Women health

Consider cassava, a nutty-flavored edible starchy root popular in West African, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines. (Yuca, manioc, mandioca, casabe, and tapioca are all other names for the same thing.) Cassava has been a staple crop in many developing nations for over 8,000 years because it is highly versatile, nutrient-dense, and energy-dense, according to Ilyse Schapiro, RD, CDN. "In addition, because of its profound impact on pre-Colombian people, cassava is depicted in Indigenous art today," she adds.

Whereas the plant arose in what is now Peru and Bolivia, it has since spread to Africa and Thailand, where it thrives due to its drought resistance, according to Kelly Jones, RD. "However, while raw cassava is a great source of energy, it is toxic, so it must be properly prepared for safety and nutritional benefits by soaking for long periods of time, cooking, or fermenting." Why? A naturally occurring form of cyanide can be found in raw cassava. (These compounds degrade to non-toxic, safe levels during cooking.)

Cassava can be cooked in the same way as starchy vegetables like potatoes, but it has recently gained popularity as an alternate solution flour for baking, making it a good choice for celiac disease sufferers and Paleo dieters. (You can buy the flour or find it in products like grain-free tortillas and healthy cheese puffs.) According to Jones, cassava has a variety of other applications. "A common additive, tapioca starch, is made from cassava and is also used in animal feed. Some countries have recently begun trying to convert it to biofuel," Jones says.

Is there anything special about cassava that you should be aware of? Here's what Schapiro and Jones had to say.


1. It contains a lot of vitamin C.

Cassava is high in vitamin C, which is beneficial to immune health and collagen production. One cup of cooked root vegetable contains 29 milligrams of vitamin C, or about 39% of the daily recommended amount. "The link between Vitamin C and managed to improve immune health has long been established," Schapiro says, adding that because cassava represents a large amount of ascorbic acid, it can easily help you to meet your daily requirements. vitamin c. organic

2. Cassava also contains lots of antioxidants.

Cassava also contains antioxidants, including anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds, in every serving. "Including a variety of phenolic compound food sources in your diet can help provide a variety of antioxidants that can work together to support short- and long-term inflammatory-related health processes," Jones says. antioxidants supplement

3. it’s a good source of carbohydrates.

"Starchy foods have a bad rep," Jones says, "but carbohydrates are the central nervous system's and muscles' preferred and most efficient energy source." Cassava is a complex carbohydrate that provides energy while also providing vitamins, antioxidants, and insoluble fiber. carbohydrates in food

4. It is also high in fiber.

Cassava, as previously stated, is an excellent source of gut-friendly fiber. "Cassava can contribute to sufficient nutritional fiber intake, which is associated with improved blood sugar control, lower blood cholesterol levels, and overall improved gut health," says Jones. And if your gut is healthy, so is your immune system!

5. It may help to maintain good vision.

"Vitamin A is important for eye health, and new cassava varieties are fortified to provitamin A carotenoids, which aid in Vitamin A absorption," says Schapiro. "Researchers suggest that eating cassava can significantly improve Vitamin A intake and reduce the risk of deficiency-related health risks," she adds, but more research is needed before a more definitive conclusion can be reached.

How to cook Cassava Recipes

Cassava must be cooked in order to reap its full benefits. "Cassava is used in similar ways to potatoes for human consumption, such as to make flour, bread, and starch," Schapiro explains. It can also be found in a variety of baked goods, stews, sauces, and snacks.

Jones recommends using cassava flour to make waffles and pancakes, as well as flatbreads, cookies, and pie crust. If the problem isn't with the flour, but with the starchy vegetable, there are a few options.

"Boiling and frying are most common methods for cooking cassava and making traditional yuca dishes," Jones says. "Spicy seasonings like cayenne and paprika, as well as a slightly spicy dipping sauce, are very popular with yuca fries." You can also make boiled and mashed yuca with caramelized onions, similar to mashed potatoes but without the dairy," she says.

If you've never tried cassava before, try experimenting with it in the kitchen or looking for baked goods and snacks that contain it. "A cassava-based beef stew, gluten-free chocolate chip cassava cookies, or cassava bread are some ideas if you want to try a homemade recipe," Schapiro says.



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