Taro Dried Leaves: Nutrient Contents and Health Benefits
Taro leaves are certainly familiar for people who live in Southeast Asian countries. The plant is widely cultivated and the leaves are prepared as cooking ingredients and herbs. In some areas, taro leaves even become a part of staple foods, besides the root. Taro leaves cannot be consumed raw. They are suitable for steaming, boiling, or frying. Fresh taro leaves may lead to skin irritation, thanks to the calcium oxalate content in the plant. Popular preparations available in the market are taro dried leaves, which last longer, while preserving the nutrition.
Beneficial Contents of Taro Dried Leaves
Taro leaves are rich sources of various nutrient contents, such as dietary fibers, ascorbic acid, iron, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, zinc, niacin, copper, potassium, manganese, and many more. Given the rich contents, taro dried leaves are said to have the following properties:
As an Antioxidant
Vitamin C in taro leaves act as antioxidant, which is important in fighting against various diseases like cancer. Studies show that vitamin C contents in a cup of taro leaves are enough to meet at least 86% of our daily needs. Therefore, consuming taro leaves is effective in boosting our immune system.
Maintaining Visual Health
What vitamin do you need the most to maintain visual health? The answer is Vitamin A. A cup of taro leaves contributes to 123% of daily needs of vitamin A. It is no wonder that taro leaves are effective in preventing eye diseases, such as cataracts, myopia, and even blindness.
Zero Cholesterol Content
The dried taro leaves contain only 1% of fat and there are no cholesterols at all, thanks to the dietary fibers and methionine in the plants. These two substances bind and break down the cholesterols and fats, thus preserving the health nutrients for our body. Low fat and zero cholesterol contents are also beneficial for our body in many other ways, including:
Reducing cholesterol level;
Facilitating weight loss;
Helping in maintaining normal blood pressure;
Helping in preventing cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks
Good for Pregnant Women
Rich nutrient contents in taro leaves are beneficial for pregnant woman. The leaves contain folate, which is essential for fetal brain development and nervous system. During pregnancy, women needs adequate supply of iron and minerals, which are essential in the formation of red blood cells. Taro dried leaves help in preventing anemia during pregnancy. Another important benefit of taro leaf during pregnancy is to maintain digestive health. It helps in preventing indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation in pregnant woman.
Where to Find Taro Dried Leaves
Fresh taro leaves can be prepared into various deserts. They have mild, nutty flavor, which eases your digestion. However, for those who live in the areas, where finding taro leaves is a problem, taro dried leaves are widely available in the market. They are available in plastic packaging in supermarket shelves or online stores. What you need to do is just to brew the leaves before used for cooking. Dried taro leaves can last long and it is safe to keep the stocks at home.