The tender leaf of taro, known by its botanical name colocasia esculenta, is a highly nutritious leaf dishes and has some medicinal values too.
Generally, the leaf stalk and tuber of taro are used to make various recipes, while the leaf is discarded. But if people are made aware of the health benefits of taro leaves, it will never be ignored during cooking.
The taro leaf is rich in Vitamin A and also contains adequate quantities of Vitamins C, B, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folate, Manganese, Copper, Potassium and Iron. One cup of taro leaf has 35 calories, plenty of fibres and a low level of fat.
The health benefits of taro leaf, which is rich in Vitamins and anti-oxidants, are as follows:
» Helps prevent cancer, boosts immunity and ensures the health of the eyes
» Keeps ailments related to digestion away as it is rich in fibres. This helps reduce cholesterol too
» Helps in losing weight as the leaves are low on calories and contain all nutrients
» Reduces blood pressure and inflammation as the leaves contain potassium and anti-inflammatory compounds
» As they are rich in Vitamin B, the leaves boost the growth of brain and nervous system in a foetus
» Taro leaf has several minerals which strengthen teeth and bones. This lessens chances of developing osteoporosis
» Good for diabetes patients as the fibres in taro leaf control the levels of insulin and glucose in the body. This keeps the blood sugar level in check
» With a good amount of Vitamin A, taro leaves are beneficial for the skin. When the leaves are included in the diet, the skin will become smooth and shiny
» The potassium in the leaves strengthens the heart and improves its functioning. It also controls heartbeat and reduces blood pressure
Taro leaves can form part of the daily diet but they should be properly cooked before consumption.