Tapioca is a dietary staple from different countries all over the world. It came from a root vegetable which is the cassava root where its starch is extracted. There are some debates about the use of tapioca in pregnancy, some say that it is just like an ordinary flour that has no nutrients but some people, mostly dieticians would always front its beneficial effects.
Tapioca is a good substitute for wheat and other corn-based products that are the major source of fiber. You can make different kinds of healthy dishes out of tapioca powder so as to maximize the nutrients that you can obtain from it as well from other food sources. In this article, we’ll know more information about tapioca and its beneficial contributions to pregnancy as well as its side effects.
Is it safe for pregnancy?
There are studies that show tapioca is considered as an empty calorie because it provides energy without the essential nutrients. A fresh cassava root may contain nutrients that are beneficial for pregnancy but the amount of these nutrients are not enough to fill in the nutrients needed. It only contains little amounts of nutrients and as it undergoes the process of tapioca making or different cooking styles, these nutrients slowly diminish that is why there is a possibility that the final product does no longer contains any beneficial nutrients aside from carbohydrates.
You may need to eat at least one cup of tapioca consumption a day for you to be able to get something from it but when you are pregnant, it is not advisable to eat tapioca products every day. Different foods or delicacies that are made from tapioca is safe for pregnant women as long as it is prepared correctly and cooked properly. Even though it is safe for consumption, it is still advisable to consume it in moderation. If you are pregnant, it is still important to have a balanced diet where you can get all the needed nutrients you need to thrive and be healthy.
Health benefits of tapioca to pregnancy
- It contains a sufficient amount of carbohydrates that is suitable food for you to start the day. It has the ability to boost your energy making it suitable for breakfast. This is a source of instant energy that will not let you feel exhaustion or too much tiredness that is usually experienced by pregnant women.
- If the pregnant woman is experiencing some deficiencies, losing weight rapidly is one of the symptoms. Doctors would always recommend that it is still necessary to regain the weight. The consumption of tapioca helps you gain weight because of the carbohydrates that it contains.
- Research shows that tapioca has cooling properties in the digestive system that is good for digestion. Pregnant women are prone to constipation. Since tapioca improves digestion, constipation is prevented. Acidity and heartburn are also avoided.
- Tapioca is not only enriched with carbohydrates but it also has Vitamin B complex and folate which are the nutrients most needed by pregnant women to avoid deformities of the unborn babies.
- It is high in resistant starch that helps in maintaining the blood sugar level because of its ability to improve insulin sensitivity.
What are its side effects on pregnancy?
- Although it helps in digestion, it contains anti-nutrients that has the ability to block the absorption of nutrients and minerals. For those who overly eat foods with tapioca, instead of weight gain, you’ll notice that eventually they will experience rapid lose weight.
- Raw cassava roots may contain chemicals such as cyanide that may lead to cyanide poisoning when overly exposed which is totally harmful to both the mother and the baby because it is fatal.
- Pregnant women are not allowed to take in high amounts of calories because it may lead to overweight or obesity that causes other illnesses such as high blood sugar and heart ailments.
Nutrients found in tapioca
Tapioca contains different kinds of nutrients and minerals that are beneficial to pregnant women, although there are theories that the amount or level of these nutrients is not sufficient in providing your nutrient needs, it is still good to know that it contains beneficial nutrients instead of harmful chemicals. You may get the additional nutrients that will supply your daily needs from other food sources.
- Dietary fiber
Fiber is good for digestion. A cup of tapioca powder or pearls contains at least 1.5 grams of dietary fiber. Your needed supplies for dietary fiber on a daily basis is about 20 to 35 grams that is why you still need to eat other food sources rich in fiber.
One cup of tapioca powder or pearls contains at least 30 milligrams of calcium about 3% of the total percent daily need, it may not be a huge amount but it would still count.
About 8% of manganese can be obtained from one cup of tapioca powder or pearl. This nutrient helps in metabolizing cholesterol, carbohydrate, and amino acid.
You may get at least 2% of folate from one cup of tapioca powder or pearls. This is an important nutrient that prevents different kinds of conditions such as spina bifida and anemia.
Tapioca is quite a good source of iron because about 13% of the daily recommended value will be obtained from a cup of tapioca powder or pearl. Iron helps carry oxygen to all parts of the human body.
Facts about tapioca
- Tapioca is mostly made up of carbohydrates making it a good source of energy because it is considered as a pure starch.
- It contains different vitamins such as fiber, protein, and fats but its concentration is not enough to fill in the daily needed nutrients. Most of the nutrients found in tapioca only contain at least 0.1% per serving.
- Tapioca is considered as an inferior source of nutrients compared to flours and grains.
- It is a gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free. Tapioca powder is commonly used in different products that do not trigger any allergies.
- Tapioca is cholesterol-free that won’t cause any severe health condition such as atherosclerosis that leads to a heart attack.
- Cassava root contains harmful chemicals but these chemicals are eliminated when it is cooked properly or when it undergoes different processes through the use of different machines.