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Whole Grain Benefits

Yuca Nutrition: Benefits, Risks, Cooking Ideas and More



Yuca root is a nutritious vegetable that offers multiple health benefits and is a great choice for a gluten-free diet.

Credit: gustavomellossa / iStock / GettyImages

A hearty root vegetable, yuca root (also known as cassava) is native to Brazil but is grown in the tropical regions of the world. There are two types of yuca roots: bitter and sweet, although the bitter type is more commonly used, according to the USDA.

The starch of the yuca root is used to make tapioca, and the yuca itself is used in many different forms. It can be eaten whole and is also made into flour and snacks such as cassava chips.

According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension Home & Garden Information Center, it can be easy to confuse yuca with yucca, which is actually a perennial shrub or tree with sword-shaped leaves and white flowers.

Yuca contains several nutrients that are beneficial for general health, and yuca products (like manioctortillas) can also be a substitute for gluten-containing foods if you are on a gluten-free or grain-free diet.


Yuca root must never be eaten raw as it contains a poisonous acid that is destroyed when cooked.

Nutritional values ​​of the yuca root

One cup of yuca root is equivalent to a single serving. One cup of cooked yuca or cassava (prepared without oil) contains:

  • Calories: 213
  • Total fat: 0.4 g
  • cholesterol: 0 mg
  • sodium: 326 mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 50.5 g
    • Fiber: 2.4 g
    • sugar: 2.3 g
    • Added sugar: 0 g
  • protein: 1.8 g
  • Total fat: One cup of cooked yuca has 0.4 grams of total fat, including 0.06 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.09 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0.1 grams of saturated fat, and 0 grams of trans fats.
  • carbohydrates: One cup of cooked yuca contains 50.5 grams of carbohydrates, which contains 2.4 grams of fiber and 2.3 grams of naturally occurring sugar.
  • protein: One cup of cooked yuca contains 1.8 grams of protein.

Vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients

  • vitamin C: 20% of your daily value (DV)
  • copper: 14% DV
  • Thiamine (B1): 8% DV
  • potassium: 7% DV
  • magnesium: 6% DV
  • Niacin (B3): 6% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 6% DV
  • Folate (B9): 6% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 4% DV
  • zinc: 4% DV
  • phosphorus: 3% DV

Per 1/4 cup

Cassava flour

All-purpose flour

Whole wheat flour

Chickpea flour






Total fat

0 g

0.3 g

0.5 g

1.5 g


31 g

23.8 g

22 g

13.3 g


2 g

0.8 g

4 g

2.5 g


0 g

3.2 g

4 g

5.1 g

The health benefits of the yuca root

Yuca helps strengthen gut, heart, and skin health and can also be a good substitute for gluten or grain foods if you are on a diet that excludes them. Like other vegetables, yuca can be a nutritious part of a healthy and varied diet.

1. Yuca is great for gut health

Yuca contains resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and ferments in the colon and acts as a prebiotic to feed healthy bacteria in the intestines, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

“Resistant starch really is cassava fame because it basically serves as a food to support gut bacteria,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD. “And gut health isn’t just related to regularity and digestion, it’s also related to immunity, mood, and even cravings.”

Because resistant starch isn’t digested in the small intestine, it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. It also causes less gas than other fiber because it is slow to ferment and can help you feel full, treat and prevent constipation, and lower cholesterol.

When resistant starch is fermented in the large intestine, it leads to the production of short chain fatty acids – one of which is butyrate, which plays an important role in gut health, including reducing inflammation and helping the intestinal barrier function (which is involved in immunity). ), per a February 2020 review in Current Opinion in Biotechnology.

If you’re on a grain-free or gluten-free diet for medical reasons, yuca can be a nutritious addition to your meals – and there are several packaged options like cassava chips or cassava tortillas. “It’s a really good option to add more variety to your diet,” says Blatner.

“However, when you’re trying to get the vitamin C, potassium, and resistant starch in cassava, aim for a whole-food version like yuca fries as opposed to processed foods.”

Depending on the degree of processing, several nutrients can be removed or destroyed when peeling, heating or drying food, according to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Although nutrients are sometimes added to processed foods, it is impossible to restore the nutritional composition of the original food. This is why whole foods are generally considered healthier than processed foods.

It’s also important to remember that some gluten-free foods may be higher in fat, sugar, or calories than the gluten-containing foods they replace. When it comes to processed foods, always read the ingredients list to make sure your cassava snack doesn’t have any unwanted ingredients (like too much salt or added sugar).

3. Yuca supports heart health

Like other vegetables, yuca can be part of a diet that protects your heart. Each serving contains 2.4 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber.

The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 to 38 grams, according to Harvard Medical School, but most Americans only consume about 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day on average. People who consume high amounts of fiber can significantly lower their risk of heart disease and death from it, possibly due to the effects of fiber on reducing total and LDL “bad” cholesterol, according to a review of 31 meta-analyzes in IM Journal of Chiropractic from December 2017 Medicine.

Fiber can also benefit heart health by lowering blood pressure and inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, it helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

A serving of Yuca also provides 7 percent DV potassium. When you eat more potassium, you lose more sodium in your urine and reduce tension in your blood pressure walls, according to the American Heart Association. As a result, it can help you control high blood pressure.

Meanwhile, yuca is a high vitamin C food with 20 percent of your DV. Although the evidence is mixed, prospective cohort studies suggest that vitamin C intake is linked to lower risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Not only does vitamin C potentially protect your heart, but it also protects your cells in general from damage: “Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants that keeps your cells healthy,” says Blatner. “It’s also a precursor to collagen and is good for skin health and it’s an immune booster.”

Some people allergic to latex may also experience cross-reactivity with cassava, according to a May 2007 case report in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology.

Cross-reactivity occurs when proteins in one substance are similar to and produce a similar reaction to those in another. This can make certain allergies difficult to diagnose, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Talk to an allergist if you suspect you may have an allergy. Allergies can cause severe reactions, and in the event of anaphylaxis (a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction), you may need to carry adrenaline with you.

There are currently no known drug interactions related to Yuca. Discuss all drug and food interactions with your doctor.

It is important to peel and cook yuca before eating. Raw cassava contains a toxic acid that the USDA says must be removed by peeling and boiling the roots.

“Cassava always has to be cooked,” says Blatner. “It’s like a potato you wouldn’t think of eating raw.”

Yuca root preparation and helpful tips

Aside from fully boiling yuca before consuming it to remove harmful toxins, it’s important to store it properly. You can use yuca root in place of other root vegetables, and it’s an especially good substitute for potatoes.

Store the yuca root properly.If you have fresh, unpeeled yuca on hand, store it in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a week. Peeled yuca can be stored in water in the refrigerator for a month if you replace the water every two days, according to the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Yuca can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for several months.

Swap it for other root vegetables.If you want to add more yuca to your diet, use it in recipes that usually call for potatoes. “However, you usually enjoy potatoes the way you would enjoy cassava,” says Blatner. “It can be pureed like with mashed potatoes or cut into cubes for breakfast.”

Alternatives to yuca root

You can try several other types of root vegetables in lieu of the yuca root. Eat a varied diet with lots of root vegetables such as:

  • Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beets

You can even fry several together as part of the meal prep.

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Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News



For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.


  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.


Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.


  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.


Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.


The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.


  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.


  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.


  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.


  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.


  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.


If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at or 217-359-6500.


Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice



By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?



In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.


Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!


When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.


Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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