Root vegetables like cassava are popular in many nations all over the world.
It offers a variety of essential nutrients, including resistant starch, which may be good for your health.
However, like with any meal, you should be careful to only eat it seldom. This is particularly true in light of the fact that it has a high-calorie content and may include hazardous substances.
What is cassava?
Cassava is a starchy root vegetable or tuber with a nutty taste. It is a South American native and a significant source of calories and carbohydrates for humans worldwide. The top three nations in the world for cassava production are Nigeria, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Due to its resilience to challenging growing circumstances, it is cultivated around the globe in tropical areas. It's one of the crops that can withstand drought the best.
Although there are sweet and bitter cassava types, sweet cassava is more popular in the US, where it's also known as yuca, manioc, or Brazilian arrowroot.
The versatile root of the cassava plant is the component that is most often eaten. You may consume it whole, grate it, or make flour out of it to make bread and crackers.
Both are, a product resembling tapioca, and tapioca, a form of starch, are made from cassava root.
Since cassava root is devoid of gluten, wheat, and nuts, those with food allergies may benefit from using it in baking and cooking.
It's crucial to keep in mind that you must prepare cassava root before consuming it since doing so might make it harmful.
191 calories are found in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked cassava root. Carbohydrates account for around 84% of them, with the remainder coming from protein and fat.
Fibre and a few vitamins and minerals are also included in one meal.
100 grammes of cooked cassava weighs 3.5 ounces and contains the following nutrients.
- 191 calories
- 1.5 grammes of protein
- 3 grammes of fat
- 40 grammes of carbs
- 2 grammes of fibre
- 20% of the daily value for vitamin C (DV)
- 12% of the DV is in copper.
- 7% of the DV for thiamine
- 6% of the DV for folate
- 6% of the DV for vitamin B6
- 6% of the DV for potassium
- 5% of the DV for magnesium
- 5% of the DV for niacin
Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that stimulates collagen development, serves as an antioxidant, and improves immunity, among other things, is especially abundant in cassava root.
Additionally, it contains a lot of copper, a mineral required for many processes like the creation of neurotransmitters, the generation of energy, the metabolism of iron, and more.
Possible health advantages
There are a number of possible health advantages to cassava.
Includes resistant starch
Resistant starch, a kind of starch that avoids digestion and possesses characteristics akin to soluble fibre, is prevalent in cassava.
Consuming meals rich in resistant starch may improve your health in a number of ways.
First off, resistant starch nourishes the good bacteria in your stomach, which may assist to lessen inflammation and improve the condition of your digestive system.
Second, studies have looked into resistant starch's potential to enhance metabolic health and lower the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
These advantages are probably connected to better control of blood sugar, increased fullness, and decreased hunger.
It's important to note that compared to boiled cassava root, processed cassava products like tapioca often contain less resistant starch. It's interesting to note that chilling cooked cassava root may help it retain more resistant starch.
Excellent source of vitamin C
Each 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cassava provides 20% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C.
Immunity is only one of the many areas of health where vitamin C is important.
In fact, studies have shown that vitamin C supports the health of immunological cells in your body and may aid in protecting against oxidative stress.
Additionally, vitamin C promotes the development of collagen, a kind of protein found in your bones, skin, muscles, and joints, as well as offers protection against skin damage.
Although consuming more cassava has certain advantages, there are also drawbacks to take into account.
3.5 ounces (100 grammes) of cassava have 191 calories in them, which is a lot more than other root vegetables.
In contrast, a serving of carrots has 35 calories whereas a serving of sweet potatoes has 90 calories.
The reason it is such a significant staple crop in many nations is because of its high caloric content. But be aware that eating more calories than you expend might eventually result in weight gain.
Because of this, it's advisable to include cassava in your diet in moderation as part of a balanced one. Try to keep serving sizes generally between 1/3 and 1/2 cups (73 and 113 grammes).
May be dangerous if eaten raw
When ingested raw, in excessive quantities, or when incorrectly cooked, cassava may be harmful.
Cyanogenic glycosides are a class of compounds found in raw cassava. These may cause your body to emit cyanide if you consume them.
Cyanide poisoning is more likely when cyanogenic glycosides are eaten often or in large quantities. The effects of cyanide poisoning include thyroid and nerve dysfunction, paralysis, organ damage, and even death.
People with poor overall nutrition and inadequate protein consumption are more prone to suffer these symptoms since protein aids in the body's removal of cyanide.
When cassava is cooked and soaked, the amount of these dangerous compounds are reduced. Additionally, including the root vegetable in a well-rounded, high-protein diet may lower your likelihood of developing negative health effects.
The nutrients in processed versions could be less.
The amount of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and resistant starch in cassava is drastically reduced during the peeling, chopping, and cooking processes. However, the root must be cooked before ingestion to prevent negative effects.
In comparison to other cooking techniques like roasting or frying, some earlier research has shown that boiling cassava root preserves more nutrients. Vitamin C is an exception since it is heat-sensitive and readily dissolves in water.
It's also important to keep in mind the poor nutritional value of certain common, processed forms of cassava, such as tapioca and Garri.
For instance, although tapioca pearls, which are often used in bubble tea, are abundant in calories, they are deficient in fibre and other crucial minerals.
To enhance the nutritional content, it is thus recommended to stick to less processed forms of cassava wherever feasible and choose boiling meals.
How to enjoy
When properly cooked and consumed in moderation, cassava is usually regarded as safe.
Although cyanide poisoning from this root is very uncommon, it is nevertheless crucial to boil it correctly to avoid any negative consequences.
Here are several methods for making cassava safe to consume:
Peel that. Before preparing and consuming cassava root, it's a good idea to remove the peel since it contains the majority of the cyanide-producing components in the crop.
Rinse it. Before cooking, soak the cassava for 48–60 hours in water to lessen the number of dangerous compounds it contains.
Make it. Since raw cassava contains dangerous compounds, it must be fully cooked before consumption, such as by boiling, roasting, or baking.
Add some protein to it. Consuming protein with cassava may be advantageous since this macronutrient aids in the body's removal of harmful cyanide.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. By including a range of foods in your diet rather than using cassava as your primary source of nourishment, you may avoid the negative consequences of this meal.
You may include cassava in your diet in a variety of ways.
It may be used, for instance, to prepare appetisers and sides. In a manner similar to how you would cook potatoes, it is often sliced and baked or roasted.
In addition, you may mash it or use it in soups, omelettes, and stir-fries. In addition, it is sometimes processed into flour and used to make pancakes, crackers, tortillas, and grain-free bread.
Additionally, you may consume it in the form of tapioca, which is made from the root's starch after being washed and pulped. Tapioca is often used to thicken soups, pies, and puddings.
Other well-known meals using cassava include:
- Cassava cake. A Filipino dish prepared with grated cassava root is called
- Cassava flour. A side dish from Brazil called farofa contains toasted
- A dish similar to dough that is consumed in many African nations and is prepared from fermented and puréed cassava
- Often consumed in Southeast Asia, tapai is a fermented dish made from cassava, rice, or other starches.
- A traditional Filipino wafer known as kabkab is prepared from crushed cassava.
You should be aware that goods manufactured from the root, including tapioca and cassava flour, have little to no cyanide-inducing substances and are safe to consume.
A sort of root vegetable is cassava. Due to its exceptional capacity to resist challenging growing circumstances and relatively high-calorie density, it is regarded as a staple crop in many nations.
It has a lot of uses and is an excellent source of vitamin C and resistant starch.
However, in order to prevent negative health impacts, prior planning is necessary. Make sure not to consume it uncooked. It's also crucial to keep in mind that processed forms, such as tapioca, may have less vital elements.
Nevertheless, cassava root is commonly used in regional recipes all around the world and is a terrific complement to stir-fries, soups, baked products, and desserts.
I thus hope you now appreciate the advantages of cassava and some of its nutrients that are healthy for our bodies.