Cocoyam is one of typical tropical tuberous root crop. Popularly know with its high nutritional values and more tolerant in low soil fertility more resistant to drought, pests and diseases, when compared with others like cassava, potato and yam. Cocoyam is a member of the Araceae family, also an ancient crop grown throughout the humid tropics for its edible corms, cormels and leaves, as well as for other traditional uses.
Cocoyam is a semi-domesticated, half-wild crop, sometimes being planted and often growing naturally. It is often seen in our backyards and on the shores of cultivated fields. In term of production, Nigeria is known as largest producer of Cocoyam in the world.
Although cocoyam it is unlikely to find in a supermarket, it is quite possible that you find a lot of it in Market place , especially where wide Agricultural food prodult is been sold. There are many varieties of cocoyam but the most common are the soft variety used mainly as soup thickeners and the yam-like variety that can be boiled in a short time and eaten with.
PROPERTIES OF COCOYAM ·
Each 100g of cocoyam contains:
- Energy (Kcal) – 34
- Carbohydrate – 5.4g
- Protein – 2.9g
- Lipids – 0.9g
- Fibers – 4,5g
- Calcium – 142mg
- Magnesium – 38mg
- Phosphorus – 53mg
- Iron – 1.9mg
- Sodium – 1mg
- Potassium – 290mg
- Zinc – 0.6mg
- Vitamin B2 – 0.10mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.10mg
- Vitamin C – 17.9mg
COCOYAM HEALTH BENEFIT
- Good for keeping eyes healthy.
- It significantly helps the immune system and the production of collagen.
- It contributes to the metabolism of nutrients.
- Good for red blood cells and oxygen transport.
- It contributes to the maintenance of healthy bones.
- Meaningful contribution to a healthy heart and brain.
- Antioxidant activity, protecting cells and organs.
- Helps in muscle function.
- It controls bowel functions and reduces the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
- It has the purifying, emollient and healing properties, removing scarring of ulcers and even softening cases of leprosy.
Other helth benefit of cocoyam includes
DECREASES ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS
With large amounts of vitamin B6 , its consumption decreases the symptoms that rheumatoid arthritis can cause, which consequently are caused by lack of the vitamin
HELP AGAINST CRAMPS
cocoyam is rich in potassium. It automatically reduces cramp problems and improves muscle strength
HELPS ORAL HEALTH
It rich in phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D, an excellent mineral for bone health and dental and gum care
IT IS RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
The cocoyam has several antioxidant properties , such as vitamin A and vitamin C , as well as other phenolic antioxidants, which stimulate the immune system and eliminate free radicals in the body
In addition, the antioxidants contained in this tuber diminish premature aging, leaving skin and hair much more beautiful.
STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
By having vitamin C , there is the stimulation of the immune system, which thus creates more white blood cells and defends the body from unknown agents.
HELP IN DIGESTION
Rich in fiber , it can help in the formation of fecal loaf and its release by the body , in addition to improving all gastrointestinal health.
IT ALSO IMPROVES VISION
The antioxidants that also complete the cocoyam are beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin, which help improve the quality of vision and decrease the action of free radicals in the cells of the eyes.
It FIGHTING DIABETES
With its digestive system in perfect working order, the fibers also help lower the insulin and glucose peaks in the body .
BALANCES BLOOD PRESSURE
For reasonable amounts of potassium in its formula, it decreases the possibility of stress and pressure in the blood vessels.
HELP IN WEIGHT LOSS
Because it contains very few calories and amounts of saturated fat, cocoyam is great for those who want to lose weight, because it gives energy and satisfies hunger.
HELPS PREGNANT WOMEN
cocoyam has folic acid, which is great for women who are pregnant, as it helps in the health and development of the fetus, in addition to preventing congenital diseases.
IT’S GREAT FOR BONES
cocoyam has a considerable amount of calcium – mineral needed to maintain bones and teeth.
The cocoyam has a lot of iron in its composition, a mineral that combats fatigue, fatigue and anemia , which are generated precisely because of the lack of this item in the body
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COCOYAM AND YAM
The leaves of the cocoyam are edible and tasty, but they look very much like those of the yam, that can not be ingested.
Also the leave of cocoyam are more bigger than that of yam
From the yam, only the potato, which has many nutrients, is ingested. In this way, what differentiates them is the position of the stalk in the leaf. In the cocoyam, the tear on the leaf goes to the stem.
The total use of the cocoyam is also another favorable point. The planting of the cocoyam and the yam are the same, happening in the same conditions of warm and humid climate with full sun.
Other Names for Cocoyam
Cocoyam in Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon English-speaking
Yam in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Portugal
White yam, taro, taro in Portugal (the leaf of taro is similar to taro)
TAIA in southern Brazil
Yam and Chinese yams in other Brazilian regions
Qolqas in Arabic
Taro in Russian, German, Dutch, French and in Polynesia
Aronille in French
Arvi, kachalu, ghuiya in Hindi
alcocaz and otoe in Spanish
Colocasia, taro di egito in Italian
Sato-imo in Japanese
Toran in South Korea
Khoai mon or khoai only in Vietnam
Dalo in the Fiji islands
Nduma in kikuyu
Amadumbe in zulu
macabo among the French speaking in Cameroon
Yautía in Puerto Rico
Keladi in Malay
Gabi in tagalogue, in Philippines