January 30

Cassava: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits and Uses

By Fitness Blog

January 30, 2022

Cassava: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits and Uses HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Cassava is a necessary drought-resistant crop utilized in tropical diets in indigenous Caribbean delicacies. In addition, farmers worldwide take into account this tuberous vegetable as a blessing in disguise throughout meals shortages. Cassava's contribution to meals safety makes it extremely demanded meals and appropriate for a number of different makes use of.

You can do absolutely anything with cassava. Customarily, cassava is a wonderful substitution for potatoes resulting from its comparable style and texture. However, the outcomes are distinctive when served as a facet dish or a snack. Today, expertise has launched fortified cassava to step up its recreation as a extra nutritious selection. With a historical past of being cultivated tons of of years earlier than the Christopher Columbus voyage, cassava is now a staple for 500 million individuals.

Indeed, enriched cassava varieties assist alleviate malnutrition and are commercially invaluable for starch-based merchandise. However, the cassava roots present comparatively much less dietary advantages regardless of being a main carbohydrate supply. Moreover, it's essential to eat cassava carefully because it comprises sure antinutrients which will stimulate hostile well being results. Nevertheless, cassava leaves and roots are a invaluable meals supply for growing international locations.

What is Cassava?

Cassava, scientifically generally known as Manihot esculenta, is a starchy root vegetable that belongs to the Euphorbiaceae plant household. Native to South America, cassava is a perennial plant with a number of regional names akin to Brazilian arrowroot, manioc, or yuca. It's predominantly grown in Nigeria, Thailand, Brazil, and Indonesia. Cassava grew in most of Tanzania, and its harvest takes place through the dry season.

Although the consumption of candy cassava is extra widespread, bitter varieties are additionally out there out there. You can normally retailer them of their shredded or un-shredded kind. You can interchangeably use contemporary or frozen cassava. The mature cassava plant's roots are in depth, whereas the addition of leaves into the staple eating regimen is minimal. 

The dietary composition of cassava roots and leaves relies on the harvest interval, age of the plant, and geographic location. In addition, the proximate mineral composition of cassava roots is considerably completely different from leaves'. For instance, 100grams of roots gives 176 mg of calcium whereas the leaves present 708 mg.

The south zone of Brazil is residence to each wild subspecies and domesticated cassava. People embody them in quite a few ethnic and nationwide dishes to replicate range and flexibility. In the sixteenth century, Portuguese merchants launched cassava to Africa to interchange native African crops. Furthermore, cassava cultivation was launched in elements of Kerala, a South Indian state, to substitute rice. However, its recognition rose majorly in Vietnam, Thailand, and Tanzania.

Comparative Analysis of Cassava

Cassava and Tapioca

Tapioca is produced from cassava starch. From a dietary standpoint, tapioca falls behind cassava. It is devoid of gluten and isn't wealthy in minerals, nutritional vitamins, fatty acids, or proteins. The solely similarity between these two can be the excessive carbohydrate ratio. The extraction of Tapioca from the cassava plant goes by way of a sequence of washing and pulping processes. The stays are starchy liquids that you simply get hold of from squeezing the extracted moist pulp of cassava. After the water evaporates from the starchy liquid, Tapioca flour stays. 

Cassava and Sweet Potato

Cassava and the candy potato come underneath the category of tuberous root greens however don't share commonplace options and should not associated. Therefore, their advertising and marketing is as completely different tubers. The kinds of candy potatoes vary from being agency with golden pores and skin to a gentle, copper-coloured look. The use of candy potatoes is displaced primarily by introducing cassava for the reason that latter comprises niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin C. However, cassava provides a better quantity of meals power in kilocalories than candy potatoes.

The calorific worth per 100grams of cassava serving is 86% greater than candy potatoes. It additionally possesses greater fats content material. At the identical time, candy potatoes comprise extra water content material, protein, dietary fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Therefore, candy potatoes are a greater nutritious selection than cassava.

Cassava and Potato

Cassava is known as a nutritious substitute for potatoes. Both greens are starchy staple crops with comparable tastes. However, they differ considerably when it comes to look and dietary worth. The water densities, magnesium, and copper worth are comparable in cassava and potatoes. Nonetheless, cassava comprises 5 occasions extra folate, vitamin B2, and vitamin A. It additionally gives eighteen occasions extra vitamin E. Moreover, cassava chips have much less fats than potato chips. It helps in lowering levels of cholesterol.

Compared to potatoes, cassava roots present greater carbs, protein, and energy. But, other than these details, cassava and potatoes are nutritionally very comparable. These similarities are within the glycemic index, minerals, fibre, and macronutrients.

Nutritional Properties of Cassava

Cassava possesses a number of advantages when it comes to well being impression and vitamin. It is a nutrient-dense alternative within the snack aisles of each Western and Asian markets.

Cassava: Nutritional Values

The following vitamins are current in 100 grams of cooked cassava:

  • Calories: 191
  • Fibre: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 40 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Protein: 1.5 grams
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.908 grams
  • Sodium: 205 milligrams
  • Sugars: 1.67 grams
  • Dietary Fibre: 1.8 grams

Cassava roots are notably wealthy in nutritional vitamins. The proximate nutritional vitamins and minerals current in cassava.

Cassava: Nutritional Facts

Glycemic Index

Cassava possesses a excessive glycemic index worth. The estimated GI is equal to 94 in cooked cassava. Therefore, it's processed to cut back the general glycemic index to go well with the wants of diabetic sufferers. For instance, industrial derivatives of cassava comprise a decrease GI worth of 46. However, cassava in its pure state has a excessive glycemic index. The excessive glycemic index in uncooked cassava is because of its abundance of starch.


Cassava has practically twice the energy per 100 grams in comparison with different tuber greens. It is a tropical root crop with the very best calorific worth. 


Cassava leans extra in the direction of the acidic pH vary. It displays a pH of 4.8 and tends to retain its acidity in uncooked, semi-processed and processed types. 

Uric Acid

Uric acid is current in cassava leaves. The average quantity of purine current within the leaves undergoes metabolism. This metabolic course of releases uric acid as the top product. As a outcome, the extraction of cassava reveals uric acid content material. 


Cassava is greater in carbohydrates. The quantity of carbs in cassava makes it a dependable power supply. Peeled and boiled cassava roots present practically 30 grams of carbs per 100 grams.

Health Benefits of Cassava

1. Rich in Vitamin C

Cassava is wealthy in vitamin C. 100 grams of cassava can present 20.6 milligrams of vitamin C. It makes up for 20% of the Daily Value (DV). Studies reveals that vitamin C helps the immune cells by stopping oxidative stress. It is nicely generally known as a miraculous ingredient in skincare merchandise. For instance, vitamin C has confirmed advantages in collagen manufacturing. As we age, our pores and skin is liable to dropping firmness and youthfulness. We begin to present indicators of wrinkles, positive traces, and dullness. It is because of decreased collagen manufacturing. Vitamin C serves as a significant cofactor in collagen synthesis, which helps to decelerate the ageing course of.

Cassava's vitamin C helps struggle free radicals. Research reveals that vitamin C displays antioxidant properties—these properties support in repairing broken cells and stimulate pores and skin rejuvenation. People can mix the cassava roots and leaves to acquire the utmost results of vitamin C.

2. Resistant Starch

Cassava is an efficient supply of resistant starch that mimics soluble fibre properties. Consuming an ample quantity of resistant starch improves blood sugar management and helps intestine well being. In addition, studies recommend that the resistant starch current in cassava nurtures helpful intestine micro organism.

Cassava starch converts into butyrate fatty acid throughout digestion, lowering colon irritation and boosting its defence mechanisms. A wholesome intestine and colon carry down the danger of colorectal most cancers.

3. Serves as Energy Fuel 

Cassava is dense in carbohydrates. Therefore, it makes a very good gas supply for athletes who require excessive carbs. Consuming cooked cassava after coaching could be carb-loading and restores the spent power. Thus, it's a more sensible choice for individuals on the lookout for a restoration meal after high-intensity workouts. The advanced carbohydrate chain ensures constant power provide as nicely.

4. Protection Against Liver Cancer

Cassava provides a wholesome quantity of magnesium. An investigative study reveals that consuming greater magnesium ranges reduces the possibilities of growing liver most cancers. In addition, magnesium consumption might stop steatosis and steatohepatitis development. These two situations are progenitors for liver most cancers. Thus, including cassava to the eating regimen ensures a very good provide of magnesium.

5. Low in Sugar

Cassava is comparatively low in sugar. One hundred grams of uncooked cassava comprises solely about 1.7 grams of sugar. Boiled cassava additionally has comparable sugar ranges. Only 1.3 grams of sugar is current in 100 grams of cooked cassava root. However, no outlined scientific proof helps its use in a diabetic eating regimen. There is an opinion that cassava's low sugar worth doesn't trigger a spike in blood sugar ranges. Cassava generally is a good root vegetable for blood sugar administration should you mix the advantages of low sugar and resistant starch. Nonetheless, there may be nonetheless a debate on this declare.

6. Repairs Kidney Damage

Elevated creatine could cause kidney injury and failure. Cassava leaf extract brings down the creatinine ranges within the serum. It additionally reduces the toxicity in kidney nephrons—the excessive ranges of carotenoids in cassava support in restoring kidney operate. However, a cassava-based eating regimen is probably not preferrred for renal dysfunction. Cassava comprises cyanide-based compounds which will elevate urea ranges within the physique. Therefore, it's not appropriate for individuals with renal defects.

Ways to Use Cassava

Cassava: Preparatory Methods

Raw cassava is toxic because it comprises hydrocyanic acid, cyanogenic glycosides, and different cyanide elements. However, you may put together cassava roots by peeling and cooking to take away these dangerous compounds. Some serving ideas for cassava are:

  • Use a paring knife to peel off the pores and skin till the white flesh is seen. Trim away any remaining skins or strings and instantly place them underneath cool water to forestall brownish discolouration.
  • Boil the lower items of cassava to make it protected for human consumption. Boiling for about 10-Quarter-hour in salted water will make the roots tender and protected.
  • Cassava roots could be waxed to extend their shelf life and eradicate the toxicity current of their pores and skin.
  • Baking and boiling are the usual preparation strategies for cassava. It could be fried after an intensive cleansing and boiling to take away the pure toxins.

Recipes Using Cassava

 1. Cassava Cake

Cassava: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits and Uses- HealthifyMe
  • Preparation time: 2 hours
  • Serves: 24 equal sq. items


  • Cassava (grated) : 14 ounce
  • Sweetened condensed milk: 12 ounce
  • Evaporated milk: 1 can
  • Coconut milk: 1 can
  • Sugar : 3 cups
  • Eggs (full): 3
  • Egg whites: 1 
  • Coconut (grated): 1 cup
  • Egg yolks (For topping) : 3


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  2. Combine all of the elements in a big mixing bowl. Mix nicely.
  3. Pour the combination into a big greased rectangular pan. 
  4. Bake for about half-hour till the highest layer loses its liquidity. 
  5. Mix the topping elements and evenly unfold them on the cake. After that, bake for an extra 20 to half-hour. 
  6. Slice the muffins into equal squares after cooling fully.

2. Cassava Chips

Cassava: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits and Uses- HealthifyMe
  • Preparation time: 35-40 minutes
  • Serves: 4


  • Cassava (sliced thinly in circles): 1 kg
  • Salt: to season as per style
  • Vegetable oil: 250 ml


  1. Fill the deep-fryer with one-third filled with vegetable oil and warmth to 200°C. 
  2. Deep-fry the sliced cassava chips in batches. Take from the flame after reaching a golden look and crisp texture. 
  3. Drain the surplus oil on a paper towel. 
  4. Season with salt and serve.

Cassava: Potential Side Effects and Things to Remember

Possible Toxicity

Cassava roots comprise methyl-linamarin, linamarin, and different poisonous cyanogenic glycoside compounds. The linamarin converts into a toxic hydrocyanic acid. Hence, consuming uncooked and undercooked cassava might result in cyanide poisoning. It results in complications, abdomen ache, nausea, vomiting, and even loss of life. In addition, the considerably greater cyanide content material in cassava's pores and skin and outer peels stands as a life-threatening draw back.

Tropical Ataxic Neuropathy 

Following a monotonous cassava eating regimen results in a power sickness known as tropical ataxic neuropathy. It is a class of ailments that results in incapacity and spinal ataxia. In addition, poorly ready and processed cassava retains its pure toxins and triggers power situations.

Higher Calories

The excessive calorific worth of cassava results in undesirable weight achieve and impacts cardiovascular well being. Compared to different root greens, cassava gives greater energy (practically 191 energy per 100 grams). Long-term consumption of calorie-rich cassava triggers insulin resistance, cardiac issues, weight problems, and hyperglycemia.

The Bottom Line

Cassava is a broadly cultivated tuberous vegetable in Tanzania and Asia. Despite its excessive calorific values, cassava is a widely known substitute for potatoes. However, cassava generally is a more healthy selection resulting from its comparatively excessive nutrient content material. The roots and leaves are the edible elements however consuming uncooked cassava results in cyanide poisoning. You can minimise the pure toxin ranges of cassava by peeling the pores and skin and boiling it.

Nonetheless, it's a good supply of vitamin C, carbohydrates, and resistant starch. In addition, cassava is straightforward to arrange and promotes good intestine well being. Furthermore, cassava's drought resistance properties make it helpful throughout meals shortages. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Q. What are the advantages of consuming cassava?

A. Cassava is wealthy in vitamin C and resistant starch. It is useful for wholesome intestine upkeep, nurturing helpful intestine micro organism, collagen manufacturing, and boosting immunity. In addition, you may eat Cassava leaf extracts for treating kidney injury. 

Q. Is cassava and tapioca the identical?

A. Tapioca is extracted from the starch of cassava tuber by way of washing and pulping. It has restricted dietary worth in comparison with cassava however displays similarities in carbohydrate ranges. However, you need to use each interchangeably to fit your wants. 

Q. Is cassava toxic?

A. Only uncooked cassava is toxic. It comprises pure toxins akin to methyl-linamarin, linamarin, and different poisonous cyanogenic glycoside compounds. Cooked or boiled cassava is freed from these toxins and doesn't trigger any hurt to well being. 

Q. What are the uncomfortable side effects of cassava?

A. Due to the presence of pure toxins, cassava could cause cyanide poisoning. The potential uncomfortable side effects embody headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and nerve injury. It can even set off weight achieve and cardiac dysfunction resulting from its greater calorific worth. 

Q. Is cassava more healthy than potatoes?

A. Cassava is a extra diet-conscious possibility than potato resulting from its lesser fats composition. It can also be wealthy in vitamin A, B2, folate, and vitamin E. However, each are nutritionally very comparable. Therefore, individuals favor cassava chips over potato chips. 

Q. Is cassava acidic or alkaline?

A. In its pure state, cassava is acidic with a pH of 4.8. However, it tends to retain its acidity even after meals processing methods.

Q. Is cassava good for the kidney?

A. Yes, cassava is sweet for the kidney because it repairs kidney injury and failure. In addition, medical evaluation reveals that consuming cassava brings down kidney-harming creatinine ranges. However, it is probably not a great eating regimen possibility for renal dysfunction since cassava raises urea content material.

Q. Is cassava poisonous?

A. Boiled or cooked cassava isn't poisonous. However, individuals ought to chorus from consuming uncooked cassava because it comprises cyanogenic glycosides. These are pure toxins current in it and might trigger deadly cyanide poisoning. 

Q. Is cassava good for ldl cholesterol?

A. Cassava has excessive energy and carbohydrates. Therefore it's not an acceptable selection for individuals with ldl cholesterol. In addition, the excessive calorific worth triggers extra fats deposition within the physique. It will worsen ldl cholesterol. 

Q. Is Cassava excessive in uric acid?

A. The purine in cassava leaves releases uric acid because the metabolic finish product. Therefore, it could considerably enhance the uric acid content material. 

Q. Which is more healthy: Cassava or candy potato?

A. Cassava has greater energy and lesser nutrient density than a candy potato. At the identical time, candy potatoes are richer in proteins, fibre, calcium, water content material, iron, and magnesium. Thus, candy potatoes are higher than cassava, contemplating their dietary composition.

Q. Is cassava a carbohydrate?

A. No, cassava is a tuberous root vegetable. But it's a good supply of carbohydrates. Cassava provides sufficient of a fancy carbohydrate chain as power gas. 

Q. Is cassava excessive in sugar?

A. The sugar content material in cassava roots equals 1.7 grams per 100 grams serving. Thus, cassava comprises considerably much less naturally occurring sugar. But it's not appropriate for diabetic sufferers resulting from excessive carbs, regardless of having low sugar.  

Q. Does cassava flour spike blood sugar?

A. Cassava flour is dense in carbohydrate values. Therefore, it may trigger an insulin spike and additional elevate blood sugar. This is as a result of carbs break down into easy sugars throughout digestion. That makes the blood sugar degree progressively rise after consuming cassava flour. 

Q. Is cassava appropriate for infants?

A. Yes, cassava is appropriate for infants. However, you must take away the pure toxins by way of cooking earlier than feeding them to infants.

Q. How do you take away poison from cassava?

A. You can minimise the pure toxin ranges of cassava by peeling the pores and skin and boiling it. Boiling for about 10-Quarter-hour in salted water will make the roots tender and protected.

Q. What occurs should you eat uncooked cassava?

A. Consuming uncooked cassava results in cyanide poisoning. It causes nausea, headache, abdomen ache, vomiting, and even loss of life. Even poorly processed cassava roots are unsuitable to the human physique. 

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