Taro leaves are not clearly known about the benefits. Also, it was not widely used in the past. In this article, some facts about the history, benefits, and uses of this leaf will be revealed that can lead you to a surprise.
Botanically, taro leaves are classified as Colocasia esculenta, are discovered on a strongly developing perennial plant that can reach up to 6 to 7 feet in height as well as is a member of the Araceae family. It is also called with different names such as Alu, Dasheen, Elephant’s Ear, Kalo, Keladi, Luau, Malanga, and Taloes. In fact, there are about eighty-seven kinds and subspecies of taro have been recorded at the present. Moreover, the root of the taro plant is used for culinary and medicinal applications.
2. Origins and Development
Taro leaves as well as plants are originated from southeast Asia countries and some documents show that the plant was being grown before 5000 BCE. after that, it arrived in ancient Egypt and became an essential plant in Greece, Rome, and China. The taro plant was spread across many countries and areas such as Hawaii, New Zealand, America through colonization. Nowadays, taro leaves appear in the market of various regions such as Asia, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, the Cook Islands, the Caribbean, and tropical Africa.
3. Nutrition Values
In a cup of taro leaves (approximately 145 grams), there are some staple nutrition stats as below:
- Calories: 35
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: less than 1 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
Percent of vitamins and minerals (based on the Daily Value)
- Vitamin A: 34%
- Vitamin C: 57%
- Potassium: 14%
- Folate: 17%
- Calcium: 13%
- Iron: 10%
- Magnesium: 7%
- Phosphorus: 6%
4. Remarkable Benefits of Taro Leaves
Comprising anti-disease properties
Free radicals inside your body are molecules that harm the cells. Time over time, free radicals create inflammation inside your body that leads to serious diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and a heart condition. Taro leaves comprise a high amount of antioxidants that help to reduce the harm of free radicals. This is the reason why consuming taro leaves can prevent potential diseases.
Recommending for a balanced diet
Taro leaves include low energy, hence, it is a great option for those who are on the weight-loss diet. Plus, the nutrients present in the leaves support gaining weight in a balanced way. Another compound in taro leaves good for the weight loss process is fiber. It maintains the fullness longer and makes you eat less. Taro leaves are gradually used for replacing high-calorie food.
Improving the health heart
Taro leaves are classified in a vegetable category called dark leafy greens that consists of spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. A piece of research in 2016 pointed out that often eating dark leafy greens is linked to reducing approximately 15.8% risk of heart diseases. These vegetables, especially taro leaves, supply an excellent source of nitrates that support balance the of blood pressure.
Taro leaves, similar to almost all vegetables, include a high amount of oxalate. Some people should avoid consuming oxalate in food if they get the risk of kidney stones since oxalates are associated with the formation of kidney stones. While the amount inside other vegetables such as spinach, beans, or beets is too low to appear any poisonous impacts, taro leaves include higher content than others and can affect seriously health.
In fact, the younger leaves are, the more poisonous they are. To avoid the itchy condition or the poison, there are some methods you should do. To prevent itchy issues when touching the leaves, you just need to wear the glove (rubber or plastic accepted). Coming to the poison, you can cook the leaves for some minutes or bake them for around 30 to 60 minutes. Another way you can try is to soak taro leaves in water for 30 minutes or overnight. After removing oxalates, almost all the people can eat the taro leaves. However, the experts suggest that people who are at risk of kidney stones should completely avoid eating taro leaves.
Below is a common recipe that you can make with taro leaves called Laing (Taro Leaves with Coconut Milk).
Ingredients (for 5 to 6 servings)
- About 2 pounds of taro leaves
- ⅛ cups of shrimp (shelled)
- ¼ cups of pork loin, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- Minced ginger (optional quantity)
- Minced garlic (optional quantity)
- ¼ shrimp taste
- ½ cups of water
- 1 hot chili
- Salt and fish sauce to taste
- Sauté garlic, onion, ginger with pork loin, shrimp, and shrimp paste in oil.
- Stir them frequently before adding taro leaves and continue stirring.
- Add water and season with salt and fish sauce.
- Boil on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes
- Pour pure coconut milk and red hot chili
- Simmer and turn off the heat when the sauce is left a little. Enjoy hot.
Above is some information about taro leaves that you should know before bringing them to your kitchen. The leaves along with the root are a really good nutrient source for your body. You just need to balance the consumption amount and even ask for a doctor if you have condition linked to allergy.
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