Health benefits of fresh cassava leaves. Health benefits of cassava leaves tea. Cassava leaves and pregnancy.
How can somebody be seated on gold mine but remain poor?
When working in agriculture, you cannot shun yourself from this type of questions. I’m currently working with cassava growers in South West Nigeria and I observed a common practice that left my mouth open from surprise
the growers simply throw away the cassava leaves and peels in the farms to rotten after harvest.
What this means is that, in the nutshell, only
approximately 45% of the value of the entire “cassava gold mine” is used and the rest is wasted.
Cassava leave is a very appreciated and cheap vegetable consumed in many countries in the world. It is a strategic food recipe in nearly all countries in the Central African
sub region (Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, DR Congo, the Congo Republic, Cameroon, RCA, Sao Tome and
Principles). It’s also a delicacy in some part of Nigeria.
Dried, these leave nowadays constitute a huge source of export earnings. They are highly appreciated by the African, South American and Asian diaspora.
This article focuses on the nutritional value, medicinal properties and health benefits of either dried or fresh cassava leaves. But before then, let’s look at some quick facts about Cassava.
Cassava which is known scientifically as Manihot esculenta is the only species in it’s genus that serves as a food crop.
Cassava is currently the forth largest staple food in the world after wheat, rice and maize.
About 500 million people globally depend on cassava as food.
It’s also the third largest source of Carbohydrates in plants used for food in the world.
Rich in Many Vitamins and Nutrients.
Why is it considered a waste to throw away cassava leaves?
Health benefits of fresh cassava leaves
Here are some benefits of cassava leaves you may not know about:
1. Cassava Leaves are High in Proteins.
Cassava leaves contain different types of proteins compared to eggs and soybeans. It is made of lots of Arginine, Lysine, Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine. Cassava leaves contain up to 10 times the amount of proteins found in the roots.
2. Cassava Leaves are Low in Calories for those who are watching their weight, making a go-to meal for the keto and fit fam folk.Cassava leaves is good for weight loss.
3. Rich in carbohydrates and fiber, cassava leaves these can prevent constipation and promote the growth of probiotic bacteria and upgrade immunity. You can call it an immune booster.
4. Contains good amount of vitamin C which is a wonderful antioxidant preventing cancer, strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
5. Fresh cassava leaves contains Vitamin B. If you are in need of good mood, vitality and metabolism, consumption of cassava leaves provides Vitamin B; with its Beta Carotene antioxidant, it prevents and repairs DNA damages.
6. In these NUTRIENTS stacked cassava leaf are also found potassium for water regulation and cardiovascular health, phosphorus and calcium for strong bones, iron and copper to fight anemia, zinc for a strong immune system, and magnesium and manganese for strong bones and enzyme production.
7. Cassava leaves and milk is high in iron… A preparation of cassava leaves and milk help boost of the production of red blood cells and treats anemia.
8. Cassava leaves can be blended with ginger or garlic for different health benefits.
9. Eating cassava leaves soup or drinking cassava leaves tea helps to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol.
Cassava leaves and pregnancy
Because of its cyanide content, cassava leaves consumption is not safe and advisable. Cassava leaves cyanide content have the ability to cause miscarriage pregnancy loss, and congenital birth defects if pregnant women eat it in soups OR herbal tea or preparations. So, pregnant women should not drink cassava leaf tea.
A word of caution.
Can cassava leaves be eaten raw? Cassava leaves contain a relatively high level of cyanic acid thus the need to adequately boil prior to consumption and not be eaten raw. It is advisable to seek coaching before preparing your first dish from Cassava leaves. Talking about opportunity, there lays another one, to train farmers on the cooking, processing and exportation of Cassava leaves. The central Africans and Indians are already earning from this.
Sunday Ekpa ldo