Published: 08/05/2018 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
Manioc (yuca) is a bush with roots, or brown tubers, with a white and meaty interior which is used to make tapioca. Tapioca is a kind of flour used to make all kinds of soup, crackers, breads, etc. It is a very nutritive food and contains no gluten, so it can be easily consumed by those who suffer from gluten intolerance (celiac).
Starch, or yuca flour (tapioca)
Generally used as a thickening agent in other foods, tapioca primarily serves as a flour substitute in baking, soups, and other things.
Contains many nutritious properties, of which stand out:
- Fats beneficial to the body (complex carbohydrates)
- B group vitamins
- Rich in vitamin C
- Rich in minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium
- Has digestive, emollient, and astringent properties
Tapioca is recommended for:
- People with poor digestion.
- Those who have intestinal issues.
- People who are recovering from illness.
- For children, as a sweet treat. It is very nutritive.
- Tapioca is great for all people, from children to adults, and can be used as a rice substitute. This dish is light and easy to digest.
- An excellent food for muscles, which is why it is recommended particularly for athletes or people who’s jobs require a lot of physical exertion.
Consumption around the world
Indigenous Brazilians are said to owe their strength and endurance to tapioca consumption. In the Amazons, it is also widely eaten in cookies, breads, etc. In the West, tapioca is obtained through a demanding and specialized process of washing, peeling, cutting, and grinding, into a fine and pulverized paste.
Yuca and the gluten-free diet
Yuca flour or starch is an essential dietary ingredient for people who are gluten intolerant. It provides a lot of energy, and is easy to digest. It has been proven, for example, that the stomach must make an extra effort to create more secretions in order to digest other flours, than to digest tapioca flour.
Where do I get it?
It’s important to make sure that when you purchase tapioca, that it is good quality. Make sure it is packaged and guarantees purity (100% yuca), because some manufacturers mix the composition with potato flour. Organic tapioca is the ideal. Tapioca can be found in naturist or health-food stores.
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