Konjac Benefits for Health and Beauty
What is the Konjac plant?
Popularly called devil’s tongue and known as konnyaku in Japan the Konjac plant, or the root, is an Asian root vegetable that is full of fiber. It has been used by people in East Asia for thousands of years and is mainly grown in Asian countries. It is commonly available as glucomannan, the main component of the konjac root. This water-soluble dietary fiber contains glucose and mannose sugars. It has an extraordinarily high water-holding capacity - it can hold up to 200 times its weight in water.
Typical products made from the konjac corm (root), includes:
- Konjac flour, which is made by grinding down dry konjac corms to make flour.
- Konjac jelly, with further processing konjac flour is make into a jelly or gum.
- Konjac soluble fiber, with further purifying konjac jelly is made into into a soluble fiber.
Konjac products have a number of health benefits. They may help keep
blood sugar and cholesterol levels low, improve skin and gut health,
help heal wounds, and promote weight loss.
Typical uses for Konjac/glucomannan products:
- Food, used to make tofu, Shirataki (or shiratake) noodles and konjac gel. Also used in the food industry as a thickener, gelling agent, emulsifier and stabilizer.
- Dietary supplement, used as an appetite suppressant.
- Skin Care, used to make facial sponges that takes advantage of the health benefits it has for the skin.
- Medicinal, used to improve cholesterol levels, alleviate constipation, improve gut health and speed up wound healing
Glucomannan made from konjac may be beneficial for people who are looking to lose weight.
Because of its water absorption capability, glucomannan helps promote weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness, leading to a decrease in appetite and caloric intake.
As a soluble fiber, it reduces the metabolic impact of food by delaying gastric emptying and slowing the release of sugar into the bloodstream, reducing the insulin response.
There are numerous studies that show the health benefits of higher fiber diets, including using konjac, for weight loss.
Another way to lose weight with the konjac plant is by eating foods with konjac as a key ingredient. Foods such as shirataki noodles, rice and spaghetti-noodles have been created which means less carbohydrates and therefore, lower in calories. This is a great alternative for those wanting to continue eating dishes that would usually be higher in carbs and calories to aid with weight loss.
Glucomannan may also help people looking to improve the health of their skin.
If you are looking for a beauty product to help clean your face from
daily dirt and grime, konjac sponges are a great choice. Sponges made
from konjac can help cleanse the face and thanks to their antibacterial
properties, they can help to combat oily skin and reduce acne. These
sponges are natural and biodegradable, so when you have finished using
them, you can easily put them in your compost.
Studies have found that glucomannan may be beneficial as a topical therapy for acne and that it improves overall skin health.
As well as supporting skin health, glucomannan may also help the body to heal wounds more quickly.
Studies have found that glucomannan supplements may encourage wound healing because of the way they support the immune system.
Konjac contains glucomannan, this is a great agent to help control sugar levels in the body, therefore helping with the control and symptoms of diabetes.
Studies has shown that consuming a mix of glucomannan and ginseng indicated a moderate improvement in type 2 diabetes management and it has also been noted that glucomannan made people feel fuller for longer and therefor less likely to eat foods that could increase their blood sugar levels.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber and water-soluble fibers are recommended to aid in cholesterol and weight management.
Glucomannan supplements may help people to keep their cholesterol levels in check, studies have shown that a dosage of 3 grams a day is beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels.
Taking a glucomannan supplement may help to regulate a person's bowel movements and prevent them from becoming constipated.
Studies have shown that a modest dose of glucomannan improved bowel movements and that soluble dietary fiber supplements helped to improve gut health in people experiencing constipation.
Konjac is water soluble and therefore aids digestion. It is able to help strengthen your digestive system, making it a great natural remedy for those who have digestion problems. It can also aid with constipation and hemorrhoids.
Other Possible Benefits:
- Absorbs minerals - Konjac can help the body to absorb minerals, making your daily healthy eating much more useful. By helping with the absorption of minerals, any foods and drinks you ingest will be able to be used more effectively.
- Oral health benefits - Because the konjac plant contains anti-bacterial properties, it can help with minor oral health problems such as a toothache. The konjac plant can help to clean teeth and fight bacteria.
- Increased immunity - Because of the konjac plant’s anti-bacterial properties and antioxidants, it is believed that you may gain an increased immunity. Your body may be able to help fight common diseases such as cold and flu more effectively.
- Controlled blood pressure - If you have blood pressure issues, you may want to try and include konjac root into your diet. The plant can help to stabilize blood pressure levels, which therefore will help with your heart health.
- Eye health - An interesting benefit to the konjac plant is it’s ability to aid in optical health. The plant can help fight eye related problems, including eye inflammation. It can help to strengthen optical nerves and keep your eyes healthy.
- Boost metabolism - Konjac can be used to help increase energy levels and boost metabolism. This is a great option for those looking to increase exercise or help with weight loss.
- Aiding PMS symptoms - PMS can be quite problematic for many women and girls, but the konjac plant can help by providing added vitamins and minerals to your diet. This can help to overcome some of the symptoms of PMS for women.
- Anti-inflammatory - Konjac contains great amounts of anti-inflammatory agents, which can help with bone and joint health. You might find a way to proper nourish your bones and a decrease in joint pain. This is especially useful for those suffering from conditions such arthritis.
Risks, side effects and considerations
Konjac absorbs a lot of water and does not dissolve readily, so should always be consumed with water to avoid a choking hazard.
When eaten as a fruit jelly, It is important to chew konjac jelly thoroughly to make sure it can be swallowed easily.
Discuss with a doctor before giving konjac to a child for constipation or other problems.
Konjac supplements can have an impact on blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes should talk to a doctor before using them.
Due to the way konjac affects the gut and reduces constipation, some people may experience diarrhea when they take konjac supplements.
- Konjac glucomannan diet-controlled study
- Effect of glucomannan on constipation in children
- Experiences with glucomannan in weight reduction
- Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of glucomannan
- Effect of konjac glucomannan on wound healing
- Clinical trial on konjac-based fibre blend and American ginseng for type 2 diabetes
- Health benefits of konjac glucomannan with special focus on diabetes
- Effect of konjac glucomannan to improve skin health and reduce acne