8 Benefits of Cassava Leaves You Should Know

Yuca or Cassava roots are well known around the world as a food source. It is a growing staple food that can feed the starving people of the world. Most Westerners know cassava as the tapioca plant, the roots are made into tapioca for tapioca pudding, and the cooked roots taste a lot like potato. Cassava grows just about anywhere that has sandy or loamy soil, good drainage, and warm climates. And cassava will grow in pots in your patio and in green houses. It grows in Africa, the Caribbean, India, Europe, South Pacific, Central and South America, Asia, Florida, Southern Texas, Southern US, Indonesia, and many other places in the world.

But do you know that the leaves of the plant are also full of nutrition -- especially protein? 100 grams of cooked cassava leaves provides about 3.7 grams of protein which is pretty good for a green leafy veggie. Cassava leaves contain lysine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, and lots of arginine which are not common in green leafy plants, thus making it a great protein source. Up to 10 times more protein is found in cassava leaves than in the roots. 

The leaves also contain vitamin C, B vitamins, beta carotene, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium and manganese.

Cassava leaves are a staple in Indonesian cooking. They don’t have much flavor and absorb any flavoring that you add. So adding spices, meats, and other veggies enhances the flavor.

Cassava leaves and roots should never be eaten raw as they are high in hydrocyanic acid, which is poisonous. But when they’re cooked, the acid disappears. They must be cooked for at least 10 minutes.

Here are some benefits you can reap from cassava leaves:

Source of Antioxidants
As a source of powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and beta carotene, cassava leaves have excellent health benefits for preventing and disposing of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are one cause of dangerous diseases such as cancer, and in the field of beauty can lead to premature aging.

Source of Energy
The content of various proteins like essential amino acids in cassava leaves help to contribute useful energy for the body. Essential amino acids in cassava leaves are helpful to help change carbohydrates into energy to be used by the body in the move.

Help Metabolism
Cassava leaves contain Vitamin B. Vitamin B is needed to build the body’s cells that will form the enzymes that help the body’s metabolism.

Help Cell Regeneration
Cassava leaves contain essential amino acids which are important sources for the cells in the body to regenerate. Amino acids are proteins that can help in the growth of damaged cells and provide updates to the cells in the body to keep it functioning normally.

Diet Food
Cassava leaves are also very good to be used as food sources for diet since they contain fiber and protein for your healthy daily diets.

Help Digestive System
Vegetables are good for digestion since they can help nourish the human colon. Regular consumption of cassava leaves will also give the effect that quite well for our digestion.

Cure Diarrhea
Cassava leaves are believed to be powerful in helping to reduce diarrhea. Take seven pieces of cassava leaves, wash clean. Boil cassava leaves with 800cc water until become 400cc. Drink twice a day, as many as 200cc per drink.

Treat Rheumatic
If you often experience fatigue after work, there may be symptoms of arthritis in the body. For this case, prepare about five cassava leaves, 15 grams of red ginger and betel leaves, and then mix and give a little water. Knead until crushed and smeared on the pained joints. Use this three times a day.

photo: wp.com
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