bowel cancer and hemorrhoids.
Recent studies show that Konnyaku also normalizes the level of sugar in the blood and prevents diabetes, normalizes the cholesterol level, and prevents high blood pressure.
The History of Konnyaku
There are many theories regarding when Konnyaku was introduced into Japan. The most cogent theory is that it might have been introduced from China as a medicine accompanied with the introduction of Buddhism during the age of Emperor Kinmei (531-571). Konnyaku was introduced as a medicine and has been eaten as a taste of home cooking in Japan for over one thousand five hundred years. In spite of its popularity and its great advantages, Konnyaku is seldom eaten outside Japan.
Initially, it was highly appreciated as a medicinal food and eaten as a therapeutic food by Buddhist monks who played the roles of doctors for a long time in Japan. Then, it became widespread among the general public and popularized. Once it became popular, its therapeutic aspects were highly appreciated and believed for a long time and some of them are still believed. For example, Konnyaku might relieve coughs and be good for tumors. It should heal frost-bitten or chilblained toes or fingers if you put them into hot water in which Konnyaku is warmed up. Or it should cool down skin burns or scalds and reduce the pain and so on.
Konnyaku has been used for a long time as an “old wives’ remedy.” Konnyaku has been called “a broom in the stomach” and “a cleaner in the bowels” because of its function in normalizing intestinal disorders. It has often been eaten in order to excrete waste and toxic matters from the body. Medieval Japanese people knew of the benefits of Konnyaku through their experience.
The publication of the book called Konnyaku Hyakusen (100 recipes of Konnyaku) in 1846 shows how much Konnyaku was loved by Japanese people in those days. After its publication, those recipes of Konnyaku became popular. Many of the recipes in Konnyaku Hyakusen are still loved and eaten at the family table and are part of domestic Japanese culinary tastes.
Japanese people knew that Konnyaku was good for the health through their experience. Recently it has been scientifically proved that Konnyaku really is good for the health. Nowadays many people are trying to be slim and to prevent adult diseases (arteriosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, constipation, gallstone, and hemorrhoids). Many people are more health conscious and try to eat health food and not to take many food additives. Konnyaku has recently attracted those people a lot.
Konnyaku is very low in calories, and full of dietary fiber and minerals. Moreover, it is a totally natural food. In Japan, Konnyaku is widely perceived as a health food. That is why Konnyaku jelly and a Konnyaku diet are booming in Japan.
Info taken from: http://www.shakespeare-w.com/english/konnyaku/whatis.html
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