Taro root, also known as Colocasia esculenta, is a starchy root vegetable commonly consumed in many countries of the world. This food is highly nutritious and offers a multitude of health benefits. However, like all foods, taro root also has some disadvantages that should be taken into consideration.
In this article, I will discuss the disadvantages in detail and provide some helpful tips on minimizing the negative effects.
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How To Eat Taro & Enjoy Its Many Benefits
High in Carbohydrates
Taro root is a high-carbohydrate food. A 100-gram serving of taro root contains about 26.46 grams of carbohydrates. For people on a low-carbohydrate diet, this can be a disadvantage.
However, it’s important to note that taro root also contains a significant amount of fiber, which can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and prevent blood sugar spikes. Additionally, carbohydrates are essential for providing energy to the body, so they should not be eliminated entirely from the diet.
Taro root contains a high amount of oxalates, which can be a disadvantage for people who are prone to kidney stones. Oxalates bind to calcium and can form crystals that may lead to kidney stones.
To minimize the risk of kidney stones, it’s recommended to consume taro root in moderation and to drink plenty of water to help flush out any excess oxalates.
May Cause Allergic Reactions
Taro root contains proteins that can cause allergic reactions in some people. Allergic reactions to taro root can range from mild symptoms, such as itching and swelling, to more severe reactions, such as difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.
If you have a history of food allergies, it’s important to be cautious when consuming taro root and to seek medical attention if you experience any allergic symptoms.
Not Suitable for Raw Consumption
Taro root should never be eaten raw, as it contains calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate the mouth and throat. These crystals can cause a tingling or numbing sensation and may even lead to swelling or difficulty breathing.
To avoid these adverse effects, it’s important to cook taro root thoroughly before consumption. Boiling or steaming taro root can help break down the calcium oxalate crystals and make the vegetable safe to eat.
While taro root has many health benefits, it is not without its disadvantages. People on a low-carbohydrate diet or prone to kidney stones may want to consume taro root in moderation. Additionally, those with a history of food allergies should be cautious when consuming taro root.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of taro root without experiencing the adverse effects, it’s important to prepare the vegetable properly and consume it in moderation.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2019). Taros, raw. Retrieved from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168094/nutrients
- Kidney Stone Evaluation and Treatment Program. (n.d.). Oxalate-controlled diet. Retrieved from https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/oxalate-controlled-diet
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Food allergy. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20355095
- Lee, Y. L., & Hsu, C. C. (2018). Taro: A review of Colocasia esculenta and its potentials. Agriculture and Natural Resources, 52(4), 297-305. doi: 10.1016/j.anres.2018.11.00