Cassava is a root vegetable that is a mainstay in many diets around the world and may offer several potential health benefits. It is a tuber crop, similar to potatoes and yams. Cassava roots resemble sweet potatoes in form. The cassava plant’s leaves can also be eaten.
Cassava is now grown in over 100 nations across the tropics, and it is a staple in the diets of over 800 million people worldwide.
In the United States, cassava is ground to form tapioca, which is eaten as a pudding or used as a thickening agent.
Cassava Nutrition Facts
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100-gram cassava contains:
- Energy (Calories): 160 kcal (670 kJ)
- Carbohydrates: 38.1 g
- Sugars: 1.7 g
- Dietary fiber: 1.8 g
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Protein: 1.4 g
- Thiamine (B1): 0.087 mg 8% of The Daily Value (DV)
- Riboflavin (B2): 0.048 mg 4% DV
- Niacin (B3): 0.854 mg 6% DV
- Vitamin B6: 0.088 mg 7% DV
- Folate (B9): 27 μg 7% DV
- Vitamin C: 20.6 mg 25% DV
- Calcium: 16 mg 2% DV
- Iron: 0.27 mg 2% DV
- Magnesium: 21 mg 6% DV
- Phosphorus: 27 mg 4% DV
- Potassium: 271 mg 6% DV
- Sodium: 14 mg 1% DV
- Zinc: 0.34 mg 4% DV
Cassava is a high-carbohydrate vegetable that is dense in calories and essential vitamins and minerals.
Cassava contains folate, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and vitamin C. The leaves, which are also edible if cooked or sun-dried, can contain up to 25% protein.
Health Benefits Of Eating Cassava
1. For Gut Health
Cassava contains resistant starch, which experts believe can improve gut health by supporting healthy gut bacteria.
The beneficial bacteria in your stomach are fed by resistant starch, which may help reduce inflammation and support digestive health.
2. Cassava Benefits for Diabetes
Resistant starch in cassava root has been examined for its capacity to promote metabolic health and lower the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
These benefits are most likely connected to better blood sugar control, enhanced sensations of fullness, and decreased hunger.
3. High in Vitamin C
Cassava root contains a high concentration of vitamin C, an important vitamin that serves as an antioxidant, promotes collagen formation, and boosts immunity.
According to a study, vitamin C can assist defend against oxidative stress and promote the operation of your body’s immune cells.
4. Rich in Potassium
Potassium is necessary for all cells in the body to operate normally. It regulates the heartbeat, ensures normal muscle and nerve function, and is required for protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism.
5. Gluten Free
Tapioca starch from cassava is gaining popularity as a gluten-free flour source for making bread and other baked goods acceptable for gluten-intolerant people.
Side Effects of Eating Cassava
Cassava can be harmful if taken uncooked in large quantities or incorrectly prepared. Because raw cassava contains cyanide, which is dangerous to consume, it is critical that it be adequately prepared. Cassava becomes harmless for consumption if soaked and cooked.
Its high-calorie content makes it a valuable staple crop in many countries. However, remember that eating more calories than you burn might lead to weight gain over time.
Cassava is a versatile, and has health benefits, that are a significant source of minerals and energy, particularly in the tropics.
It is related to yams and taro, and it can be used similarly to potatoes. Tapioca starch can be used to make gluten-free baked items. Cassava can be a useful addition to the diet as long as safeguards are taken when preparing it.
Sufficient preparation is required to avoid negative health impacts. Avoid eating it raw in particular.