Why are Tubers so Good for You?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Tubers refer to a group of plants that develop starchy roots. Root crops are ancient food sources prized for their amazing nutritional benefits. Yacon, potatoes, yams and cassava are just some of the hundreds of examples of tubers. Apart from being a rich source of macro and micronutrients, tubers also promote weight loss. In today’s post, we are giving you more reasons to love tubers:

Rich Source of Complex Carbohydrates

Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates aren’t as bad as you think. Starchy root crops like potatoes and cassava contain glucose, a macronutrient. Our body literally run on glucose, which we get from the food we eat. And we need at least 600 calories of glucose per day. And the carbs from tubers are the healthy kind. Unlike simple carbs, complex carbs fill you up for longer. These nutrients do not raise the blood sugar level rapidly. In fact, complex carbs stabilize the glucose level in the blood. This leads to fewer cravings and overeating.

Low in Toxins

Did you know that most types of grains and legumes contain a toxic compound called rhizomes and corms? These compounds can cause sickness when food is not prepared the right way. Tubers contain the same toxins albeit in very low doses. When cooked, tubers contain less called rhizomes and corms than cooked grains and legumes.

Packed with Essential Nutrients

Root crops and tubers are great sources of essential vitamins, minerals, soluble fiber and beneficial enzymes. As long as they are cooked properly, you’ll be able to reap the many health benefits of root crops by adding tubers to your diet!

For instance, sweet potato is a rich source of beta carotene and vitamin C. These vitamins work as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Free radicals are reactive compounds in ionic form. These compounds are naturally attracted to healthy cells. They destroy healthy cells, triggering mutation.

Yams can satisfy your RDA of vitamin A five times! The vitamin A in tubers protects from free radical damage and cuts the risk of cancer. Its vitamin C content strengthens the immune system and reduces infections. Tubers are also rich in vitamin B6. Root crops help reduce blood pressure and keep blood sugar level stable.

Loaded with Minerals

Did you know tubers aid in digestion too? Apart from being a rich source of vitamins, tubers are also loaded with copper, manganese, potassium and fiber. These nutrients work together to keep the digestive and excretory system healthy. The fiber in tubers promotes better digestion, minimizes fat absorption and cuts the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Because they are high in soluble fiber, tubers also make a filling, low-calorie snack!

Tubers also protect from liver and muscle disease. They replenish electrolytes and fluids in the cells. Tubers also normalize heart functions.

Minimize Tissue Damage

A diet rich in root crops also restores normal organ functions. That’s because the nutrients found in tubers work together to repair damaged tissues. For instance, the vitamin A in root crops improves vision and reduces eye problems. The vitamin C in tubers repair damaged cells while boosting cell turnover!

Yams, potatoes, and cassava can also neutralize tissue damage caused by smoking. They also contain anti-diabetic properties that reduce insulin resistance.

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