A staple food for certain cultural diets, tapioca is a starchy substance extracted from the root of cassava, a plant native to the north and central-west regions of Brazil. Carried by Portuguese and Spanish explorers throughout their travels to areas within the West Indies, Africa, and Asia, the plant offers a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy compounds.
One of the most notable claims made about tapioca is that it can improve cognition and mental activity, especially for elder people. This association was confirmed by some reports and linked to the high concentration of vitamin K found inside the plant. This coenzyme is responsible for activating several proteins and is involved in the synthesis of sphingolipids—a major constituent of the myelin sheath and neuronal membranes.
Rich in calcium and iron, tapioca has been known to increase bone mineral density and blood circulation. With more red blood cells being produced by the body, oxygenation and cellular regrowth are considerably boosted.
Potassium is a vasodilator, and tapioca has plenty of it. Reducing the tension and stress in the blood vessels and arteries can prevent atherosclerosis and blood clots.
The plant has been frequently used in traditional medicine. With its high fiber content, tapioca has been recommended to improve digestion. It helps move food through the digestive tract and eliminate constipation, bloating intestinal pain, and even serious conditions like colorectal cancer.
Vegetarians will find a great source of protein and carbohydrates in this plant, without any negative cholesterol and saturated fats. It provides a lot of energy and can aid muscle development and recovery.
Overall, tapioca is a wonderful nutritional source with a wide array of health benefits.