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Top 5 Benefits of Cassava

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

cassava benefits

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  • Cassava is a vegetable that in the U.S. may be more familiar in the form of tapioca, but it’s a staple food and a good source of nutrients for millions of people worldwide
  • Cassava flour is a flour-like powder that comes from the cassava tuber, or yuca root; it’s gluten-free, meaning it doesn’t contain the protein gluten, like wheat, that can cause serious adverse reactions
  • Cassava is excellent for making many types of food, but it must be peeled and thoroughly cooked first due to the presence of cyanide
  • Besides fiber, protein and useful carbohydrates, cassava contains B vitamins and several minerals; it also helps nurture beneficial gut bacteria, may lower your blood glucose levels and is a good source of resistant starch
  • Tapioca is the starchy liquid extracted from the cassava root in an involved process that separates the starch from the fibers and removes the toxic hydrogen cyanide poison that causes a crippling disease known as konzo

Among most people in the U.S., cassava could be called a fairly unfamiliar vegetable, but it’s viewed as an important staple in diets of millions of people around the world. Visually similar to sweet potatoes, this root vegetable has its own unique and beneficial set of nutrients, and several other advantages, as well, not always for food.

From a shrub with the botanical name Manihot esculenta, cassava is also known as yuca root (but not the same as yucca), or manioc. Apart from being a major food source, cassava has proven itself to be quite versatile.

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