The first time I heard about shirataki noodles, my first words were, "What on earth are those?" I suppose it’s from Japan, judging from the sound of it. True enough, this specific type of noodles are low-calorie, thin, translucent and gelatinous noodles from the Land of the Rising Sun. It is made from the devil's tongue yam. Shirataki means "white waterfall", obviously because of its appearance.
Browsing through the Internet, I found many wonderful things about shirataki noodles. Appropriately, they are also referred to as “miracle noodles”. I learned that although shirataki noodles lack in taste, they make up for in nutrition value. They have health benefits and, to some extent, can provide medicinal effects as well. One major reason is that shirataki noodles are packed with nutrients that health buffs will find favorable to their dietary requirements. They are made out of water and the water soluble dietary fiber called glucommanan.
It is because of this rich fiber content that shirataki noodles are able to help solve constipation problems. And because it makes stool movement much easier, it wonderfully hastens weight loss in a healthy and natural way. It is also because of this fiber that helps make you stay full for a longer period of time. Best of all, fiber contain fewer calories compared with the same volume of food that has less or no fiber. And if you're cutting on carbohydrates, shirataki noodles should make up most of your diet.
What amazes me is the fact that the benefits of eating this fiber-rich shirataki noodles can go beyond helping me get slimmer. They can also take good care of my heart since fiber can help lower blood cholesterol. They are also said to be beneficial as anti-aging agents. For those who have diabetes type 2, or know of anyone, you can tell them about how these miracle noodles can control their blood sugar to manageable levels.
Shirataki noodles, especially when combined with tofu, are also good sources of protein. Proteins are our body’s best friend when it comes to building bones, muscles, cartilage and blood. Since our skin, hair and nails are mostly made up of protein, it is important to have protein-rich diets to keep them healthy. So if you want to have glowing skin and a shiny mane, make shirataki noodles part of your beauty regimen.
Another important ingredient found in shirataki noodles is calcium, which help prevents health issues caused by high blood pressure, heart attack, premenstrual syndrome and colon cancer. It is also calcium minerals that are responsible for transporting nutrients through cell membranes. Aside from proteins, calcium is another important nutrient that our body needs to strengthen our bones.
Iron is also present in shirataki noodles. Iron delivers oxygen to blood and brain cells, which is good news for those who want to improve learning abilities especially among children. This is because iron in brain cells improves concentration. Iron also boosts the body's energy levels to help increase physical performance and strengthen the immune system.
Those who find it difficult to sleep at night will also find that shirataki can help solve this problem. It's anti-cancer, too. Not only that; it also helps ease menstrual pain. Imagine all these benefits you can get from shirataki noodles – all because it has iron.
Shirataki noodles, also called konnyaku noodles, are great in Asian recipes. However, they are also versatile enough to serve as good substitute ingredients to make a completely different dish. They can be prepared in a variety of ways without lessening the nutritional value. Mix it with fresh garlic, ginger, soy-sauce, curry powder or some sesame oil, and you get the same effect. There is also an option to stir fry with tofu or lean meat and lots of vegetables. I find this versatility very exciting since there seems to very limited choices of meal preparations these days. The invasion of fast food and instant meals are already making me feel sorry for my body, anyway.
Thank God for shirataki noodles, because I don't have to ditch my traditional pasta and still continue my low-calorie diet. There, I said it. I am trying to lose excess weight, and I am not ashamed to admit that I will go for this miracle noodle.