Tapioca, the starch of cassava root or Manihot esculenta which mostly found in tropical countries and it is native to South America. Cassava plant is a plant from Euphorbiaceae family and become one of staple food in America, Africa and some parts of Asia. People used to extract the root of cassava or yuca to produce tapioca and using the powder as many dishes ingredients. Tapioca becomes so popular nowadays since it contains no gluten unlike other types of starch and brings many health benefits to the body.
Is Tapioca Goof For You?
Tapioca is used widely nowadays and becomes a n important component of some food industries such as in boba pearl drink, soup thickener, sauce and etc. Most people in Southeast Asia use the tapioca flour to make crackers and other food which comes in various types and delicious dishes. The texture of tapioca is similar to cornstarch but tapioca is a gluten free starch which is good for people especially if you have problem with celiac disease ( a disease which the body can’t digest gluten). Since we know that tapioca is extracted from the cassava root, an incorrect process during the production of tapioca can be harmful because the roots contain toxin such as cyanide. You must make sure that the tapioca is also well prepared before you consume it. You can include tapioca in your diet but if you are asking Is tapioca good for you? The answer is maybe yes or not really, since it contains empty calories and it won’t be good if you consume it every time along with sugar or other zero-calorie food.
Health Benefits of Tapioca
What about the nutrient content of tapioca? Except the calories and carbohydrate, tapioca also contains other nutrients such as sodium, potassium, calcium, Vitamin B, Magnesium, sugar and fat. To know more about the health benefits of tapioca, you can check the list below!
1. Good For Allergy Diet
Allergy is a common health problem nowadays and people become more alert about the food which caused allergy. Most of food allergy is caused by consumption of nuts, grains and gluten (a protein which found in wheat or other types of food that bring the shape of food and acts as glue to hold the components of food together ). Tapioca consumption will not create a problem and can be a solution for people who suffer from celiac disease. Celiac disease is a type of allergy which people can not digest the gluten. You can use tapioca as a substitute when you want to baking cake at home or you can simply use the flour to thicken the gravy, sauce, soups and other food you wish to eat without any risk of allergy.
2. Lowering Cholesterol Level
Tapioca is another cholesterol-free food which you can consume in moderate amount. As we know that high cholesterol is not good for the body and it can cause a buildup plaque within blood vessel especially arteries wall that called as atherosclerosis. If this condition unchecked and you let this over years, it can severely causing heart attack, stroke and angina. Tapioca flour also contain some amount of fiber, 1,5 grams in each cup. Tapioca fiber content can help you to fulfill the fiber daily requirement (21 – 38 grams fiber a day) and yet, fiber is crucial in lowering blood cholesterol level and prevents the atherosclerosis.
3. Support Healthy Weight Gain
Being overweight is not good for your body, as well as being underweight. People who has Body Mass Index or BMI lower than 18, is consider underweight and such condition can be harmful for health. Many researches have shown that being underweight is even more dangerous than being overweight. So if you are underweight and your body has even no muscle or fat storage, you can consume tapioca since it contains healthy carbohydrate and unsaturated fat. If you want to gain weight as soon as possible just eat some tapioca puddings, or other kind of food which cooked using tapioca. For your information, a cup of tapioca contains about 45% daily carbohydrate requirements and it can be good for you since it also contains no cholesterol or gluten. It is also recommended fro people who lose weight after severe injuries, surgery, illness or suffer from eating disorder like anorexia.
4. Prevent Osteoporosis
Keeping healthy and strong bones is one thing which you will gain for regular consumption of calcium. Not only keep strong bones, consuming enough calcium will help you to prevent bone mass lost or known as osteoporosis. According to a research conducted by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, your body lost calcium every day through the urine, sweat, feces, and other. When the bones lose the mass and the calcium, your bones will be easily fractured and this called as osteoporosis. Even the disease mostly comes in elderly, you should be aware since now. The calcium should obtain from food since our body can not produce our own calcium to replace the lost calcium. The good news is tapioca also contains some amount of calcium, 30mg in 100 gram of flour. Even it is not enough to fulfill the daily requirements of calcium still its worth to be consumed.
5. Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease
Tapioca flour contains potassium, another potential mineral which needed by human body. You must know that potassium acts as a vasodilator in the body which means it has ability to reduce the blood pressure and tension within the arteries. Potassium triggers the enlargement of blood vessel so blood can be pumped slower. By other words, potassium content of tapioca flour can help to stabilize the blood pressure as well as prevent from heart attack and stroke. Tapioca also lower in sodium unlike other food, so it is save to be consumed by hypertension patients and you don’t need to worry about your high blood pressure problem. It is also low in cholesterol so the chance of getting heart disease is little bit lower than those who consume food with high cholesterol content.
6. Keep Healthy Pregnancy
Is tapioca good for you when you are pregnant? The answer may be yes! It contains several nutrients which deliver health benefits of tapioca to pregnant women. Tapioca contains Folate, a type of vitamin B which required in the DNA formation of the baby inside the womb and also important in the development of the brain. It is very crucial for pregnant women to fulfill their folate and other nutrient to keep the baby from any birth defect such as spina bifida or neural tube defect in infant. 100 gram of tapioca contains about 6 miligrams of folate or 2% or daily requirement. Maybe its not too impressive amount but you can still add tapioca into your healthy meal. The folate and iron content of tapioca also can keep healthy pregnancy since it prevents the body from anemia or red blood cell deficiency. Suffering anemia during pregnancy is a common thing and if you are pregnant, you can count the health benefits of tapioca.
7. Prevent Anemia
As mentioned above, one of the health benefits of tapioca is to prevent anemia or red blood cells deficiency in the body. Who expect that tapioca is an excellent source of iron. A cup of tapioca provides at about 13% daily requirement of iron. Iron, is a mineral which needed to form hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to all parts of the body including cells and organs. If your diet lack of iron you will surely develop anemia and the condition will make you so weak. Anemia can also cause severe side effect such as pain, fatigue, chest pain, and short breath. Tapioca also contains copper along with iron which also required in red blood cells production. With normal red blood cells count, your blood and cardiovascular system will work optimal and you can get healthy energy as well as good oxygen flow to run your daily activities.
8. Boost Metabolism
Want to gain energy fast and maintain good stamina whole day? You can simply consume tapioca which combines with other energy-dense food. Tapioca contains high amount of carbohydrate, and we know that carbohydrates are the main source of energy which provide 4,2 kcal per gram. It can give you quick energy boost since the carbohydrates of tapioca can be broke down faster into energy. Other good things which make tapioca as a good energy dense food, it does not contain any cholesterol or saturated fat which usually comes in other types of high energy food so you will not get the negative effects of both compounds. Don’t forget that tapioca also contains fiber which will make you full longer and won’t make you hungry often. Doesn’t it will make you feel better to face the day?
9. Repair Body Damage
There are lot things which can damage the body inside or outside. You may not realized that every day any cells within our body are broken and there is a component which work to repair and form new cells to replace the loss, it is protein. Protein is one of essential element of human body and it makes up almost all part of the body from head to toe. You can gain protein to keep healthy body and repair the damage by consuming high protein food such as meat, poultry, fish, milk and etc. Those foods maybe not a big deal for you but people who are vegetarian will surely look other types of food which contain protein rather than animal-based food. Since tapioca contains good amount of protein, vegan can consume this protein based food easily and therefore, protein in tapioca will help your body to repair body cell damage, develop muscle, heal wound, and other activities in the body normally.
10. Improve Skin Health
Did you know the next health benefits of tapioca is related to your skin? Tapioca can be one of the best solutions to have a clear and youthful skin. Tapioca is a good detoxifier for your skin and it will remove any scar or acne which makes your face looks dull and ugly. Other than that, tapioca also can enhance your skin tone and make it brighter. To get the benefits, you can use tapioca flour as facial mask and use it regularly twice in a week. Make a simple mask by combining 2 spoonful of tapioca with one spoonful of honey or you can also use egg yolk then mix it into paste. Apply the paste on your face for about 15 minutes then rinse it with cold water. It is also can be a great mask for removing freckles and dead skin cell which makes your face so rough. See the differences on your skin after you do this treatment as your beauty routine.
Side Effect of Tapioca
Beside the health benefits of tapioca, you should also know the downside of tapioca flour for your health. Before consuming tapioca you must make sure that the tapioca is processed in save way since cassava root, the ingredients of tapioca contains some number of toxic such as cyanide. Don’t try to make tapioca flour by your own if you don’t know how to make it unless you are someone who is expert to do this.
Despite it can be a great food to include in your meal, remember that it contains high carbohydrate and calories which can bring side effect if you consume it more than enough amount or consume it regularly. The tasty and delicious flavor tapioca will make you easy to eat more than you need so it will be terrible for you who have problem with weight.
Sometime, you don’t just consume tapioca with healthy way such as consume it as boba pearl inside a milky and sugary drink. Instead of consuming tapioca with a sugary drink, you can substitute the sugar with zero calorie sweetener and fat free milk. Try to consume tapioca as a pearl in zobo drink which gives you many health benefits. Just remember since it high on carbohydrate and calories, don’t consume it when you want to lose weight.