Discover the Health benefits of cassava.
Cassava is a tuber native to Central and South America. For the time being, it is still not widely used on French market stalls. However, it has many excellent health properties. Find out what are the benefits of this vegetable garden treasure.
In the family of tuberous vegetables, we find foods widely used in cooking such as sweet potatoes , Jerusalem artichoke , potatoes but also products little known in France such as cassava. It is a tropical plant native to Central and South America. It is also possible to find it in Africa and Asia. This tuber, which is part of the Euphorbiaceae family , is also one of the main foods in many African and South American countries.
Cassava is completely edible. It is thus possible to consume its leaves and its root with dark brown and rough skin and white and floury flesh. There are two types of cassava: the so-called “bitter” cassava and the sweet cassava. The first, called Manihot esculenta , is a poisonous tuber because it contains cyanide . To avoid its toxicity, it should therefore be prepared thoroughly. As for the “sweet” cassava, nicknamed Manihot opi , it is not toxic. Its leaves and roots can thus be eaten as they are.
The taste of cassava is relatively neutral when cooked. It is thus easy to incorporate it into preparations. Its flavor is similar to that of potatoes or chestnuts .
What are the health benefits of cassava?
Below are the health benefits of cassava:
Cassava is eaten as a starch because it is high in carbohydrates. It can therefore easily replace the potato. Its high starch and fiber content makes it easy to digest. In addition, it promotes intestinal transit and helps relieve stomach problems and irritation of the colon but also to fight against constipation and diarrhea . Another virtue of cassava: it is satiating. Once consumed, the starch gains in volume in the stomach, which promotes the feeling of fullness.
Cassava also helps to have beautiful skin . In addition to being rich in B vitamins, its leaves have an antibacterial action. Cassava is also recommended for people with diabetes because it has a low glycemic index. Its high fiber content slows the rate of absorption of sugar in the blood.
How to consume cassava?
Cassava can be eaten in pieces, slices, semolina, flour, starch, mashed or fried. Before consuming bitter cassava, be sure to peel, wash and dry it because it is poisonous. It should then be cooked properly. Cassava is prepared like potatoes, either in water or fried. It can also be used as a base for certain preparations, such as couscous, bread , tortilla or a cake or it can accompany fish or meat .
How to choose the right cassava?
To choose the right cassava, you should choose a medium-sized tuber. It should not have any shock because damaged cassava contains cyanide. The root of a quality cassava is hard, dry and clean. Roots that give off a strong odor and have molds should be avoided.
How to store cassava?
Cassava is a fragile food because it is saturated with water. It is therefore advisable to consume it quickly. However, if it is to be preserved, it should be kept away from air and light. It is therefore possible to keep it for a few days in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. If you want to keep it for more than a week, it is better to peel it, cut it up and freeze it.
Is cassava a starch and does it contain gluten?
Legumes , grains and tubers are foods high in starch and are therefore considered starchy foods. Cassava is included in the list of tuber-type starches . Cassava and its derivatives, namely its flour and tapioca, naturally do not contain gluten . This tuber may therefore be suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance .
We hope the article on the health benefits of cassava has been of help.