Conventionally, tapioca, derived from the cassava plant, is best known as a creamy pudding dessert with little sustenance. However, in some in areas like Africa, Asia and South America, tapioca is known better for its nutritional benefits than as a sweet treat. When eaten raw or incorrectly prepared, the plant releases poisonous properties. Thus, tapioca must be prepared correctly to prevent harm and ensure safe eating.
1. STARCH EQUALS ENERGY
The cassava plant is a root vegetable and a healthy source of carbohydrates. In many countries, it serves as a main dish because of its high starch content. Even better, it is considered a healthy starch because it is low in cholesterol and unhealthy fats. Tapioca can be included in dietary plans to promote healthy weight gain.
People suffering with Celiac disease or other conditions that restrict the use of gluten-based foods can use tapioca as an alternative to recipes that use wheat flour. Tapioca flour, which does not contain any gluten, is a healthier alternative to wheat flour. Both tapioca flour and tapioca starch can be used as a thickening agent in cream-based sauces and gravies.
Calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium can be found in tapioca in varying amounts. If you are preparing a more processed form of the root, like a pudding mix, you will receive a smaller amount of these minerals than if you were to consume tapioca starch or flour. Tapioca is also a good source of iron, and, in particular, dry tapioca pearls contain up to 13 percent of your daily value of iron. B-vitamins, including folic acid, which is extremely vital for pregnant women, are also found in tapioca.
4. DIETARY FIBER
Over the years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has placed extreme importance on the consumption of dietary fiber on a daily basis for a healthier lifestyle. The cassava root has a significant amount of dietary fiber in its natural form. According to the USDA, foods high in dietary fiber can help lower cholesterol, decrease the rate of colon cancer, and lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.