I recently found out about shirataki noodles and the healthy fiber they're made from, glucomannan. It's a powder made from the konjac plant, a type of yam that grows in certain parts of Asia. I'm impressed by the health benefits of glucomannan. Here are ten:
Glucomannan is a soluble fiber that absorbs several times its weight in water and forms a gel in the stomach, giving a feeling of fullness, slowing gastric emptying and slowing the digestion of fats.
In mice, glucomannan powder inhibited the development of atopic dermatitis and overproduction of substance P and proinflammatory cytokines. It also inhibited overproduction of IgE, the immunoglobulin that causes most of the body's allergic reactions. (reference)
Lung Cancer Prevention
Studies in mice indicate that glucomannan powder may have a strong inhibitory effect on lung tumors. (reference)
Researchers have been studying the effects of glucomannan on thyroid hormone levels in patients with hyperthyroidism. Results have been positive so far and glucomannan may be a good complement to standard hyperthyroid treatments. (reference)
In one study of 63 healthy men, consumption of glucomannan powder significantly reduced total cholesterol, LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and triglycerides, while HDL ("good") cholesterol was not lowered. (reference)
In the same study of 63 men, the mens' systolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 2.5%.
Help for Type 2 Diabetes
Glucomannan keeps fasting blood glucose levels stable. In one study, diabetic patients were given glucomannan for 90 days and their fasting glucose levels fell by an average of 29%.
In one study, researchers found that feeding rats glucomannan meal for 18 months delayed cell aging, arteriosclerosis, and brain deterioration. (reference)
It can increase the volume of recipes and be used as a healthy thickener, which allows you to create lower-fat, lower-calories meals and desserts that are good for your overall health.