Cassava: 10 main benefits and how to consume (with recipes)

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Cassava, also known as cassava, cassava or maniva, is a source of fiber that promotes the control of blood glucose and cholesterol levels, helping to prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Because it contains good amounts of resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that is not digested and that also acts as fiber in the body, cassava serves as food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestine, improving digestion and helping to prevent situations such as constipation. , gastritis or intestinal cancer.

Cassava is usually sold at fairs and supermarkets, and can be used cooked, as an accompaniment to eggs, meats and salads; as a base in the preparation of soups, cakes, breads, purees; or in baked form, as an aperitif. In addition, cassava is also used in food production, such as tapioca, flour, sago and beiju.

Because it contains good amounts of fiber, in addition to vitamin C and carotenoids, the main health benefits of cassava consumption are:

1. Prevent cardiovascular disease

Cassava has good amounts of fiber, compounds that reduce the absorption of fat from food, helping to reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol, LDL, in the blood, preventing diseases such as heart attack, atherosclerosis and stroke.

In addition, cassava also contains potassium and magnesium, minerals that help eliminate excess sodium in the urine and promote relaxation of the arteries, preventing high blood pressure.

2. Improve energy and disposition

Because it contains a high content of carbohydrates, cassava helps to improve energy and disposition for long periods of the day, being a great option especially for people who practice physical activities or who spend a lot of energy during work, as in the case of bricklayers, postmen, rural workers and garbage collectors.

3. Help control diabetes

Cassava can help control diabetes because it contains fiber and resistant starch, which help to slow down the absorption of sugar, promoting the balance of blood glucose levels. See other fiber-rich foods that help control diabetes.

4. Promote healthy skin, hair and nails

Cassava is a source of vitamin C, a nutrient that helps increase the production and absorption of collagen in the body, improving skin and hair elasticity, as well as strengthening nails.

5. Improve digestion

Resistant starch, present in good amounts in cassava, balances the intestinal flora, improving digestion and helping to prevent situations such as gastritis and ulcers.

6. Strengthen the immune system

Because it contains vitamin C, vitamin A and carotenoids, compounds with potent antioxidant action, cassava helps strengthen immune system cells against infections, promoting the prevention of flu, allergies and colds, for example.

7. Aid in weight loss

Cassava has great amounts of resistant starch and fiber, nutrients that decrease digestion time, and therefore, cassava helps prolong satiety, decreasing hunger throughout the day and aiding in weight loss.

8. Prevent some types of cancer

By containing good amounts of vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin A, compounds with antioxidant action, cassava helps to fight excess free radicals and strengthen the immune system, helping to prevent some types of cancer, such as intestine, stomach and mom.

9. Improve mood

The resistant starch present in cassava promotes the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, favoring the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating and improving mood and general well-being. Discover other foods that help improve mood.

10. Avoid constipation

Pectin and beta-glucans, fibers present in cassava, help to hydrate and facilitate the elimination of feces, thus preventing constipation.

In addition, cassava contains resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that serves as food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestine, promoting the balance of intestinal flora and preventing constipation.

Is cassava fattening?

Cassava contains good amounts of carbohydrates and calories that, when consumed in excess, can make you fat.

However, cassava has good amounts of fiber that help to prolong satiety and decrease hunger throughout the day. Therefore, when consumed in moderation, cassava can be a good option to help with weight loss.

Nutritional information table

The following table contains the nutritional information for 100g, which is equivalent to approximately 3 full tablespoons of cooked cassava:

components

100g (3 tablespoons full) of cooked cassava

Energy

125 calories

Protein

0.6 g

carbohydrates

30.1 g

Fat

0.3 g

Fiber

1.9 g

Vitamin C

18.2 mg

Vitamin A

13 mcg

carotenoids

13 mcg

Folic acid

24 mcg

Calcium

19 mg

Potassium

100 mg

Magnesium

27 mg

Phosphor

22 mg

To obtain the benefits from the consumption of cassava, it is also essential to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, associated with the regular practice of physical activities.

How to use

Cassava can be eaten cooked, as an accompaniment to other foods such as eggs, meat and salads, for breakfast, snacks, lunch or dinner. In addition, cassava can also be used to prepare cakes, purees, soups, broths, or even roasted, as chips.

It is important to emphasize that cassava should not be consumed raw, because this form contains hydrocyanic acid, a compound present especially in cassava of the species known as “brava”, and that can cause intoxication, generating symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, convulsions, shortness of breath and, in more severe cases, can lead to death.

Healthy cassava recipes

Cassava can be used in healthy recipes such as soups, chips, cakes or purees.

1. Cassava cake

Ingredients:

  • 500g of cassava;
  • 3 eggs;
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar or 3 tablespoons of culinary sweetener;
  • 1 cup of cow’s milk or plant milk;
  • 100 g fresh or dehydrated grated coconut (sugar free);
  • 1 tablespoon of butter for greasing.

Method of preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a mold or tray with butter and set aside. Wash well, peel and cut the cassava into small pieces. Place the cassava, eggs, sugar, or sweetener, and milk in the blender and beat until a homogeneous mixture is formed.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and add the grated coconut, mixing with a spoon. Place the dough in the form, or tray, and take it to the oven to bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Wait for it to cool and serve.

2. Cassava soup with chicken

Ingredients:

  • 500g of cassava;
  • 2 medium onions;
  • 3 cloves of garlic;
  • 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken;
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil;
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley;
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method of preparation:

Wash, peel and cut the cassava into cubes. Chop the onion and garlic into small cubes and set aside. In a pan, place the cassava and cover with water, letting it cook on medium heat until it is very soft. Wait for it to cool and, carefully, beat the manioc in the blender, adding the cooking water little by little, until it forms a thick broth and reserve.

In a pan, add the oil, onion and garlic, sauté over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the manioc cream, salt, pepper, parsley and shredded chicken to the stir-fry, stirring with a spoon. To make the broth more diluted, you can add a little more water from the cassava cooking. Wait for it to cool and serve.

3. Cassava chips

Ingredients:

  • 500 g of cassava;
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil;
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method of preparation:

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Wash, peel, dry and cut the cassava into very thin strips. Season the cassava with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, pepper and salt to taste. Grease a tray with the rest of the oil. Distribute the cassava slices and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Turn the slices, with tongs or spoon, and leave for another 15 minutes or the slices will be golden and crispy.

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