- June 6, 2018
- Posted by: Dr. Nnamdi Elenwoke
- Category: Health tips
What is cocoyam?
Cocoyam is a perennials plant that belongs to the Araceae family. Cocoyam is grown for their roots which are edible. The fact about cocoyam is that all its parts are edible. Cocoyam grown as food crops belong to the genus Colocasia or the genus Xanthosoma. Usually it consists of a big corm that is spherical in shape from which several large leaves develop.
Cocoyam has a high nutritional value. Compared to other root crops such as cassava and yam. Also it has with significant levels of essential nutrients. For example, vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
A popular root crop in underdeveloped countries and developing countries. Cooked and eaten as food at the same time. Cocoyam leaves are vegetables.
When compared with other root crops such as potatoes, cocoyam has more calories. 100 g of cocoyam gives 112 calories. The complex carb known as amylose and amylopectin is the source of its calories. But, cocoyam contains a very low quantity of fat and protein than in other cereals and legumes. Their amount of protein in cocoyam is comparable to those of other tropical food sources. Such as yams, cassava, potatoes, and bananas, among others. Cocoyam is free from gluten.
Nutritional value of cocoyam
1.Prevention of Cancer
Cocoyam plays a crucial role in the antioxidant activity of the body. It has high levels of vitamin A and C. They enhance the immune system. Togetherwith some other various phenolic antioxidants in the cocoyam root. And help remove dangerous free radicals from the body system. The dangerous secondary products of our body are free radicals which can mutate. And turn into cancer cells. By getting rid of these free radicals, the health of the body is almost guaranteed! Cryptoxanthin is in the cocoyam root. Associates with lower risk of developing pulmonary and oral cancer.
2.Lowers symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Cocoyam is very useful for overpowering the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This is due to the fact that smaller amounts of vitamin B6 associated with increased signs of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Such as severe pain. Many studies conclude that individuals with RA need enough vitamin B6. As compared to healthy people. This is because they have constant muscular pain and joint pain. Due to chronic inflammation. Vitamin B6 has many health benefits. This includes pain reduction. And can be useful as a supplement to control pain in the muscles and joints due to arthritis.
3.Blood pressure and heart health
Compared to other root crops, cocoyam has a significant amount of potassium. Which is other essential mineral necessary for maintaining health and efficiency. Potassium not only transports healthy fluid between membranes and tissues throughout the body. But also helps relieve stress and pressure on blood vessels and arteries. With the relaxation of veins and blood vessels, blood pressure reduces. And stress on the entire cardiovascular system reduces too. Potassium associates increased cognitive function. This is because neuronal links stimulates when it reduces blood pressure. And optimizes fluid transmission between neuronal membranes!
4.Immune system health
Cocoyam plays a vital role in maintaining the immune system of the body. The vitamin C present in cocoyam roots aids in stimulating the immune system. To create more white blood cells. Which serve as a defense mechanism that helps protect the body. From pathogens and foreign agents. Also, vitamin C performs the role of an antioxidant. Which hinders the growth of conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
Reducing muscle cramps relates to taking foods that are rich in potassium. Like boosting the health of the muscle. Cocoyam consists of a large amount of potassium 615 mg or 13.09% of the recommended daily value. One of the most common side effects of deficiency of potassium is muscle cramps. This is as a result of dehydration by an athlete. Also when the athlete is not taking food that contains significant levels of food. That are rich in potassium shortly before and after physical exercise.
The presence of fiber in cocoyam has enabled cocoyam to an essential role in digestion. This is due to the presence of high level of dietary fiber (one serving contains 11.32% of daily dietary fiber). The fibers play a crucial role in supporting the gastrointestinal health. The fibers aid easy passage of the stool, which facilitates digestion. Besides it can prevent certain conditions. Such as excess gas, cramps, bloating, constipation, and even diarrhea. A healthy and regulated gastrointestinal system can improve your health. And reduce the risk of various cancers.
Cocoyam consists of vitamin B1, also known as thiamine. A key vitamin that increases concentration amd energy. Fighting against chronic stress, and may prevent memory loss. Several studies have linked the lack of thiamine to learning and retention issues. One study showed that thiamine caused a quick reaction and a sense of lucidity in the subjects. Cocoyam contains 0.099 mg of vitamin B1 or 8.25% of the recommended daily value.
8.Stimulates the vision
As already mentioned, Cocoyam has several antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants can also help improve vision. By preventing free radicals from attacking the cells of the eye. Thereby causing macular degeneration or cataracts!
An essential element called phosphorus is present in cocoyam. Plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the bone and tooth maintenance and the health of the gum. Calcium, vit D, and phosphorus play an important role in shaping and maintaining dental health. By supporting tooth enamel, mineral jaw density, and tooth keeping in place. These minerals and vitamins can help cure tooth decay.
Dietary fiber can also reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Besides proper bowel movements. This is because it helps to control the release of insulin and glucose in the body. If you consume enough cocoyam in your usual diet, you can manage your blood glucose. And reduce your chances of developing diabetes. If you have diabetes, fiber-rich foods like the cocoyam can prevent spikes.
Cocoyam contains vit. A and B. Both of which play an essential role in keeping the skin moisturized. Protecting the skin against infections. Each of these vitamins helps end skin problems and stimulate the health of the cells. Regular consumption of cocoyam helps to speed wound healing. And defects reduce wrinkles and you can get a healthy and glowing skin.