It’s also reffered to as cassava and is known scientifically as Yucca schidigera. It’s a drought resistant plant found and used as food in dry lands globally. It’s commonly used in West Africa and other parts of Eastern Africa for food . In South and Central America it has also been used for decades.This plant has displayed a number of health benefits due to it’s rich nutrient constitution.
Yucca is quiet rich in vitamin C. The amount in yucca can comfortably be able to meet the recommended daily requirement. Vitamin C has a number of health benefits to our cardiovascular and immune systems. The following is a simple list of some of it’s useful nutrients that exert medicinal benefits as a team:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Beta carotene
- Vitamin B2
- Dietary fiber
It’s also rich in natural steroids that help neutralise inflammation. Allergies, asthma and arthritis may benefit.
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Due to the rich constitution of nutrients, yucca exhibits a number of amazing health benefits including:
Arthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder that is characterized by inflammation, pain and swelling of joints. Chronic inflammation seems to be at the root cause in most cases e.g rheumatoid arthritis. Since yucca contains natural steroids, it plays a major role in neutralising inflammation. This therefore helps to provide symptomatic relief including swelling. It’s also rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and A. These help neutralise the production of free radicals that are known to promote inflammation in the body and hence disease.
Migraine headache can be quiet tormenting. A natural way of trying to manage it now is through the use of yucca. It has a number of nutrients that help in the management of migraine. The vitamin B2 and riboflavin are known to help alleviate migraine headache.
3. Digestive aid
The digestive system requires fiber and other nutrients to promote efficiency in it’s functioning. The gastroduodenal protective mucosal membrane is strengthened and made to resist destructive effects of both digestive juices and acid. Vitamin A and other antioxidants play a major.protective role.
4. Boosts Energy
Our body requires a supply of energy for it to function optimally. Carbohydrates are one of our main sources of energy. Yucca has adequate carbohydrates to help meet our daily energy demand.
5. Improves Brain Function
The brain needs an excellent supply of both oxygen and nutrients to operate optimally. Bad cholesterol may lead to deposition in the brain circulatory system hence suppressing nutrients and oxygen supply. This is what leads to clot formation, blockage and stroke.
Yucca has nutrients that prevent bad cholesterol from depositing in the arteries hence improves the brain function.
6. Blood Pressure Lowering
Blood pressure cases are on the rise within our society. The consumption of highly processed and refined foods seem to be the main cause.
The health of the cardiovascular system suffers when bad cholesterol gets deposited in them. This results in their hardening and narrowing. Therefore this may promote elevated blood pressure.
Yucca is capable of neutralising the deposition of the bad cholesterol in the arteries leading to arteriosclerosis. It also contains other nutrients e.g. potassium which help lower the blood pressure.
7. Blood Sugar Regulation
Diabetes has been said to be a lifestyle disease especially type 2. The junk diet consumption and sedentary lifestyle promote obesity and diabetes.
Yucca has a number of nutrients capable of supplementing the nutritional deficiencies resulting from a deficient diet. The rich dietary fiber and nutrients such as zinc all help in blood sugar regulation in the body.
8. Weight loss aid
Obesity is becoming a global problem due to the current lifestyles. A more natural way to combat this is the addition of yucca into your diet. It’s fiber content helps in digestion improvement and weight management. Yucca also produces a feeling of abdominal fullness hence cuts down on the amount of food one consumed. This is a plus also in weight management.
9. Bone development
Our bones need a number of nutrients to promote their health including calcium. These are bountiful in yucca.
10. Healthy Gut Microbiome
Our gut is the home of trillions of healthy bacteria that carry out a number of health promoting activities e.g. production of some vitamins. The fiber in yucca also helps in feeding these microbes. The gut health greatly influences both the digestion and the immune function.
11. Cholesterol Balancing
We have two types of cholesterol. The good and the bad. The good cholesterol promotes the formation of healthy tissues. On the other hand the bad cholesterol is the one that gets deposited in our arteries causing narrowing and hardening. Yucca is known to promote the production of good cholesterol and halts the deposition of bad cholesterol.
12. Cardiovascular health
The health of the cardiovascular system is dependent on whether bad cholesterol deposits are being made or not. When bad cholesterol is deposited in the arteries, hardening and narrowing occurs. A stroke may now occur. The heart may also suffer blockage. High blood pressure may also occur due to the narrowing of the arteries. Oxygenation and nutrient supplies to various body parts may also be hampered. Efficient toxic waste transportation is also hindered.
13. Cancer Prevention
Cancer cells are normal cells whose DNA has been damaged due to free radicals. Our body makes these on a daily basis during the process of oxidation. However, antioxidants are available that are capable of neutralising them. Yucca has a number of powerful antioxidants e.g vitamin C, A, zinc, beta carotene etc. These help prevent or fight cancer promotion.
14. Muscle Development
Yucca has a number of nutrients that help in the development of muscles and other tissues.
It can be seen that yucca is a whole plant food that is nutritionally dense. Yucca can survive in areas where there is drought and can be harvested, dried, stored and used later. We also have the flour form also referred to as tapioca. Though tapioca has undergone some refinement hence has less nutrients than yucca.
The leaves may also be used either alone or mixed and boiled together to produce a medicinal concoction.
It should be noted too that yucca root contains an organic form of cyanide. Boiling the root well destroys this and makes it safe for food.
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