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Powerfoods: Tapioca

Tapioca

Cassava is of Brazilian origin. Tapioca is a starch extracted from cassava (Manihot esculenta). The name tapioca is derived from the word tipi’óka, the name for this starch in the Tupí will add more language of South America. The cassava plant is a root vegetable and a healthy source of carbohydrates.

  • B-vitamins, including folic acid, which is extremely vital for pregnant women, are also found in tapioca
  • A container of tapioca contains 2.15g of protein, or about 1 to 4 percent of the typical adult’s daily need for this nutrient
  • Tapioca is also a good source of iron, and, in particular, dry tapioca pearls contain up to 13 percent of your daily value of iron
  • In many countries, it serves as a main dish because of its healthy high starch content which is low in cholesterol and unhealthy fats. Tapioca can be included in dietary plans to promote healthy weight gain
  • It’s a good source of fibre, calcium, manganese phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C among other essential nutrients
  • It is also high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (both critical for brain function), and those are the only sources of fat
  • It is low in saturated fats
  • It may also help in lowering triglyceride levels due to its high total dietary fibre content. Dietary fibre has been associated with lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and helps also in the control of diabetes
  • Cassava flour does not contain gluten, an allergenic protein found in wheat, barley, oats and rye. It is also known as tapioca flour which can be used by gluten intolerant people to replace wheat flour

Caution

When eaten raw or incorrectly prepared, the plant releases poisonous properties. Thus, tapioca must be prepared correctly to prevent harm and ensure safe eating.

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