Cocoyam (colocasia esculenta) is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows in the tropical region of the world. Cocoyam belong to the family Araceae and grown primarily for their edible roots, although all parts of cocoyam are edible. It is cultivated as food crops that consist of a large spherical corm (seedling underground storage stem) from which a few large leaves sprout out. The corm produces lateral buds which becomes tubers and suckers. In fact, cocoyam have three major parts: corm, stem, and leaves. It is grown and harvested after one season. Cocoyam contains the following minerals and vitamins: potassium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C, D and E as well as dietary fiber.
COCOYAM HEALTH BENEFITS
(1) REGULATE BLOOD PRESSURE: Cocoyam contains potassium that may normalize high blood pressure. Potassium allow for healthy fluid transfers between the body. It helps to relieve stress and pressure on blood vessels and arteries. By relaxing the veins and blood vessels, blood pressure can be reduced and stress on all the cardiovascular system. The extract of cocoyam leaves contains antihypertensive properties. Cocoyam is really good for people who are advanced in age who at greater risk of high blood pressure. Also, potassium is related to increased cognitive function because neural connections can be boosted when the blood pressure is normalized and fluid transfer between neural membrane is optimized.
(2) PREVENTION OF BONE LOSS: Regular consumption of cocoyam help in the slowing down of bone loss and osteoporosis in older people due to it copper content. Copper contains bone strengthen properties and collagen that enhances strong bones and connective tissues. When taking with minerals such as manganese, zinc, and calcium.
(3) REGULATE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS: Cocoyam has moderate glycemic index. If you are suffering from diabetes, fiber rich foods like cocoyam will help your body to release insulin and glucose that prevent sudden rise and spike in blood glucose levels which is very dangerous.
(4) HIGH IN FIBRE: Regular consumption of cocoyam enable people who suffers from constipation and diarrhea to get relief. Dietary fibre reduces the chances of having colon cancer and reduces the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
(5) MUSCLE CRAMPS: Muscle cramps are one of the common side effects of low potassium levels that happens when athletes becomes dehydrated. It is because such an athlete is not eating moderate amount of potassium rich foods before and after exercise. Regular consumption of cocoyam reduces muscle cramping and will strengthen your muscle.
(6) PREVENT KIDNEY DAMAGE: Cocoyam help in the management of diabetes nephropathy. High blood glucose levels can cause damages to some parts of the kidney known as diabetes nephropathy.
(7) DENTAL HEALTH: Cocoyam is loaded with calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus that are important in maintaining bone and gum health. As well as supporting both enamel, jaw bone mineral density and holding the teeth in place.
(8) IMPROVES EYESIGHT: Cocoyam is packed with antioxidants such as beta carotene and cryptoxanthin that improve vision and prevent free radicals from attacking ocular cells. This causes macular degeneration and cataracts.
(9) RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Cocoyam contains vitamin B6 that is highly beneficial for people that experience constant muscle aches and joint pain as a result of chronic Inflammation. This makes cocoyam helpful in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis
FINALLY, cocoyam has lots of minerals and vitamins that prevent several diseases as well as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. It is very good for weight loss as a result of it high fiber content and low calories. Cocoyam also improves digestive health.
This write up is not meant to be a substitute to where the service of dietician or medical professional is urgently needed.