What is Yucca? Properties, Advantages and Disadvantages

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When it comes to slimming diets, people look for foods that can provide few calories, but at the same time provide satiety

Well, cassava or Manihot esculenta is a vegetable that has properties that are not only useful to maintain an ideal weight, but also provides vitamins and nutrients beneficial to the body.

In this article we will explain the properties, advantages and disadvantages of consuming sweet cassava, as it is also known. Let’s start!

What is cassava?

  • Scientific name: Manihot esculenta
  • Category: Species
  • Species: Manihot esculenta; Crantz
  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Malpighiales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

The scientific name of cassava is Manihot esculenta. However, its common name is sweet cassava or sweet manioc. This tuber is actually the root of a small tree that grows in dry climates

Some experts claim that this food can counteract world hunger, because it can be grown in almost any type of soil and resists drought. It is also cheap. It is widely consumed in Africa.

Its taste is somewhat similar to that of potatoes, but unlike potatoes, it is 90% starch, low in fat and protein. It is an ideal food for children and athletes.

Benefits and health properties of Yucca

  • It has a high percentage of fiber, fighting constipation and providing satiety.
  • It has gluten-free starch, so it can be consumed by celiacs.
  • It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B5.
  • It has minerals (magnesium, calcium and potassium).
  • It is an ally to lose weight or maintain body weight.
  • It gives energy.

Advantages of Yucca consumption

Yucca is popular in South American cuisine. Its delicious taste, easy cultivation and preparation allows it to be present in a great variety of dishes. Its popularity has reached Spain, and it is now available in several markets.

Although cassava has important nutritional values, it is not a complete food. This means that it must be combined with other ingredients in order to be healthy. Even so, the consumption of cassava offers benefits to your health

It is an ally to lose weight

Overweight patients can replace refined foods such as flour with sweet cassava. Its delicate flavor allows it to be easily combined with other low-calorie foods. Its fiber content reduces appetite.

It should be noted that this tuber does not contain fat. Therefore, it is an ally for slimming diets if it is consumed from 100 to 150 g in each culinary recipe

If it is consumed in high percentage in fried presentation or with foods high in protein, it can gain weight.

Improves digestive health

Cassava is a caress for the intestine, this is because it has a proportion of water that improves intestinal transit. In turn, the contribution of fiber and its antioxidant properties contribute to better digestion.

Strengthens the immune system

The contribution of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, strengthens the immune system. At the same time, it is an ally for patients with rheumatism, blood coagulation or skin problems.

Disadvantages of consuming cassava

In fact, this food is so healthy that it is very difficult to find disadvantages. However, there are certain precautions that should be taken into account before consumption.

There are two varieties of Manihot esculenta

Cassava can be either sweet or bitter. The two types of cassava are very similar and have a percentage of cyanide

Bitter cassava contains levels of cyanide or hydrocyanic acid that can be highly toxic and are not inhibited by boiling. They require a more extensive preparation process.

If cassava feels bitter when consumed, it should not be consumed any longer and a doctor should be consulted.

On the other hand, if when buying cassava in an authorized store, it does not soften in 20 to 30 minutes, it should not be consumed

Generally, bitter cassava does not soften when boiled. If it is consumed even so, adverse effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, disorientation and even death may occur if consumed in high quantities.

It should be consumed cooked

Sweet cassava also has a percentage of cyanide, but it is lower than bitter cassava, so it is only inhibited when cooked. Sweet cassava should never be eaten raw!

It can be boiled, fried, baked, etc., but it always requires a cooking process.

How should cassava (Manihot esculenta) be consumed?

Sweet cassava can be consumed in different presentations . In fact, there are countless culinary recipes that allow its consumption to be varied and delicious.


This is the most common method of consumption and is the basis of many recipes. First of all, the shell must be easily removed

Then, it should be placed in a pot of boiling water with a little salt (as it is done with pasta)

Generally, it softens between 10 and 20 minutes. It should be drained and consumed with parsley and lemon, in mashed form, etc.


To make the yucca dough, follow the same steps as above, i.e. boil it, but make sure it is not too soft. Once removed from the casserole, it should be drained and left to rest. In a food processor grind it. With this dough you can make pizzas, tortillas, empanadas, arepas, etc.


To make yucca chip, you must peel this tuber and slice it in very thin strips. Place in a frying pan with boiling oil. Serve with a delicious sauce. You can also fry the previously boiled cassava to make cassava sticks similar to potatoes.

Cassava cake

The cassava is made with bitter cassava. In fact, only in this presentation can bitter cassava be consumed

The cassava is crunchy round bread like a cookie. It is made by processing the cassava as flour and roasting it on a large griddle or pan

We consider this type of presentation to be delicate. Therefore, we do not recommend doing it at home, because a bad preparation can put your health at risk.

In short, cassava is a vegetable that provides health-promoting nutrients. However, it must be prepared correctly in order to avoid risks.

German Fuertes Otero
German Fuertes Oterohttps://www.google.com/search?kgmid=/g/11p5t5jsss
CEO at PharmaSalud.net. M.D. from Stanford Medicine: Stanford, California, US, M.Sc. from University of Cambridge: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK and University of Oxford: Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK. PhD at Harvard University Harvard Catalyst: Cambridge, MA, US.

Aunque pueda contener afirmaciones, datos o apuntes procedentes de instituciones o profesionales sanitarios y la información contenida en PharmaSalud esté redactada por profesionales en medicina, recomendamos al lector que cualquier duda relacionada con la salud sea consultada con un profesional del ámbito sanitario.

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