Benefits of Cassava for Health and How to Process It

Benefits of Cassava for Health and How to Process It

In addition to rice, cassava is a staple food that is widely consumed by the people of Indonesia. Besides being delicious, it turns out that there are several health benefits of cassava. To find out what these benefits are, let's look at the following reviews.

Cassava is a staple food for most of the world's population, especially those living in tropical regions, such as South America, Africa, and Asia.

Cassava contains various nutrients which include:
  • Carbohydrate.
  • Proteins.
  • Fiber.
  • Minerals, including potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
  • Vitamins, namely vitamin C and vitamin A.
  • Water.

What are the Benefits of Cassava for Health?

Because of its diverse nutritional content, cassava is considered to have health benefits, such as:

Increase energy

Cassava contains high enough calories. In 100 grams of cassava, contained 110-150 calories. This number of calories is higher than the calories in other types of tubers, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes. Therefore, you can get extra energy to carry out daily activities if you eat cassava.

Is a source of fiber and complex carbohydrates

In addition to calories, cassava is also rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber. Both of these nutrients function to maintain a healthy digestive tract, reduce inflammation, and control blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are controlled, the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity will also be lower.

Even so, the benefits of cassava in stabilizing blood sugar levels still need to be studied further.

Has a good antioxidant content

Other benefits of cassava can be obtained from the content of vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene in it. Vitamin C and vitamin A are antioxidants that function to protect the body from the effects of free radicals, prevent heart disease, to overcome wrinkles on the skin.

While beta-carotene serves to increase endurance, prevent recurrence of asthma symptoms, reduce the risk of cancer, and is good for skin and eye health. Intake of this nutrient can also prevent various eye diseases, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In addition to the above benefits, cassava is also claimed to be used as an alternative medicine to treat fatigue, diarrhea, infections, fertility problems, and induce labor. However, the benefits of cassava as an alternative medicine have not been medically proven.

Facts You Need to Know Before Consuming Cassava

Although there are many health benefits of cassava, you need to consume it with caution. Here are some things you need to pay attention to regarding this plant:
  • Cassava contains chemicals called cyanogenic glycosides. These chemicals can release cyanide in the body. Therefore, cassava must be processed properly before eating to prevent cyanide poisoning.
  • Consuming too much cassava during pregnancy and breastfeeding is also not safe. Consuming too much cassava during pregnancy is thought to increase the risk of the baby having birth defects and thyroid disorders.
  • Cassava is known to reduce the amount of iodine absorbed by the body. Therefore, consuming cassava too often in large quantities has the potential to cause an iodine deficiency.
  • Consuming cassava can reduce thyroid hormone levels in the body. You should not eat cassava if you suffer from thyroid disease or are undergoing thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

How to Process Cassava Correctly

To eat cassava, make sure you process it properly. Although processing can reduce the nutrients contained in cassava, this needs to be done to remove harmful cyanide substances in cassava.

To be safer for consumption, cassava needs to be processed by peeling the skin first, then soaking the white part of the stem in clean water for 48-60 hours.

After the soaking process is complete, continue to cook the cassava until it is completely cooked. You can fry, boil, or steam cassava for at least 25 minutes. This is to prevent cyanide poisoning from consuming raw or undercooked cassava.

Consult a nutritionist to find out the safe amount in consuming cassava. In addition to determining the dose of consumption, the doctor can also recommend other foods to complement the daily nutrients your body needs.