The health benefits of taro leaves and their uses.
1. Taro leaves come from a large leafy green plant known as colocasia esculent. This plant is well known for its “Taro Root” which is known as the “Chinese Potato”
2. The leaves of this plant can be eaten and have a rich flavour similar to spinach. They also have some excellent health benefits.
3. A dish called Lau Lau is made using pork, butter and green taro leaves. The leaves must be cooked well and not eaten raw to reduce its oxalic acid.
4. These leaves are an excellent source of fibre, which helps to balance your digestive system and reduce bloating and gas.
5. They also contain bone and teeth strengthening calcium. This is more bioavailable than the calcium found in milk and is more easily absorbed by the body.
6. For vegans and those on a raw food diet, these leaves are useful as they contain a natural source of protein, which promotes a feeling of fullness and provides energy.
7. They also contain Vitamins A and C which helps in boosting the immune system, protecting your body from disease and infections.
8. Eating leafy greens such as this helps the eyes to stay healthy with age, by reducing the effect of free radicals.
9. The dietary fibre also helps in reducing the risk of diabetes. It helps the body to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
10. The phosphorus, iron, magnesium and folate within all help to balance your body’s natural functions such as the production of healthy blood cells, and strength of the internal organs.
11. The leaves and petioles of the plant can also be used to make dye for bark cloth (Kappa).
12. You must ensure that the leaves are cooked as the oxalates they contain can cause a reaction on the lips and tongue if consumed raw.
13. The potassium within the leaves and roots of help to regulate your heartbeat and maintain a strong and healthy heart. This plant has been cultivated and consumed for over 5000 years. It is believed to originated in India and was transported to Ancient Egypt. The Greeks and Romans described this as a very important crop.