In Hawaii, Taro is the staple food.
It is referred to as a life giving food and as a “spiritual brother of mankind”.
In some countries, it is a traditional staple. In other countries, it is a delicious foreign vegetable.
Taro root is a starchy root vegetable originally cultivated in Asia but now enjoyed around the world. It has a brown outer skin and white flesh with purple specks throughout. When cooked, it has a mildly sweet taste and a texture similar to potato.
It is low in glycemic index.
Food with low glycemic index is broken down and absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream. This helps in providing the body with a continuous supply of energy making it the excellent vegetables for runners. It is slightly higher in calories but by having a low glycemic index, it doesn’t cause the blood sugar level to spike up unlike the potato.
It prevents cramps.
Muscle cramps are of the common side effects of decreased potassium levels. Consuming foods high in potassium has been correlated with decreased muscle cramping and improved muscle strength. Taro root proves to be the super vegetable by consisting of 615mg of potassium.
It is rich of Omega-3.
Taro root has a total of 18.5mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and 42.2mg Omega-6 fatty acids. The presence of these essential fatty acids also helps make the muscles stronger. Omega-3 fatty acids speed up protein synthesis and help prevent brittle bones.
It stops those sneezes.
The severity of long distance running often temporarily exhausts the body. During long runs, the stress hormone known as cortisol is expressed and released and this associates in a suppression of the immune function in copious amounts. Hence transmission of cold viruses is unavoidable. Fortunately, this is where the taro root comes in.
It is a perfect replacement of potatoes.
Getting bored of your usual potatoes or peas? Shake up those starchy recipes with homemade taro chips. You’ve had banana pancakes, chocolate chip and buttermilk pancakes. What about taro pancakes?
Taro Fun Facts!
- Never consume taro in its raw form. Raw taro contains tiny crystals of a substance called calcium oxalate which just happens to be a natural pesticide. Consuming raw or half cooked taro can cause an uncomfortable itching in the mouth and throat.
- Taro can actually be purchased in powder form which is the key ingredient in bubble teas and taro pancakes.
- In Hawaii, taro is known as “kalo” and in ancient Hawaiian culture, only men were permitted to work with taro!
- Hawaiians have cultivated over 300 varieties of taro!