The health benefits of taro root, also known as arbi, dasheen or Chinese potato.
1. Taro roots come from a large leafy green plant known as Colocasia esculenta. These roots are used as a vegetable and are also known as the “potato of the tropics.”
2. These plants are native to India and Southeast Asia and often grow in wet, humid climates around the world.
3. The brown furry roots must be peeled and cooked to enjoy their wonderful health benefits, as they can cause swelling in the mouth if eaten raw.
4. They are one of the healthiest sources of fibre and complex carbohydrates, helping the body to control its blood sugar levels.
5. The soluble and insoluble fibre is also extremely helpful for those trying to lose weight. This aid the body to control its hunger levels, prevent constipation and reduce irritable bowel syndrome.
6. Eating this delicious food regularly also reduces the risk of diabetes. The fibre helps to regulate insulin and glucose levels in the body, preventing blood sugar spikes.
7. Cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene and powerful antioxidants within tar which improves the health of the eyes. These reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration with age.
8. They can be prepared by boiling, steaming or baking, in the same way, that you would cook a potato. They may also be added to delicious stews, soups or curries.
9. It is also an excellent source of potassium which improves the health of the heart and cardiovascular system. It does this by controlling blood pressure and regulating the heart rate.
10. The Vitamins E and A also improves the health of the skin, by reducing wrinkles and blemishes. Eating foods rich in these causes the skin to radiate with a healthy glow.
11. It also has an excellent range of B vitamins which are important for producing healthy red blood cells, boosting brain function and producing energy.
12. The vitamin C content boosts the immune system and helps your body to fight off all forms of disease and infections.
13. Taro can be peeled and sliced thinly and cooked into delicious crisps. Simply brush the disks with olive oil, add a little salt and pepper and bake until crispy.
14. The Polynesians make a delicious pudding called Kaulau. Taro (known as dasheen) is boiled and mixed with coconut milk and brown sugar.
15. The leaves of this wonderful plant can also be eaten.