Botanical names: Manihot esculenta, Manihot utilissima
Other names: Manioc,Yuca
Cassava is the tuber of cassava plant, Manihot esculenta, which is grown in tropical regions of Africa, America, and Asia.
Properties and Health benefits of Cassava
As the case with yam, cassava is also very rich in carbohydrates, representing about 25.3% of its total content. It contains minerals and vitamins in significant amounts, standing out are B group vitamins, vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Cassava however does not contain provitamin A, and also has very little fat content. It also slows down thyroid function.
Tapioca is the flour obtained from cassava. The content of this flour becomes changed, as carbohydrates increase to about 88%, mainly starch, but with almost the same protein and fat content, which are very little.
Tapioca can be eaten when cooked with milk or vegetable broth. It is easily digested and provides great amounts of Calories. The consumption of tapioca (cassava) is particularly indicated in cases of:
* Digestive disorders – Tapioca flour is an excellent emollient and protector of the digestive lining (mucosa). It retains a great amount of water due to its soluble fiber content. Its consumption is recommended in cases of:
» Excess stomach acid
» Gastroduodenal ulcer, and
» All types of colitis.
* Liver disease – As seen from the properties of tapioca above, it provides easily digested carbohydrates and virtually no fat and protein. This type of combination, actually facilitates liver function.
* Consumption of tapioca is also recommended in cases of recovering from a serious debilitating disease or surgery, or even long periods of fasting. This is because it provides great amount of energy within a short period of time.
* Celiac disease – Tapioca is recommended in cases of celiac disease because it contains no gluten.