Yuca Nutrition: Benefits, Risks, Cooking Ideas and More

Yuca root is a nutritious vegetable that gives a number of well being advantages and is an efficient alternative for gluten-free diets.

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A hearty root vegetable, yuca root (often known as cassava) originated in Brazil but is grown all through the world’s tropical areas. There are two species of yuca root: one bitter and one candy though the bitter variety is extra generally used, per the USDA.

The starch of the yuca root is used to make tapioca, and the yuca root itself is utilized in many various varieties. It will be eaten entire and can be processed into flour and snacks like cassava chips.

It will be simple to combine up yuca with yucca, which is definitely a perennial shrub or tree with sword-shaped leaves and white flowers, per the Clemson Cooperative Extension Home & Garden Information Center.

Yuca accommodates a number of vitamins that profit total well being, and yuca merchandise (like cassava tortillas) will also be a alternative for gluten-containing meals should you’re on a gluten-free or grain-free weight loss program.

Warning

Yuca root must not ever be eaten uncooked, because it accommodates a toxic acid that’s destroyed throughout the cooking course of.

Yuca Root Nutrition Facts

One cup of yuca root is the same as a single serving. One cup of cooked yuca or cassava (ready with out oil) accommodates:

  • Calories​: 213
  • Total fats​: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol​: 0 mg
  • Sodium​: 326 mg
  • Total carbs​: 50.5 g
    • Dietary fiber​: 2.4 g
    • Sugar​: 2.3 g
    • Added sugar​: 0 g
  • Protein​: 1.8 g
  • Total fats​: One cup of cooked yuca has 0.4 grams of whole fats, which incorporates 0.06 grams of polyunsaturated fats, 0.09 grams of monounsaturated fats, 0.1 grams of saturated fats and 0 grams of trans fats.
  • Carbohydrates​: One cup of cooked yuca has 50.5 grams of carbs, which incorporates 2.4 grams of fiber and a couple of.3 grams of naturally occurring sugars.
  • Protein​: One cup of cooked yuca accommodates 1.8 grams of protein.

Vitamins, Minerals and Other Micronutrients

  • Vitamin C​: 20% of your Daily Value (DV)
  • Copper​: 14% DV
  • Thiamin (B1)​: 8% DV
  • Potassium​: 7% DV
  • Magnesium​: 6% DV
  • Niacin (B3)​: 6% DV
  • Vitamin B6​: 6% DV
  • Folate (B9)​: 6% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2)​: 4% DV
  • Zinc​: 4% DV
  • Phosphorus​: 3% DV

Per 1/4 cup

Cassava Flour

All-Purpose Flour

Whole-Wheat Flour

Chickpea Flour

Calories

130

114

110

89

Total Fat

0 g

0.3 g

0.5 g

1.5 g

Carbohydrates

31 g

23.8 g

22 g

13.3 g

Dietary Fiber

2 g

0.8 g

4 g

2.5 g

Protein

0 g

3.2 g

4 g

5.1 g

The Health Benefits of Yuca Root

Yuca helps to spice up the well being of your intestine, coronary heart and pores and skin, and will also be an excellent alternative for meals containing gluten or grains should you’re on a weight loss program that excludes them. Like different greens, yuca generally is a nutritious a part of a wholesome and diversified weight loss program.

1. Yuca Is Great for Gut Health

Yuca packs resistant starch, a sort of carbohydrate that resists digestion within the small gut and ferments within the giant gut, appearing as a prebiotic to feed wholesome micro organism within the intestine, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.

“Resistant starch is admittedly cassava’s declare to fame as a result of it mainly serves as meals to assist intestine micro organism,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD. “And intestine well being is tied not solely to regularity and digestion but additionally to immunity, temper and even cravings.”

Because resistant starch would not get digested within the small gut, it would not elevate blood glucose ranges, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. It additionally causes much less gasoline than different fibers as a result of it’s fermented slowly, and might help you are feeling extra full, deal with and stop constipation and decrease ldl cholesterol.

When resistant starch undergoes fermentation within the colon, it ends in the manufacturing of short-chain fatty acids — one among them being butyrate, which performs an essential function in intestine well being, together with decreasing irritation and supporting intestine barrier perform (which is concerned in immunity), per a February 2020 overview in Current Opinion in Biotechnology.

If you observe a grain-free or gluten-free diet for medical causes, yuca generally is a nutritious addition to your meals — and there are a number of packaged choices like cassava chips or cassava tortillas accessible. “It’s a very good choice to construct extra selection into your weight loss program,” Blatner says.

“However, should you’re attempting to get the vitamin C, potassium and resistant starch in cassava, purpose for a whole-food model like yuca fries versus processed meals.”

Depending on the extent of processing, a number of vitamins could also be eliminated or destroyed throughout the peeling, heating or drying of meals, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Although vitamins are generally added again into processed meals, it is unimaginable to recreate the dietary make-up of the unique meals. That’s why entire meals are sometimes thought-about more healthy than processed foods.

It’s additionally essential to do not forget that some gluten-free meals will be larger in fats, sugar or energy than the gluten-containing meals they’re changing. When it involves processed meals, at all times learn the ingredient listing to make sure your cassava snack would not have undesirable substances (like an excessive amount of salt or added sugar).

3. Yuca Supports Heart Health

Like different greens, yuca will be a part of a weight loss program that protects your coronary heart. Every serving gives 2.4 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber.

The beneficial each day quantity of fiber is 25 to 38 grams, per Harvard Medical School. However, most Americans solely get about 10 to fifteen grams of fiber per day on common. People who eat excessive quantities of fiber can considerably decrease their danger of and demise from coronary heart illness, presumably as a consequence of fiber’s results on decreasing whole and LDL “unhealthy” ldl cholesterol, per a December 2017 overview of 31 meta-analyses within the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.

Fiber may additionally profit coronary heart well being by decreasing blood stress and irritation, per the Mayo Clinic. What’s extra, it helps to manage blood sugar ranges in folks with diabetes.

A serving of yuca additionally gives 7 % DV of potassium. Eating extra potassium causes you to lose extra sodium by urine and reduces rigidity in blood stress partitions, per the American Heart Association. As a consequence, it could possibly enable you handle hypertension.

Meanwhile, yuca is a food high in vitamin C, with 20 % of your DV. Although proof has been combined, potential cohort research point out that getting extra vitamin C is related to decrease danger of coronary coronary heart illness, stroke and hypertension, per the Linus Pauling Institute.

In addition to doubtlessly guarding your coronary heart, vitamin C typically protects your cells from injury: “Vitamin C is without doubt one of the prime antioxidants that retains your cells wholesome,” Blatner says. “It’s additionally a precursor to collagen and is sweet for pores and skin well being, and it is an immune booster.”

Some people who find themselves allergic to latex may additionally expertise cross-reactivity with cassava, per a May 2007 case report within the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology.

Cross-reactivity happens when proteins in a single substance are just like these in one other, inflicting an identical response. This could make diagnosing particular allergic reactions difficult, per the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Speak to an allergist should you suspect you may have an allergy. Allergies could cause extreme reactions, and you could want to hold epinephrine with you in case of anaphylaxis (a extreme and doubtlessly deadly allergic response).

There are at the moment no recognized drug interactions related to yuca. Be positive to debate any treatment and meals interactions along with your well being skilled.

It’s essential to peel and prepare dinner yuca earlier than consuming it. Raw cassava accommodates a toxic acid, which have to be eliminated by peeling and cooking the roots, per the USDA.

“Cassava at all times must be cooked,” Blatner says. “It’s like a potato, which you would not take into consideration consuming uncooked.”

Yuca Root Preparation and Helpful Tips

In addition to completely cooking yuca earlier than consuming it to take away dangerous toxins, it is essential to retailer it correctly. You can use yuca root rather than different root greens, and it makes a very good swap for potatoes.

Store yuca root correctly.​ If you may have contemporary, unpeeled yuca available, retailer it in a cool, darkish and dry place for as much as per week. Peeled yuca will be saved in water within the fridge for a month should you change the water each two days, per the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Yuca will also be tightly wrapped and frozen for a number of months.

Swap it in for different root greens.​ If you wish to get extra yuca in your weight loss program, use it in recipes that may usually name for potatoes. “However you get pleasure from potatoes is normally how you’d get pleasure from cassava,” Blatner says. “It will be mashed as you’d with mashed potatoes, or it may be cubed for breakfast.”

Alternatives to Yuca Root

You can attempt a number of different forms of root greens rather than yuca root. Aim for a weight loss program that is wealthy in selection and consists of many root greens resembling:

  • beets
  • parsnips
  • potatoes
  • candy potatoes
  • turnips

You may even roast several together as a part of meal prep.

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