DPV Series: Cassava

Today on D-Amala Product Value Series we would be sharing an excerpt from a remarkable article by Dr Mercola found online.
You can go ahead and visit him to read the full article (including about Tapioca) by clicking here.
For other DPV series carried out on other elements of our D-Amala Brown Yam Flour, go here.

Story at-a-glance-

  • Also known as manioc and yuca, cassava is a tropical root plant used in Asia, Africa and South America because it’s plentiful and inexpensive
  • Cassava carbohydrates are high while its glycemic index low. Naturally gluten-free, it contains saponins to help ease inflammation and balance your gut flora and minerals that perform many important functions throughout your body
Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety says cassava contains more than one form of cyanogenic glycosides — sweet and bitter:

"Different varieties of cassava are generally classified into two main types: sweet cassava and bitter cassava. Sweet cassava roots contain less than 50 mg per kilogram hydrogen cyanide on fresh weight basis, whereas that of the bitter variety may contain up to 400 mg per kilogram."
Cassava leaves are also used for food and contain 100 times more protein than the root, but both must be cooked and the water discarded.

The Odd and Advantageous Benefits of Cassava

While cassava roots are close to what we know as white potatoes, cassava contains almost twice the calories, and may be the highest-calorie tuber known. One cup of boiled cassava contains 330 calories, 78 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein and 4 grams each of fiber and sugar.
Being naturally gluten-free, cassava is extremely useful for celiac patients and others trying to avoid gluten. One aspect of cassava is that it's one of several root foods defined by the Philippines' Department of Science and Technology as having a low glycemic index (GI) and therefore good for diabetics.
"GI is a classification of food based on the blood glucose response to a food relative to a standard glucose solution. Low glycemic foods control the release of glucose into the bloodstream at a steady and sustained rate, keeping the body's metabolic processes and energy levels balanced.
People with low glycemic diets or [who] eat low glycemic foods are said to have lower risk of getting coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
These food items that have low GI would benefit those who are already suffering from diabetes, since these would help in the proper control and management of blood sugar."
As a low-GI food, eating cassava can also help improve physical endurance because blood glucose levels are moderated instead of dropping when insulin is produced.
B-complex vitamins contained in cassava include folate, thiamin, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and riboflavin (vitamin B2). The root also includes a number of minerals that perform important functions throughout your body:
Iron helps form the two proteins responsible for transporting oxygen to your tissues
Zinc helps your immune system fight bacteria and aids cell growth and division
Calcium helps form strong bones and teeth
Magnesium optimizes mitochondrial function and helps regulate blood sugar
Potassium synthesizes proteins and helps break down carbohydrates
Manganese is vital for connective tissue and sex hormones, and repairing joints
Cassava also contains saponins that can ease inflammation, break down organic body wastes like uric acid, cleanse mineral deposits from your joints and help balance your gut flora.

Other Uses for Cassava

Cassava is also known for many additional benefits, according to StyleCraze:
Cassava made into a simple paste with water and used as a peel or scrub smoothes, brightens and hydrates your skin.
As a mask, wash your face first with warm water, smooth on a paste using water and honey, dry completely and rinse well with cold water.
Cassava roots and leaves can be made into a paste to nourish and soften your hair and remedy hair loss. Twice a week, apply coconut or olive oil, then cassava paste, wait one hour and rinse.
Traditionally, the roots and leaves were used to boost immunity, energy and brain function, heal wounds, de-worm, soothe headaches and fevers, aid digestion and rheumatoid conditions, lower blood pressure and balance stress levels.

Precautions Regarding Cassava

Cassava roots contain the toxic compound linamarin, which converts to hydrogen cyanide. Improper cooking of cassava root is associated with cyanide poisoning, which can cause symptoms of vomiting, nausea, dizziness, stomach pains, headache, irreversible paralysis from a disease called konzo and even death. Nutrition and You noted:
"Cassava should never be eaten raw as the root composes [sic] small quantities of cyanogenic glycosides, especially hydroxycyanic acid. Cyanide compounds interfere with cellular metabolism by inhibiting the cytochrome-oxidase enzyme inside the human body."
However, if the cassava are peeled and cooked, toxic substances are removed. 

We make our D-Amala product with a touch of the finest of this wonderful root!