By: Victoria Adebayo
Garri is the flour of fresh starchy cassava root, it is one of the most affordable and popular foods in Nigeria. Despite its popularity, many Nigerians are not aware of its health benefits. In this article, we would be discussing the nutritional value and health benefits of garri.
There are two types of garri; The yellow and white garri, the colour and flavour of the garri depend on how long it has been fermented and the presence of palm oil.
Garri is a healthy meal and if combined with other ingredients like milk, fish, groundnut or made into eba and eaten with any soup. It can be served hot and savory or cold and sweet.
Fibrous foods have been shown to aid digestion. This is because the high fiber contents in these food helps bowel movements easier and faster. This is the reason why orange is recommended as an aid in indigestion due to its high fiber contents.
Furthermore, cassava is high in resistant starch, a type of starch that has properties similar to those of soluble fiber. Resistant starch feeds the good bacteria in your gut and promote digestive health.
Garri is very high in fiber and so can easily aid digestion and prevents constipation. To prevent constipation, taking the garri soaked in water is better than eating the granule without soaking it.
Yes, contrary to the popular and unproven rumors, eating garri does not lead to poor eyesight or blindness. In fact, garri contains a healthy dose of vitamin A — the vitamin that the retina in the eyes needs to function properly. Studies have shown that vitamin A is necessary for preventing myopia or shortsightedness in young teens.
In addition, there are many garri products that are fortified with nutrients such as vitamin A, which in turn, improves eye health.
Source Of Folate
Folate is one of the few less popular but important vitamins with lots of functions in the body. For instance, folate is necessary for red blood formation and healthy growth, and for pregnant women, the presence of folate can help reduce the risk of birth defects, especially those that occur in the brain and spine of developing babies.
Garri contains a good amount of folate. Taking a healthy amount of garri can easily substitute for your daily folate needs. Furthermore, garri is also a excellent source of copper.
Treats Dehydration Caused By Diarrhea
Garri can be used to treat mild to moderate dehydration caused by diarrhea. A study demonstrated that cassava-salt suspension could be effective in the management of acute diarrhea in infants and children.
Side Effects of Garri
There are also some potential side effects of garri, such as:
Cyanide poisoning: It is important to note that some garri processing plants are unsanitary and can easily introduce a high amount of cyanide which is harmful to the body. Cassava contains chemicals known as cyanogenic glycosides, and these chemicals can release cyanide in the body. Cassava must be prepared properly before it is consumed to prevent cyanide poisoning.
Could lead to weight gain: Although garri is moderate in calories, it is a high-carb food. And excessive consumption of eba or garri will lead to weight gain.
In conclusion, the above are some of the many health benefits of garri, so the next time you drink your garri or turn it into eba, you should have in mind that you are eating healthy food with lots of benefits for your body. Also, make sure you eat moderately, and consume garri that has been properly processed to avoid the side effects of garri.