NUTRITION

Why you should switch from wheat to cassava flour

The main health benefits are due to its prebiotic effects.

In Summary

• It is believed to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. 

• These properties are said to aid in the treatment or prevention of certain health conditions

Image: Courtesy: Cassava tortillas theroastedroot.net

There is a huge potential of cassava flour in the Kenya market, now that food prices have gone up.

Cassava flour which is produced from the Cassava root is gluten free, grain free and it is soft just like flour.

Research shows that over time, gluten causes damage to the intestines, impairing the ability to absorb nutrients. That is why some people tend to react to gluten.

However, it is advised to choose a cassava wisely to avoid poisoning. It is true that a cassava has naturally occurring cyanide compounds which can be extremely toxic.

It is therefore advised to soak, cook and ferment the root before you actually take it to the ‘posho mill’.

Compared to wheat, cassava contains up to sixteen times more fiber and four times less digestible sugar, making it nutritionally superior.

But opting for commercially available cassava, which has been tested and doesn’t contain harmful levels of the toxins is the safest option.

Experts say that cassava flour is actually good for the gut.

Homemade cassava chapatis
Homemade cassava chapatis
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

The main health benefits are due to its prebiotic effects.

Cassava root contains a type of prebiotic fiber called resistant starch.

It is believed to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These properties are said to aid in the treatment or prevention of certain health conditions

Diabetics are however advised to look for other alternatives like sweet potatoes since cassava has double the carbohydrate of sweet potatoes.

This could lead to a spike in blood sugar levels especially if you are following a low carb and sugar diet.

Remember, moderation is key don’t eat cassava flour recipes in every meal as it can lead to a fatal cyanide poisoning if consumed often.


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