The Health Benefits of Tapioca
When you hear the word tapioca, I bet the first thought that comes to your mind is tapioca pudding. Many of you have either eaten the instant tapioca or purchase the pearls to make your own pudding. Tapioca actually comes from the cassava root. It is a starch that is extracted from this root. (Wikipedia) This plant is native to the northern part of Brazil. After being first introduced to Asia and Africa, tapioca quickly began to be cultivated around the world.
“A staple food in many world regions, tapioca is used as a thickening agent in various foods” (Wikipedia). Besides for pudding, this starch is used in many recipes. It can be added to soups. It can be dried and eaten as a snack. It can be added as an ingredient to many cake and pie recipes. It is a life-saving staple for people living in impoverished countries. The list goes on.
High in Carbs, Low in Sodium
Tapioca is high in carbohydrates. At 159 grams of carbohydrates and 544 calories per cup, if you are an individual who is watching your carb intake, or counting calories, tapioca may not be right for you even though it is low in saturated fat. However, this is excellent for people who need to gain body weight. An individual who has either lost too much weight from dieting or from an illness will benefit from tapioca because it will help them gain body weight.
Tapioca contains 2 milligrams of sodium per cup serving and has no cholesterol. When you eat food that contains little or no sodium you are decreasing the risk of getting high blood pressure. With this cholesterol free food you are preventing your heart from getting clogged up with fatty buildup.
Major Source of Calcium
Tapioca is a excellent source of calcium. Some individuals do not get enough dairy into their diet. Some people just do not like drinking that glass of milk. Others are lactose intolerant and cannot have any dairy products. By including tapioca in your diet, you are helping your body by increasing bone density. Not only for strong bones and teeth, calcium also plays a role in blood clotting, contracting and dilating within the blood cells and communicating between the nerves. Even if you think you are consuming enough dairy products, you can lose calcium through sweating, urinating and defecating. Since one cup of calcium provides you with over 30 milligrams of calcium, including this in your daily diet helps replenish what you lose. Having enough calcium in your diet also plays a major role in lowering cholesterol.
Tapioca is an excellent source of omega 3s and 6, which also plays a role in lowering blood pressure. Since tapioca is a low sodium, cholesterol free and calcium-enriched food-along with the omega 3s and 6-including this in your daily diet you decrease the chance of getting a heart attack by at least thirty percent.
Other Health Benefits of Calcium
Tapioca stimulates the production of the red blood cells in the body. An anemic person benefits from eating this fruit because it is high in iron, providing 13% of your RDA. Not only does this fruit increase the number of red blood cells and make them stronger, it improves the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the entire circulation system. This also gives people, especially athletes, more energy and stamina because of its high levels of carbohydrates.
At 1 gram of fiber per cup of tapioca, you are promoting excellent intestinal health. If you suffer from constipation or want to prevent it, eating tapioca helps keep you regular. It also helps treats conditions of the digestive system such as acid indigestion and upset stomachs. It is gentle on the stomach very easy to digest. If you suffer from diverticulitis or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), having tapioca on hand works wonders when symptoms flare up.
Tapioca is basically free of allergens. Therefore if you are sensitive to gluten or are allergic to nuts, you can consume this product with a peace of mind. If you are looking for gluten free products for your baking, try using tapioca flour rather than the bleached version.
Where to Purchase Tapioca Products
Most grocery stores carry tapioca. It can either be in the baking aisle or pudding aisle. Other than pearls and pudding you can find it as:
- Muffin Mixes
If you purchase tapioca as a root, make sure you remove the outer skin before eating.
Some people collect tapioca from the wild. If you want to do this, seek the advice of a qualified herbalist since poisonous roots can be confused with tapioca.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2019 Lois Ryan