10 Health Benefits Of Cocoyam

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Cocoyam is mainly used as soup thickener and as a staple food in some parts of the world, especially in Nigeria.

However, cocoyam is rich in nutrients like complex carbohydrate, protein minerals, like potassium, copper, magnesium, zinc and vitamins E, Niacin, vitamins C, thiamine.

However, this well-known staple food is not only nutritious but can serve as ingredients in foods processing companies as well as culinary purposes.

Cocoyam belongs to the family of Araceace and cocoyam is predominantly cultivated in countries such as Nigeria, Asia, Pacific island, Ghana, and Japan.

Cocoyam is popularly known as Ede in eastern Nigeria. It is of different varieties such as Sagittifolium, Xanthosoma, Alocasia, elephants ear, eddoe etc.

Cocoyam health benefits includes
Digestive health, helping boost immune system, blood pressure and heart health, good for vision, Reduce symptoms Rheumatoid, prevents cancer , and is a good source of energy.

10 Health Benefits Of Cocoyam

1. Digestive Health

cocoyam plays a significant role in our body due to its appreciable amount of dietary fiber. Fiber is superb in terms of supporting our gastrointestinal health. Fiber helps to add bulk to our bowels movement, helping food move through the digestive tracts and facilitates digestion. Apart from that, it can help prevent certain conditions like excess gas, cramping and constipation.

2. Improve immune system

Cocoyam is packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitaminC, Vitamin E, B1, B2, and copper. However, these nutrients contributes to the improvement of immune system. Nutritionists have revealed that meeting up recommended dietary allowance can help promote healthy immune.

3. Cardiovascular problems

Cocoyam is also valuable in the management of cardiovascular disease as it contains essential fatty acids. Apart from containing essential fatty acids, it has very low sodium content, as against high sodium content, which is one of the risk factors for hypertensive patients. Also, the relief of stress and pressure on blood vessel is associated with potassium in cocoyam.

4. Helps Manage Diabetes

Although cocoyam has a lot of complex carbohydrates but there is still reasonable amount of fiber in it. One function of fiber is its ability to make insulin sensitive. However, insulin regulate levels of glucose in blood. Adding cocoyam as a soup thickener would earn you healthy life style.

5. Good For Eyes

Cocoyam contain phytochemicals like bate-caterenoid, which contributes to optimal function of the eye as well as prevents muscular degeneration. Bate-caterenoid is a natural compound in cocoyam capable of detoxifying free radicals harmful in the human body, and also prevents poor sight.

6. Prevent Bone loss

Cocoyam is a rich source of calcium and copper. Bone development is attributed to calcium found in it. copper presence in taro roots plays a significant role in reducing bone loss and osteoporosis in older women when taken together with other important minerals like zinc, calcium, copper. Copper helps in collagen forming qualities, and encourage strong bone and connectives tissues.

7. Reduce Symptoms of Rheumatoid

It is extremely beneficial for preventing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) because low levels of vitamin B6 are related with increased signs of RA like more severe pain. Several research conducted have shown that people of rheumatoid requires comparatively more Vitamin B6 than healthy people because they experience steady muscles aches and joint pain due to chronic inflammation.

8. Prevents cancer

Cryptoxantin and phenolic are phytochemicals found in cocoyam. It also contains vitamins C and vitamins A, these vitamins helps in defense mechanism while the phytochemicals play greater role at preventing cancer in human body by eliminating free redical that could cause cancer like lung and oral cancer.

9. Sources of Energy

Cocoyam is another source of energy. Due to its appreciable caloric content, many consider it as one of their staple food. Whether you eat cocoyam with vegetables or as a soup thickener, it helps metabolize energy.

10. Boost Skin and Hair

Cocoyam is a source of vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin C, zinc and phytochemical. Vitamin E, may function as antioxidant, helping kill off free radicals on the skin and hair. Moreover, vitamin C enhances synthesis of collagen that helps nourish the body.

Conclusion
Cocoyam is a soup thickener packed with numerous nutrients that are beneficial to health. However, cocoyam can be used for cooking different dishes in Nigeria and other Africa countries.

Dietther: Ojeoru Goodluck is a passionate health writer who has written numerous articles on health. He obtained bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics.