Bet You Didn’t Know: 10 health benefits of cassava
Cassava or scientifically Manihot esculenta is a type of root vegetable used both for culinary purposes and in traditional medicines. It is rich in nutrients and has a very high carbohydrate content after rice and corn. Used to make tapioca, animal feed, and even laundry starch, cassava is thought to improve health by boosting immunity and regulating digestion. The root of the plant is rich in vitamin C, while the leaves contain beta-carotene, lysine, and other compounds beneficial to the skin and metabolism.
As a staple food of many countries, cassava is believed to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These properties are said to aid in the treatment or prevention of certain health conditions. Incorporating cassava into a controlled healthy diet menu has turned out to have many positive effects on health.
- Weight loss
Because it is rich in dietary fiber, cassava can make you feel full for a longer period of time. Thus, reducing the need to constantly snack on food so as to suppress weight gain.
- Helps with migraines
Eating cassava can help reduce constant migraine attacks because of the vitamin B2 and riboflavin that it contains. The trick is to take 60 grams of roots or cassava leaves and soak them in water for 2 hours then make the juice. This will reduce the severity of your migraine.
- Improves digestive health
As mentioned previously, cassava is rich in dietary fiber which is very beneficial for the body and its function. Insoluble fiber helps to improve your digestive system by absorbing all the poisons stored in your intestine, and also by reducing inflammation in your digestive tract.
- Helps treat diarrhea
The antioxidant properties help to curb diarrhea. Boil the roots in water for one hour and consume them. This will help to get rid of bacteria that cause stomach problems and reduce the symptoms of diarrhea as well.
- Improves vision
Filled with vitamin A content, cassava can help improve your vision, it can also prevent blindness or poor vision.
- Help prevent rheumatic diseases
Rheumatic diseases refer to diseases pertaining to the muscles and joints such as osteoporosis, arthritis, spondylitis and lupus. Cassava supplies more than a third of your daily magnesium requirement per serving to help curb rheumatism. To make an all-natural rheumatic medication, take 150 grams of cassava leaves, some lemongrass and salt along with 15 grams of ginger root. Boil these ingredients in a liter of water and drink this potion every morning to keep rheumatic diseases at bay.
- Strengthens immunity
Folate and vitamin C, both found in plenty in cassava leaves, are very good for the body’s immune system. Vitamin C helps the immune system by attacking the nucleus of viruses and bacteria, rendering them dead. It also maintains bone health. It is also a good antioxidant that eliminates free radicals in the body.
- Boosts energy and improves brain function
Cassava flour is high in carbohydrates and it helps in boosting energy. Not only that, your brain will begin to work more efficiently when you add cassava flour to your diet.
- Lowers blood pressure
Another amazing benefit of cassava flour is that it significantly lowers blood pressure. This is again because it is high in dietary fiber. Every cup of cassava flour increases your fiber intake by 4 grams.
- Helps maintain healthy muscles
If you are health conscious, cassava flour will definitely help you build strong and lean muscles. It contains protein that maintains your muscle health and nourishes the tissues.
While cassava may have some amazing health benefits, it also has some side effects that you should be aware of. Here are a few of them:
- Cassava contains a toxin called linamarin. When eaten raw, the human digestive system converts this toxin into cyanide, which can prove to be fatal.
- The cassava root rots quickly, which leads to depletion in its nutritional value. It can also cause fungal and bacterial infections.
- The toxic substances in cassava are known to affect the pituitary gland and impact the functioning of the liver and kidneys.
Don’t let these side effects scare you away! If you peel, clean, and cook cassava well, you can enjoy its goodness without worrying about toxins! Cleaning and cooking flushes out all the toxins from cassava and makes it completely edible.