Taro or Colocasia esculenta is called the “potato of the tropics.” The plant is native to Southeast Asia and India. The plant prefers warm humid climates, growing best in marshy locations and wet climates.
The root of the plant is a popular staple food in China, Hawaii, Africa and the Carribean. The flesh of the root bears a creamy or white colour.
One thing to bear in mind that taro root and leaves are poisonous when raw and should never be consumed before cooking.
Taro root contains three times the amount of fiber present in white potatoes. Fiber bulks up stools and make their passage through the intestines alot more easier, ultimately relieving constipation.
Yellow flesh roots and young leaves of taro are rich in phenolic flavonoid pigment antioxidants like beta carotene and cryptoxanthins along with vitamin A. 100g of fresh taro leaves provide you with 161% of daily vitaminA requirement.
Vitamin A is required to maintain healthy vision and prevent age related damage to the eyes.
Deficiency of vitamin A can cause poor vision in the nigh known as NightBlindness .
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Being ample in potassium, taro can lower bloodpressure. Recent studies have shown that a diet high in potassium can be equally as effective in lowering bloodpressure as a low sodium one.
Being a substantial source of fiber and complex carbohydrates, taro can help regulate insulin and glucose levels in diabetics. Taro has a low glycemic index and prevent sugar spikes in people suffering from diabetes.
Taro is rich in antioxidant cryptoxanthin and can fight free radicals which are the dangerous by products of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. Cryptoxanthin is associated with reduced risk of both lung and oral cancer.
Taro, being a generous source of fiber, aids in the removal of waste products from the intestines and decrease the risk of colon cancer.