Taro Root Benefits and Side Effects

Taro Root Benefits and Side Effects – taro root recipes

Taro Root Benefits and Side Effects – taro root recipes

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Taro Root Benefits and Side Effects

Health Benefits and Side Effects of Taro Root- Taro Root Nutrition

Taro root vegetable or Arbi as we better know it originates from Malaysia and India, where it grows wild in wet or dry places (1). The taro leaves are heart-shaped with white roots that are nutty in flavor. It can cause skin irritation when peeling.

What is Taro Root?

Taro roots belong to the Araceae family and are well known as Colocasia esculenta. Taro roots are said to have first originated in South India as well as Southeast Asia. It is a root vegetable which is used as a starchy corn.

The leaves of this vegetable are also used in many places such as India and the neighboring countries. Taro root benefits are one such vegetable crop that can be grown even in the flooded condition.

In fact, growing Taro plant in a flooded condition actually gives more yield than cultivating it in a dry area. Taro roots have many health benefits. In this article, we will know more about the health benefits of taro roots and a few disadvantages.

Taro is also known as ‘Arbi‘ in Hindi, ‘Chamadumpa‘ in Telugu, dasheen, Colocasia esculenta and ‘kacchalo‘ in Punjabi. It has many healing properties that are useful to get rid of many diseases.

The most common form is dasheen, and the plant is also commonly known as “elephant ears”, due to the shape of the broad leaves. The leaves, roots, and corms can be used as dietary ingredients, but the plant must be cooked. It is actually toxic in raw form, due to the high content of oxalates, but those dangerous substances can be eliminated when cooked with some baking soda or if steeped overnight. [2]

The reason that this plant is so widely used is due to the ease with which it grows and the size/sustenance it can provide. More than 11.3 million metric tons of taro plants/roots are cultivated around the world each year. Taro root is gaining popularity in certain health-conscious cultures and populations. Now, let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of taro root.

Nutritional Value of Taro Root

Taro Root Benefits and Side Effects

Taro root contains a wealth of organic compounds, minerals, and vitamins that can benefit our overall health in a number of ways. [3] It has a very significant amount of dietary fiber and carbohydrates, as well as high levels of vitamin A, C, E, vitamin B6, and folate, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. [4] There is magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and copper in it. The plant also provides some protein in your diet, but the amount is almost negligible.

Other minerals that are present in taro roots are copper (0.172 mg per 100 g), manganese (0.383 mg per 100 g), selenium (0.7µ per 100 g), zinc (0.23 mg per 100 g), and magnesium (33 mg Magnesium), iron (0.55mg per 100gms), and calcium (43 mg per 100 g). The electrolytes present in taro roots are potassium (591 mg per 100 gms) and sodium (11 mg per 100 g). Taro’s tuber contains complex carbohydrates (26.46 g per 100 g). Hence, it is an excellent energy booster. It is also rich in dietary fiber.

Health Benefits of Taro Root

The health benefits of taro root include its ability to improve digestive health, prevent cancer, improve vision health, and much more.

1. Taro Roots For Digestion

Digestion is one of the most concerned areas of many individuals. The junk foods and the rich foods that we include in our daily diet is often difficult to digest. Taro root benefits are helpful in digestion. Taro roots are high in fiber. This helps in providing nourishment to the stomach and prevents indigestion. It also protects the gastrointestinal health. Gastrointestinal health refers to all the health of all the organs that play a major role in digestion such as the stomach, liver, intestines etc.

Fiber helps to add bulk to our bowel movements, thereby helping food move through the digestive tract and facilitating improved digestion. This can help prevent certain conditions such as excess gas, bloating, cramping, constipation, and even diarrhea. A healthy, regulated gastrointestinal system can greatly boost your overall health and reduce your chances of various types of cancer.

2. Taro Root for Weight Loss

In a generation where people hardly get time to cook healthy food and eat, it is a part of their daily life to consume high calories which leads to an increase in weight. Eventually, with the advent of advanced technology, the physical activities of people have reduced largely and this is leading to a high rate of obesity or over-weight people. 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. Taro roots are rich in fiber and low in calories and hence it is very good for reducing weight. On consuming fiber the hunger and crave for other foods decreases and hence reduces high-calorie intakes and makes you feel full.

3. Taro Root for Skin

Skin plays an important role in beauty. As we age we get wrinkles and this makes us look older than our actual age. Taro root benefits for removing wrinkles and tightening the skin. Taro roots are hence known as one of the best anti-aging vegetables. Being rich in Vitamin A, C and E it gives the glow to the skin and also prevents pimples and acne by protecting it from the external harmful substances. Make a paste of boiled Taro root and add honey to it. Apply it on the skin and wash it after five minutes. This will help to wash away the pimples and pimple spots and help you have a glowing skin.

4. Taro Root For Heart

One cup of taro 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.

The heart is a vital organ of the body; hence it is essential to keep it healthy, always. However, modern lifestyle and diet have negatively affected the heart’s health. By making amendments to the diet and lifestyle people can significantly improve their heart’s health. For instance, to promote a healthy heart, people must consume good amounts of dietary fiber in their diet.

Also, taro root is rich in potassium that helps in controlling the heart pulse rate and relieves stress in the arteries. Also, potassium helps to regulate the blood pressure as it decreases the sodium’s effect on the body.

5. Taro Root Boosts Immune System

The immune system is responsible for fighting against diseases like common cold and flu. Therefore, it becomes mandatory to keep the immune system healthy. Taro root is an incredible source of Vitamin C – an excellent immunity booster. Regular consumption of Taro root will improve the levels of Vitamin C in the body and strengthen our body’ immunity against illnesses.

Immunity system is one of the most important systems of our body as it helps to protect our body naturally from the external harmful factors. Immunity system is like an in-build medicine that helps to protect the body from diseases.

6. Taro Root for Muscles

Muscles are one of the most integral elements of our body. Taro root benefits are rich in magnesium which is extremely good for muscles. It not only reduces muscle pains and cramps but also helps to make the muscles stronger.

It is also very helpful for athletes and people who work put because often during these physical activities there is a tear and break down of muscles. Taro roots help to recover the damage and give more stamina to the muscles.

7. Taro Root For 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.

8. Taro Roots Benefits for Eyes

Taro roots are rich in Vitamin A which is extremely good in enhancing eyesight. People who are suffering from low eyesight must consume a good amount of taro roots to reverse eye power.

Taro roots are also rich in anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene. The antioxidants can help to improve eyesight by preventing free radicals that prevent the formation of cataract.

9. Taro Roots for Pregnancy

Taro roots are extremely good for pregnancy as it is a rich fiber food. Fiber helps to prevent constipation and it is very necessary to prevent constitution during pregnancy.

Along with that, it is also rich in calcium and magnesium which helps in the proper bones and muscle development of the baby. Colocasia leaves during pregnancy as it helps to maintain a healthy and appropriate growth of the baby.

10. Diabetes Prevention

Dietary fiber can also help lower the chances of developing diabetes because it regulates the release of insulin and glucose in the body. [5] If you have a sufficient level of fiber, which taro root provides, then you can manage your glycemic levels and lower your chances of developing diabetes. If you have diabetes, then fiber-rich foods like taro root can help prevent the dangerous spikes and plunges in blood sugar.

11. Taro Root For Cancer Prevention

Diet plays a vital role in preventing and treating a disease like cancer. Chances of cancer significantly get reduced by consuming antioxidants- that shield the cells against damage. Taro root is a rich source of antioxidants like cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene.

These antioxidants may neutralize the free radicals present in our body. The free radicals are responsible for progressing cell damage that may lead to rapid cell mutation or cancer. Cryptoxanthin present in taro root reduces the risk of mouth and lung cancer.

Taro roots Disadvantages/Side Effects Of Taro Root

Taro roots comprise of calcium oxalate in a needle-shaped crystal form. This can produce a burning sensation and irritation when handled with bare hands or consumed in its raw form. Hence, one should wear gloves while cooking it.

Taro root consumption may cause the formation of kidney stones and gout, accompanied by some other health issues. Hence, proper boiling of the roots for an extended period is advised.

1. Taro Root Allergy Symptoms

Taro roots, though good for health has a strong side effect. People who are vulnerable to allergy can get an allergy from taro roots. Taro roots are toxic in nature and can cause severe burning sensations.

It is strictly restricted to eat raw taro roots as it often causes extreme burning in the mouth, throat, and heart. Some people who are prone to allergies often get burning sensation and itching sensation in the throat even when consumed cooked. Hence it is better to first taste a little and only then consume it.

2. Taro Root not Good For Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the blood sugar level in the bloodstream is extremely low. As taro roots are good for diabetes, it is to be kept in mind that a high consumption of taro roots can lead to a drop in the blood sugar level.

A sudden dip in sugar level can be extremely harmful and may even lead to paralysis. Hence, t is always better to avoid taking taro root or taro leaves in a large proportion.

3. Taro Leaves Poisonous

Some taro leaves are poisonous. Taro usually grows in flooded areas in loamy soil and often during flood there is a high breeding of organisms in such areas. These organisms can also be harmful and poisonous to health.

Hence, if taro leaves aren’t washed several times with hot waters it can be extremely dangerous to health. Avoid eating raw taro leaves as raw taro leaves have the same effect as that of eating raw taro roots.

4. Taro Skin Irritation

Taro contains high calcium oxalates in the form of a needle-shaped crystal. These can be very harmful when it is brought in contact with the skin for a long time. It can cause skin itching sensation and skin irritation if applied raw on the skin. It is however sometimes advisable to use gloves while cooking taro roots.

Make sure to avoid babies from touching raw taro roots as it can have even more dangerous effects on their tender skin. Hence it is always better to be cautious before using the taro roots. However, if well-cooked taro roots can give health benefits. Hence be cautious, cook well and stay fit.

Taro Root Recipes/ How to cook Taro Roots

Taro Root Benefits and Side Effects

How To Cook Taro Roots

Boiling Taro Root

Step 1
Scrub the taro roots clean under running water. Peel each root using a vegetable peeler. Cut into quarters or 2-inch chunks.

Step 2
Fill a medium-size cooking pan with water, adding a sprinkle of salt. Boil the water on the stove. Place all the taro root pieces into the water.

Step 3
Boil the taro root for approximately 15 minutes. Stick a fork into the root to check the softness. If soft, drain the taro roots in a colander over the sink.

Step 4
Drop a piece of butter on the mound of taro roots and serve while steaming hot.

Deep-Fried Taro Root

Step 1
Peel several large taro roots. Chop the taro roots into french fry-style shapes about 2 inches long and a half-inch thick.

Step 2
Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy pan until very hot. Put the chopped taro roots into the oil. You should hear a bubbling sizzle. Cook for four minutes, then remove using a slotted metal spoon.

Step 3
Rest the taro fries on a kitchen towel layered on a plate. Allow the kitchen towel to soak up some of the excess oil. Allow cooling for 30 minutes or more. Heat up the oil again just before you want to reheat the fries.

Step 4
Put the taro root fries into the hot fryer oil and allow to cook for a minute. Remove and serve hot with tomato sauce or other rich sauces.

Things You’ll Need

  • Peeler
    Deep fryer
    Vegetable oil
    Tomato sauce


Taro roots also mash well with a little butter and seasoning.

Avoid eating raw or undercooked — this could result in an upset stomach. Never deep fry in a shallow pan to avoid fires. Wear an apron and gloves when handling the deep fryer.

Taro Root Recipe

Arbi is also known as Taro root. Masala Arbi with a great blend of spices makes a very enjoyable side dish. This can complement any meal. Masala Arbi can be served with roti, paratha or puri.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 People

7-8 medium-sized taro root (boiled, arbi)
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/8 tsp asafetida (Hing)
1 Tbsp coriander powder (dhania)
1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi)
1/2 tsp red chili powder
2 green chilies (sliced)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mango powder (amchoor)


Wash arbi before boiling and do not over boil the arbi as they become very slimy. I prefer to boil arbi in a pot so that it is easy to check if they are cooked. Arbi should be firm, and knife should go through effortless.

Peel the skin and slice them into about 1/8” thick rounds. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix turmeric, coriander powder, and red chili powder with 1/4 cup of water to make a paste. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wide pan over medium heat, oil should be moderately hot, (when you add the cumin seed to oil it should crack right away).

Add carom seeds, and cumin seeds as cumin seeds crack add asafetida, Stir and add spice paste stir for about 30 seconds till oil start separating from oil.

Add green chili stir for few seconds.

Add arbi spreading over the pan, sprinkle the salt, and mango powder gently fold the arbi with spice mix, all the arbies should be coated well with spices. Making sure arbies are not sticking to each other.

Sautée them over medium heat till they are lightly brown both sides. Turning them occasionally gently. This should take about 8-10 minutes.

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Vivek Guru
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Hello Everyone,
My name is vivek guru,author of Health and beauty tips.I love to write on health and beauty tips to solve problems of many people.I try to write most reliable, simple and cheap natural methods for the treatment of any problems related to your health and beauty.

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