25 health benefits of eating cocoyam

Cocoyam, also known as taro, is a tropical root vegetable that is commonly grown in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. It is a versatile and nutritious food that has been enjoyed for centuries by various cultures. Cocoyam is a rich source of carbohydrates, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent addition to a healthy diet. In this article, we will explore the 25 health benefits of eating cocoyam.

25 Health Benefits of Eating Cocoyam

1. High in Fiber

Research shows that cocoyam contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which are important for different aspects of digestive health. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and promotes regular bowel movements. Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps promote digestive health, prevent constipation, and reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. Eating cocoyam as part of a balanced diet can help you meet your daily fiber needs and support overall health.

2. Boosts Digestive Health

The high fiber content in cocoyam promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which aids in digestion, reduces inflammation, and strengthens the immune system.

3. Rich in Vitamins

Cocoyam is a rich source of vitamins, including vitamin A, C, E, and B-complex vitamins. These vitamins are essential for maintaining healthy skin, vision, immunity, and nerve function.

4. High in Potassium

Cocoyam is considered one of the richest sources of potassium among all plant foods, as it has 615 mg which is 13.09% of the daily recommended value. Potassium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, support muscle and nerve function, and maintain fluid balance in the body. Eating cocoyam can help you meet your daily potassium needs and provide other important nutrients as well.

5. Reduces Inflammation

Cocoyam contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases, such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

6. Helps with Weight Management

The high fiber content in cocoyam helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after meals, which can help with weight management and prevent overeating.

7. Supports Heart Health

Cocoyam is a good source of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, all of which promote heart health by reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and lowering cholesterol levels.

8. Boosts Energy Levels

Cocoyam is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy and help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes.

9. Supports Brain Function

Cocoyam contains B-complex vitamins, which support healthy brain function and help improve memory, concentration, and mood.

10. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Cocoyam has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This makes it an excellent food for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing the disease.

11. Helps Prevent Anemia

Cocoyam is a starchy root vegetable that is high in iron, a nutrient necessary for the production of red blood cells in the body. Anemia is a condition characterized by a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood, which can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms.

Consuming cocoyam can help to increase the body’s iron levels and prevent anemia. In addition, cocoyam is also a good source of vitamin C, which enhances the absorption of iron in the body. Therefore, incorporating cocoyam into your diet can be an effective way to prevent anemia and maintain good health. Also, read about other blood tonic  foods that help combat anemia 

12. Supports Eye Health

Yes, cocoyam can support eye health. Cocoyam is a good source of several vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining healthy eyesight, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.

Vitamin A is particularly important for eye health, as it is necessary for the proper functioning of the retina, the part of the eye that detects light and helps us see in low light conditions. I.e Vitamin A helps prevent night blindness, cataracts, and other eye-related problems. Beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, is also important for eye health as it helps to prevent age-related macular degeneration, a common eye condition that can cause vision loss.

Moreso, cocoyam is also a good source of antioxidants, which help to protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals.

13. Promotes Healthy Skin

Firstly, cocoyam is a good source of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from damage caused by harmful free radicals. Free radicals can contribute to premature aging, wrinkles, and other skin issues, so consuming foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin E can help keep the skin healthy and youthful-looking.

Secondly, cocoyam is also rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that gives the skin its elasticity and firmness, and a lack of collagen can lead to sagging and wrinkling. Consuming cocoyam can help to boost collagen production and keep the skin looking healthy and vibrant.

Finally, cocoyam is also a good source of dietary fiber, which helps to promote healthy digestion and elimination. A healthy digestive system is essential for overall health, including the health of the skin. When the body is able to eliminate toxins and waste efficiently, it can help to reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin.

Overall, consuming cocoyam as part of a healthy and balanced diet can potentially promote healthy skin by providing essential nutrients and supporting overall health and wellness.

14. Helps Prevent Constipation

According to one study, fiber, present in cocoyam,  is an essential nutrient that promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation by adding bulk to the stool and making it easier to pass through the digestive system.

Cocoyam is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps to regulate digestion and promote regularity. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the digestive tract, forming a gel-like substance that helps to slow down digestion and promote feelings of fullness, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps to move it through the digestive tract.

Consuming cocoyam as part of a healthy and balanced diet can help to prevent constipation and promote healthy digestion. It is important to drink plenty of water when consuming fiber-rich foods like cocoyam to help prevent dehydration and support optimal digestive function.

15. Supports Immune Function

Cocoyam contains vitamins and minerals that support immune function and help protect against infections and diseases.

16. Promotes Healthy Bones

Cocoyam is a good source of calcium and magnesium, minerals that are essential for building and maintaining strong bones.

17. Helps Reduce Stress

Cocoyam contains B-complex vitamins, which help regulate the production of

stress hormones and promote feelings of relaxation and calm.

18. Supports Muscle Function

Cocoyam is a good source of potassium, which helps regulate muscle contractions and supports muscle function.

19. Boosts Metabolism

Cocoyam contains B-complex vitamins, which play a crucial role in metabolism by helping convert food into energy.

20. Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Cocoyam is high in potassium, a mineral that helps lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium in the diet.

21. Supports Liver Health

Cocoyam contains antioxidants and other compounds that help support liver function and protect against liver damage.

22. Helps Prevent Cancer

Some studies [1, 2, 3, 4 ] suggest that cocoyam may have anti-cancer properties due to its high content of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Antioxidants are substances that can help prevent damage to cells caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA and other cellular structures, leading to mutations that can contribute to cancer development.

Cocoyam is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and carotenoids. These compounds have been shown to have anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies. For example, some studies have found that cocoyam extract can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce their death, potentially slowing down or preventing the spread of cancer.

However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the optimal dosage and duration of cocoyam consumption for cancer prevention. It’s also important to note that cocoyam alone cannot prevent or cure cancer, and a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for reducing cancer risk.

23. Reduces the Risk of Stroke

This is because cocoyam is a good source of potassium, a mineral that plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, and a diet rich in potassium can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Potassium works by counteracting the effects of sodium, which can cause blood pressure to rise.

In addition, cocoyam contains other nutrients that may help reduce the risk of stroke, including fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C.

Fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels, which is important because high cholesterol levels can increase the risk of stroke. Magnesium can also help regulate blood pressure and improve blood flow, while vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help protect against oxidative stress, a factor that can contribute to stroke risk.

While cocoyam can be a nutritious addition to a healthy diet, it is important to note that stroke risk is influenced by many factors, including lifestyle and medical history.[5]

24. Supports Pregnancy Health

Pregnant women are safe to eat cocoyam, a starchy root vegetable that is a good source of nutrients that are beneficial to pregnancy. Cocoyam is rich in folate [6], a B-vitamin that is essential for the development of the fetus’s brain and spinal cord. Adequate folate intake during pregnancy can also reduce the risk of birth defects.

In addition, cocoyam is a good source of potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication. Cocoyam also contains fiber, which can help prevent constipation, a common problem during pregnancy.

25. Helps Improve Sleep

Cocoyam is a good source of magnesium [7], a mineral that is essential for healthy sleep patterns. Magnesium helps promote relaxation and calmness, which can aid in falling asleep faster and improving the quality of sleep. A deficiency in magnesium has been linked to sleep disorders such as insomnia. Therefore, incorporating cocoyam into your diet can be a natural way to improve sleep and promote overall health and well-being.

FAQs

Q: Can cocoyam help with weight loss?

A: Yes, cocoyam’s high fiber content can help promote feelings of fullness and support weight management.

Q: Is cocoyam safe for people with diabetes?

A: Yes, cocoyam has a low glycemic index and can be a good food choice for people with diabetes.

Q: Can cocoyam help prevent cancer?

A: Yes, cocoyam contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help protect against cancer.

Q: Is cocoyam a good source of potassium?

A: Yes, cocoyam is an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that is essential for many bodily functions.

Q: Can cocoyam be eaten raw?

A: No, cocoyam must be cooked thoroughly before consumption as it contains a toxic compound that can cause irritation if consumed raw.

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Last Updated on July 5, 2023 by shalw

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