Cassava or cassava is a tuber of great nutritional value that must be included in the daily diet, because it provides interesting elements for human nutrition, and provides many health benefits.
In the following article, we give you all the necessary information about cassava and the benefits it presents for people’s health.
What benefits does cassava have for health?
The benefits of this tuber come from its chemical and nutritional components that we mention below:
1. Improves cardiovascular health
Cassava is one of the foods with the least caloric intake , since it does not contain any type of fat, therefore it prevents heart disease due to the consumption of saturated fat.
It also contains potassium , a mineral that contributes to the vasodilation of veins and arteries, improving blood circulation.
Note: Cassava also contains a large amount of vitamin C , which helps eliminate free radicals produced by excess saturated fat and glucose in the body.
2. Favors the digestive system
One of the main benefits of this tuber is the amount of dietary fiber , which helps the intestinal transit of food and feces, added to its high water content.
Cassava contains resistant starch, a substance to which properties are attributed to reduce abdominal fat and improve insulin sensitivity. (1) It also contains gluten, a substance made up of two proteins that help people with constipation, since it facilitates intestinal transit.
To highlight: The consumption of cassava is very useful for people who suffer from gastritis, heartburn or colitis.
3. Increases physical energy
Another of the properties of this tuber is that it has interesting amounts of carbohydrates such as resistant starch, a carbohydrate that provides large amounts of energy to the body and also contains gluten, which provides energy.
Important: Those who suffer from celiac disease cannot consume cassava, due to its gluten content. (two)
4. Contributes to weight loss
Another of its benefits as a food is that cassava has a low content of fat , dietary fiber and carbohydrates, making it an interesting tuber for losing body fat.
It does not contain saturated fat, so it helps reduce excess fat accumulated in the body. Since it contains dietary fiber, it contributes to the absorption of triglycerides and cholesterol in the digestive tract, and carbohydrates provide you with the necessary energy for your activities, including sports. Likewise, it contains protein, an essential macronutrient for muscles.
Note: It also contains a large amount of water, so it can help you keep your body hydrated.
5. Improves symptoms of metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome comprises a set of risk factors for cardiovascular health, originating from insulin resistance and visceral adipose tissue. It includes alterations in the regulation of blood sugar, lipids, abdominal obesity and arterial hypertension.
You should know: The consumption of cassava prevents the appearance of all these metabolic alterations in the body, collaborating in the substantial improvement of health in those people who suffer from metabolic syndrome.
Cassava nutritional properties
Cassava or cassava owes its incredible benefits thanks to the amount of nutrients it possesses. Next, we will describe the chemical and nutritional components of cassava:
Cassava contains the following vitamins per 100 grams of edible portion: vitamin A or retinol, vitamin C or ascorbic acid, vitamin K and vitamin B9 or folic acid.
Note: Vitamin C has a greater presence with 34% of the recommended daily intake (RDA).
Cassava contains the following minerals: potassium, phosphorus, calcium and sodium, with a greater representation of potassium with a contribution of 6% of the RDA.
It does not contain saturated or polyunsaturated fats, therefore it does not contain cholesterol. Provides 59% water per 100 grams. It also contains complex carbohydrates such as resistant starch and little sodium or salt.
Note: We need an average of 2000 calories per day. Raw cassava contains 160 calories per 100 grams, which represents 8% of your total caloric needs for the day. (3)
How should cassava be eaten?
The versatility of this food allows it to be handled and prepared in various ways . In the kitchen it can be added to meat stews, sautéed with other vegetables or simply add spices and oil or butter. It can be a complement to meats and prepare different sweets with it.
Important: Cassava should never be eaten raw , as it contains cyanide, a chemical compound that only breaks down when cooked with boiling water. (4)
Traditionally it is cooked in minutes in hot water. After removing the shell, it is placed for a few minutes in boiling water until softened, adding oil and salt.
You should know: There is a variety of this tuber called bitter cassava , whose high concentration of cyanogenic glycosides are chemical compounds that are very dangerous for human consumption . (5)
- Cassava is an important food that provides healthy energy to the body , especially for people with moderate sports activity.
- It is a food rich in carbohydrates , so it can provide the body with energy and low in saturated fat, ideal for preventing cardiovascular diseases.
- Cassava is an inexpensive food, easy to prepare, and readily available.
- Cassava should never be eaten raw , to avoid damage caused by the cyanide contained in it.
- Cassava or cassava is a food that contains gluten , a compound that can cause severe damage to the digestive system in people with celiac disease.
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.