What is Glucomannan and Why Has it Become So Popular During the Lockdown?

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The world is witnessing an unprecedented era where everyone prefers to be homebound. No one is moving out, forget attending gym sessions and Zumba classes. But, living healthy and staying in a good shape cannot take a backseat. So, as people accept the new normal, they are also adapting their daily routine to make the most of this isolation.

It’s not surprising that people have started working out indoors during the lockdown and weight management supplements have become extremely popular online. There has been an exponential growth in the sales of fitness equipment, yoga mats, resistance bands, slimming teas and weight management supplements.

Glucomannan has emerged as nature’s skinny sponge with a lot of positive reviews online. Influencers are promoting it as the ultimate weight management aid but does it actually live up to the hype? Let’s take a closer look at this beneficial soluble fibre that claims to boost bowel movement and curb untimely cravings to accelerate your fitness journey.  

What is Glucomannan?

Also known as Konjac root, Glucomannan has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia, China and Japan for culinary and medicinal purposes. Today, this low-calorie gluten-free ingredient is turned into a purified flour for use in dietary supplements that harness its ability to expand and form a bulky fibre to promote a sense of fullness and reduce appetite.

Glucomannan works like a sponge that can soak up all the water in your stomach which inhibits the absorption of cholesterol and carbs to support your slimming efforts. Regular supplementation keeps you fuller for longer without making you feel bloated and when this bulky fibre is expelled from the body, it has a natural cleansing effect – all of which brings you closer to your healthy weight goals.  

What are Soluble Fibres?

Soluble fibres are complex carbs with an elaborate molecular formula which is hard to break down. In liquid, soluble fibres tend to form a thick gel. This thick gel gets fermented in the stomach by gastrointestinal bacteria, resulting in byproducts like essential nutrients and  undesirable gases. Soluble fibres are also found in foods like legumes, oats, barley, rye, beans, in certain fruits like apples, bananas, plums, berries, pears and prunes and in seeds like chia and psyllium.

Benefits of Glucomannan

In combination with a fitness regime and a healthy diet, glucomannan supplementation is shown to offer the following benefits:

1. Weight Loss

Glucomannan is a natural fibre which expands in your stomach and keeps you satiated for hours together. This helps you fight those untimely food cravings so you end up consuming fewer calories so you can watch your shape.

2. Improved Bowel Movements

Fibre can also help move things in the intestines and accelerate your bowel movement to help you eliminate unwanted impurities and feel lighter. Research studies have also shown that glucomannan can play a role in weight management when used alongside exercises and a balanced diet.

3. Regulation of Blood Sugar

Glucomannan is believed to slow down the digestive process which can delay the absorption of sugar and naturally lower the levels of blood sugar after your main meals. In a research study conducted on diabetic patients, participants who were given glucomannan-enriched biscuits showed reduced blood pressure and sugar levels. However, if you have diabetes, it is recommended to consult your doctor before taking any fibre-rich supplement. 

4. Lower Cholesterol Levels

Soluble fibres have always been recommended to lower cholesterol. Soluble fibre does not get absorbed by the intestine instead, it binds to the cholesterol and eliminates it from the body. Research studies have shown that regular intake of 5-10 grams of fibre daily can help reduce bad cholesterol. 

 How to Take Glucomannan Supplements for Best Results

Glucomannan supplements are available in the form of powder and capsules. Powdered form is ideal for experienced users who already know how their body reacts to glucomannan can adjust the proportion in smoothies and shakes.

Glucomannan capsules that are formulated with optimal strength and use the right dosage are perfect for those who are considering a weight management supplement for the first time. They are also ideal for beginners who are looking to add a dietary fibre supplement to their fitness routine for an extra boost.

For maximum efficacy, glucomannan supplements should be taken at least 30 minutes before the main meals. Drinking plenty of water with this supplement will also boost the effect of glucomannan. 

Dietary fibre supplements like Glucomannan have proven to be effective for people who diligently follow their fitness regime and stick to a healthy diet. So make sure you don’t compromise on your daily routine because this supplement is formulated to boost your efforts and not replace them. 

Side Effects of Glucomannan Supplements

Essentially, glucomannan is considered to be a safe weight management supplement and there no serious side-effects have been reported so far. However, being a bulk fibrous supplement, it may lead to abdominal discomfort in some people.

When glucomannan is not taken with adequate water, it may trigger diarrhoea or constipation. As it is believed that glucomannan has the potential to lower blood sugar levels, it may interfere with the drugs prescribed for treating diabetes.

Essentially, glucomannan supplements are not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women, diabetic patients and children.

Where to Buy Best Glucomannan Supplements

Glucomannan supplements have become mainstream and so, they are easily available online in different formulations created by a wide range of brands. This is why it becomes important to do your research so you get max potency and purity for optimal results. 

A GMP-approved glucomannan supplement with a powerful serving of at least 1000mg is recommended if you want to see visible results. Certain natural formulations also include essential vitamins and minerals to up your nutritional intake and make for a great choice to aid your natural energy levels during intense workouts.

Food Sources of Glucomannan

A high concentration of Glucomman is also available in shirataki noodles that carry almost zero carbs. These gelatinous noodles are also used as a substitute for pasta in low-cal diets. 

If you are looking for a direct source of glucomannan then you can include Konjac root in your daily diet. The Konjac root has a taro-like flavour and is easily available at Asian grocery stores. Also known as the elephant yam, it is commonly used in preparing traditional Japanese dishes and has a slippery sensation when consumed.

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