All of us are familiar with tapioca pearls popularly known as Sabudana in Hindi. We have also used them in preparing sabundana khichdi and sabudana ki papad and many other culinary items.
These pearls are made from the starch of tapioca. Tapioca starch is extracted from the root of Cassava. These roots after going through a lengthy procedure in the factory the tapioca pearls are produced. Most of us assume these pearls to be a plant product but these are industrial product.
Tapioca contains all the essential vitamins, minerals like sodium, potassium, iron, and starch, carbohydrates and other nutrients.
- Those who opt to follow gluten free diet, tapioca is the right choice. It has a mild intolerance to gluten. Tapioca is made from cassava which is naturally gluten free.
- The protein in tapioca helps build strong muscles. This protein has healing powers too. Protein is essential for the human body and we mostly get protein from dairy products and fish, meat etc. But for vegetarians they have to depend on other sources of protein like cereals and some fruits, vegetables etc. Tapioca pearls or tapioca root contain protein. So regular consumption can fill in the void for vegetarians.
- The vitamins, minerals like iron and calcium help to build strong bones and improve flexibility. If tapioca is consumed regularly bones can be protected, developed and maintained as we age.
- If you feel tired and exhausted tapioca pearls give you instant energy as they contain carbohydrates. Tapioca is good for digestion. Take two table spoons of tapioca pearls and boil them in a bowl with two glasses of water. Keep stirring as the pearls stick to the base and may burn. After a while the pearls become transparent and the content in bowl thickens. Add little sugar to it and eat it. This gives you relief when you feel the muscles cramps in your stomach. Avoid adding milk for stomach cramps. It clears constipation and other stomach disorders.
- Tapioca pearls contain vitamin B- complex which is essential for the well being of our body. Any person who eats a poor diet for few months may end up with B group vitamin deficiency. These are important for the blood cells and they help in the development of foetal nervous system. Pregnant ladies need a diet rich in folic acid. It protects the new born from neutral defects.
- Iron in tapioca helps body make blood cells. Iron help maintain healthy immune system and ensure red blood cells deliver the oxygen throughout the body. Thus blood is carried to the various parts of your body. Iron helps produce other proteins in the body. Haemoglobin in the blood carries oxygen from the respiratory organs to the rest of the body. Iron deficiency leads to many health problems like dizziness, weight loss and irritability.
- Potassium in tapioca is an important mineral that reduces tension and stress of blood vessels and arteries. It helps in the proper flow of blood in the body and reduces strain on cardio vascular system.
- Tapioca pearls are used during the festive season by women folk who keep fast and pray. Food made of these pearls is light, gives energy and easy to digest. Include them in your diet and make delicious recipes.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna