Taro root (popularly known as arbi) is a widely grown species in the group of tropical perennial plants known as elephant ears. It is a root vegetable that is generally eaten as a side dish or in a curry. It originates in India and Malaysia and grows in both dry and wet places (1). Taro root’s benefits are gaining the attention of many health enthusiasts. The leaves of this plant are also used in cooking for their unique nutty flavor. But caution is advised while peeling this vegetable as it may cause skin irritation and itching.
What Is It?
A root vegetable with a nutty flavor.
What Are Its Benefits?
It helps with fatigue, weight loss, and hypertension and boosts immunity, the digestive process, and heart health.
Who Can Use It?
In general, anyone can eat it except when having gastric issues.
A cup of taro can provide about a third of your daily required manganese intake.
Always cook it before consuming it, as the calcium oxalate content in it is toxic. It may cause rash, hives, or itching after consumption.
Keep reading to learn more about this vegetable and its benefits!
In This Article
Taro Root Benefits
Let us look at the top 14 benefits of taro root vegetable:
1. Reduces Fatigue
Taro root is mainly consumed by athletes for long lasting energy. This is because it contains a low glycemic index which is good for athletes.
2. Weight Loss
Taro roots can prove to be very beneficial for the ones who want to lose weight, since this has very low caloric content. One cup of cooked taro can give you 187 calories (2).
This root contains a good amount of fiber that is useful for the digestive process. This gives you a feeling of being full for a longer time even after a small meal. Thus, eating taro roots can be useful to lose pounds and maintain your weight, since it has low calories and high fiber (3).
4. Clears Stomach
Foods that contain high amounts of fiber are also known to boost the digestive process. This helps to eliminate the wastes from the body and prevent re-occurrence.
5. Heart Health
One cup of taro root has 0.1g fat and cholesterol, which helps to prevent hardening of the arteries. You can consume it several times without worrying about gaining weight or other health problems related to fatty foods like heart or kidney diseases. Taro roots can give 19% of the daily required Vitamin E that is required to prevent the risks of a heart attack.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is mostly observed in the mid aged group of individuals which can be kept in control by consuming foods that are low in fat and sodium. One cup of taro gives only 20 mg of sodium that helps to maintain kidney problems and fluid retention.
Taro is one of the best sources of Vitamin C, since one cup of taro can give 11% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. This acts as an antioxidant to remove toxins from your body and detoxifies it (4).
Vitamin C in taro is useful in regenerative functions and boosts the immunity of the body.
9. Low Glycemic Index Food
Taro root has a Low Glycemic Index (6). This helps to break down glucose in the liver slowly and aids in weight loss and lowers blood sugar. This is also useful for hypoglycaemia as this provides long lasting energy.
10. Aging Process
This is a very nutritious food that contains many Vitamins – A, C, B, minerals like copper, manganese, zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium, potassium, beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin. All these are good antioxidants that are useful to protect against diseases and slow down the aging process. This also contains protein and is gluten-free, cholesterol-free and low in sodium too.
Taro is very high in Vitamin A that has more than 160% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A. The leaves and roots of taro contain polyphenols which are great antioxidants to protect even from cancer (7).
12. Muscle Health
Taro contains Vitamin E and magnesium that can protect you from cancer and heart disease (8). This also helps to maintain your blood pressure and is helpful for fluid regulation. Taro roots contain magnesium which is vital for muscle, bone and nerve health.
13. Amino Acids and Omega-3 Oils
Taro root has more than 17 different amino acids that are essential to maintain good health (9). This also has Omega 3 and 6 oils which are required for maintaining cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, and other diseases.
Taro roots and leaves both have great flavors. They can be cooked and impart a nutty flavor, whereas the leaves taste like cabbage. Taro roots are used to prepare curries, fried for chips, cakes, roasted, boiled, steamed, pureed etc.
Now you know how taro benefits your health, let’s look into its nutrition data.
Taro Root Nutrition Facts
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.20 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4.1 g||11%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.303 mg||6%|
|Vitamin A||76 IU||2.5%|
|Vitamin C||4.5 mg||7%|
|Vitamin E||2.38 mg||20%|
|Vitamin K||1 µg||1%|
Infographic: Top Reasons To Have Taro Root
The great nutritious richness of taro root makes it a pantry staple. It also serves as a good substitute for fellow underground vegetables (like the potato). While the aforementioned article highlighted all the benefits of having this wonderful root, we’ve selected some of the important ones here. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the top health benefits taro root offers.
Taro root is popular because of its unique nutty flavor. It is used in many delicacies worldwide like taro milk tea, taro chips, poi, etc., and is loaded with beneficial nutrients. Taro root can reduce fatigue, aid in weight loss, and improve digestive, heart, and muscle health. It also helps boost immunity, reduce the risk of cancer, and slow down aging thanks to its vitamins A, B, C, and many minerals. In addition, taro root can effectively manage hypertension. It has antioxidant properties and is a low glycemic food. Try including the root in your diet in moderate amounts to reap its many benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is taro healthier than potatoes?
Why is taro root toxic?
The leaves and corms of taro are poisonous due to the acrid calcium oxalate in them if consumed raw.
Can taro root cause kidney stones?
Yes, taro root can cause kidney stones. In addition, the presence of oxalates in taro can increase the risk of kidney stone formation (11).
Is taro a superfood?
Taro root is packed with fiber and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and is considered a superfood.
What happens if you eat raw taro?
Taro roots should never be eaten raw due to the presence of calcium oxalate. It can cause an itchy mouth and throat if consumed raw.
- Taro (Colocasia esculenta), also called elephant ears, elephant yam, cocoyam, kalo, gabi, malanga, satoimo, eddo, or dasheen, is a root vegetable mostly utilized in international cuisines.
- Nutrients like dietary fiber, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin C are present in taro.
- Consuming taro improves digestive health, increases immunity, and lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases, among other health advantages.
- Taro is very beneficial for those trying to reduce weight because it is low in calories and fat.
- Taro enhances intestinal health, lowers blood sugar levels, and avoids constipation.
- Taro reduces blood pressure, increases cholesterol levels, and lowers the risk of heart disease.
Taro root has many amazing benefits and uses. Explore how this nutritious root vegetable can become a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of dishes while improving your health.