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Do you eat Taro root "Kooko"? - This is what it does to your body anytime you eat it

Taro is one of the indigenous tropical root tuber that usually grow in muddy areas. 'Kooko' as it is locally called by the Akans is basically enjoyed with stew as ampesi.

Taro is in the same family of cocoyam and potatoes, it is difficult to distinguishe between Taro leaves and cocoyam leaves since they are not just similar but the same. But their tubers differ in size, texture and taste.

Nowadays it is not easy to see Taro plant in the urban areas due to the herbicides used on our lands, but it is very common in some part of our rural areas.

Taro has a lot of health benefits as compared to cocoyam and potatoes. But a lot of people regard it to be food for the poor which is a great misconception.

The health benefits of eating Taro tuber are vividly outlined below;

1. Reduces fatigue: Taro root is good for manual working individuals since it provides long lasting energy. This is because it contains low glycemic index which is good for hardworking individuals such as athletes.

2. Helps in weight loss: Taro roots can prove to be very beneficial for those who wants to lose weight and still be strong. It has a very low caloric content. One tuber of taro has just 187 calories.

3. Aids in quick and easy digestion: This root contains large amount of fibre or roughages that aids the digestion process. It's high fibre content makes it ideal for those who wants to lose weight since you can be full for a longer time by just eating a small meal.

4. Prevents constipation: Foods that are high in fibre makes it very easy to empty your bowels. Taro has a huge fibre content and thus it's ideal for people suffering from constipation.

5. Prevents Hypertension: high blood pressure is very common with people in the Middle age. the best way to prevent high blood pressure call hypertension is by consuming foods that are low in fat and sodium. one tuber of taro gives only 20 mg of sodium that helps to maintain kidney problems and fluid retention.

6. Antioxidant: Taro root is one of the best sources of vitamin C. One tuber of taro root can give you almost 11% of your daily requirement of vitamin C vitamin C is also known to be a very good antioxidant which removes toxins from your body and detoxifies it.

7. Anti-aging agents; Taro root is a very nutritious food that contains many vitamins namely vitamins a, c, and b. It also contains minerals like copper,zinc,calcium, selenium, beta-carotene and magnesium. All these are good antioxidants that are useful to prevent aging or to slow down the aging process. It also contains protein and is a gluten-free cholesterol free and low in sodium too.

8. Heart health: A tuber of taro root has 0.1 gram of fat and cholesterol which helps to prevent hardening of the arteries. You can consume it several times without worrying about gaining weight or other health problems related to fatty foods like heart or kidney disease is. Taro root can give 19% of the daily required vitamin E that is required to prevent the risk of a heart attack.

9. Muscle health; Taro contains vitamin E and magnesium that can protect you from cancer and heart diseases. This also helps to maintain your blood pressure and is helpful for fluid regulation. Taro contain magnesium which is vital for muscle bone and nerve health. This makes it ideal for body builders.

One benefit about this tuber is that its leaves can be used in preparing delicious stew that can be enjoyed any time with any kind of tuber.

Ask for this tuber the next time you go to the market and make s good meal for your family and loved ones.

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Akans Kooko Taro cocoyam

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