How are cocoyam and diabetes connected? This plant has been known for a long time for its interesting properties. What is the botanical name of cocoyam? What are the benefits of cocoyam to your health? Let’s explore the amazing potential of this plant for diabetic patients.
Scientists and medical experts have been exploring the potentials of different plants to understand their value for medical purposes. The advantages of cocoyam have also been discovered and explored. It does have health benefits and it is worth to check out this popular Nigerian plant.
Botanical name of cocoyam
All cocoyams come from the same Arum family of plants. There are two types and two botanical names for this tropical crop:
- Old cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta or simply Taro)
- New cocoyam (Xanthosoma spp. or simply Malanga)
The heart-shaped leaves of cocoyam can be pretty large reaching about 0.5 meters and the stems can grow as tall as 1 meter above the ground. Nigerians and other nations love this plant for being edible (especially the roots of cocoyams).
Health benefits of cocoyam
The roots and the tropical plant itself boast valuable features. It has the starch, dietary fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients for a healthy lifestyle.
You can enjoy so many advantages if you cook cocoyam:
- It is a natural source of carbohydrate (you can get it from the starch).
- The roots are rich high protein.
- Your digestive system will function better thanks to the dietary fiber contained in the plant.
- There are many vitamins in the plant (Vitamin B, C, and E).
- Cocoyam contains calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
- Your immune system gets stronger thanks to all the nutrients offered by one plant.
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There are numerous ways how to consume the roots and plant itself. Some people like to bake it while others enjoy it fried. Some people love milling, blending, roasting, pounding or other methods. It can also be added to soup and porridge as a thickener. You can find many recipes online and give it a try.
Is cocoyam good for diabetic patient?
All the health benefits of the roots and leaves of this plant make it good for diabetic patients. A number of tests were conducted and the reports assured that cocoyam is safe if you have diabetes.
For example, the report from 2009 states that the amount of starch grains contained in the plant can be digested without any issues. Patients who have diabetes can eat cocoyam and get carbohydrates while having no problems with the digesting system.
Another report from 2013 (Eleazu et al.) also adds that cocoyam aka Taro and diabetes are two ‘great friends’ and patients can eat the plant to manage their mellitus (level of sugar in blood). This document also suggests that the plant could be used to help prevent diabetic nephropathy development.
There is no gluten in cocoyam. This means that patients who cannot stand gluten due to severe allergies can eat it without worries.
Those of you who decide to include cocoyam roots or leaves to your daily meals always choose the plants with smooth skin and good-looking heads. It is better to find a reliable Nigerian farm in your area and order the products directly from it.
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