14 Amazing Benefits Of Taro Root And Its Nutritional Profile

Starchy, nutty, and packed with fiber - this healthy root has captured hearts worldwide.

Reviewed by Nilofar Pendhari, Certified Clinical Nutritionist Nilofar Pendhari Nilofar PendhariCertified Clinical Nutritionist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , B.Desgn, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition Tanya Choudhary B.Desgn, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition twitter_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Moksha Gandhi BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Experience: 2 years
 • 

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.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Taro Root

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.

How Often?
A cup of taro can provide about a third of your daily required manganese intake.

Caution
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!

Taro Root Benefits

Benefits of taro root

Let us look at the top 14 benefits of taro root vegetable:

1. Reduces Fatigue

Reduces-Fatigue
Image: Shutterstock

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).

3. Digestion

Digestion
Image: Shutterstock

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

Heart-Health
Image: Shutterstock

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.

6. Hypertension

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.

7. Antioxidant

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).

8. Immunity

Vitamin C in taro is useful in regenerative functions and boosts the immunity of the body.

protip_icon Trivia
Taro contains tarin which can modulate the immune response and boost immunity in healthy individuals or people with leukopenia (low white blood cell count) (5).

9. Low Glycemic Index Food

Low-Glycemic-Index-Food
Image: Shutterstock

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.

protip_icon Fun Fact
As per Hawaiian legends, taro was the stillborn child of a Goddess. The taro plant grew from where the child was buried. The plant is considered an ancestor of Hawaiian people.

11. Cancer

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.

14. Cooking

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.

Yogi Cameron, a YouTuber, and a guest Yogini who frequents his vlogs talk about the benefits of taro root and how they use it in their cooking as a replacement for potatoes. The Yogini says, “ I started using it and potatoes aren’t around much anymore because they totally surpassed the potato with taste, with their benefits, and their medical properties (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
Raw or undercooked taro may cause an itchy mouth and throat as it contains calcium oxalate. Therefore always ensure to cook it properly.

Now you know how taro benefits your health, let’s look into its nutrition data.

Taro Root Nutrition Facts

PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy112 Kcal6%
Carbohydrates26.46 g20%
Protein1.50 g3%
Total Fat0.20 g
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary Fiber4.1 g11%
Vitamins
Folates22 µg5.5%
Niacin0.600 mg4%
Pantothenic acid0.303 mg6%
Pyridoxine0.283 mg23%
Riboflavin0.025 mg2%
Thiamin0.095 mg8%
Vitamin A76 IU2.5%
Vitamin C4.5 mg7%
Vitamin E2.38 mg20%
Vitamin K1 µg1%
Electrolytes
Sodium11 mg
Potassium591 mg12.5%
Minerals
Calcium43 mg4%
Copper0.172 mg19%
Iron0.55 mg7%
Magnesium33 mg8%
Manganese0.383 mg1.5%
Selenium0.7 µg1%
Zinc0.23 mg2%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß35 µg
Carotene-α0 µg
Cryptoxanthin-ß20 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin0 µg

Learn how to avail the nutritional benefits of taro root from the simple yet yummy recipe listed below.

Taro Root Recipe

Taro Root Masala Fry

Taro root masala fry
Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 250 grams of taro root, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of garam masala
  • 2-3 coriander sprigs for garnish
  • Salt, to taste

How To Prepare

  1. Heat up the oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
  2. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, letting them heat up until they splutter.
  3. Add the sliced taro root and salt and stir. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the powdered coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili, mixing well until the taro root is coated with them uniformly.
  5. Add some water if the taro root starts sticking to the pan, and keep frying for 20 minutes until well-cooked.
  6. Sprinkle garam masala and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

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.

top reasons to have taro root (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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?

Yes, taro is healthier than potatoes. One hundred grams of taro contains more fiber compared to potatoes, which helps improve digestive system functions (9), (10).

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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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_illustration

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

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.

Personal Experience: Source

Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
Nilofar Pendhari

Nilofar PendhariCertified Clinical Nutritionist

Nilofar Pendhari is a physiotherapist, dietitian, and certified clinical nutritionist having over 9 years of professional experience in the field of dietetics. She specializes in providing effective diet plans for her client’s fitness and weight loss goals. She also provides customized meal plans for weight loss/weight gain through online consultations. Nilofar Pendhari did her bachelors in physiotherapy (BPth) at DY...read full bio

Latest Articles