Yautia is a plant in the Xanthosoma sagittifolium group and is in the Araceae family. Yautia planting usually aims to take the tubers, leaves and stems. Now, the yautia plant has become a cultivated plant in various parts of the world. At first, yautia is a plant that comes from northern South America. Yautia has many names such as American Taro, Arrowleaf Elephant’s Ear, Barbados Nut Eddoe, Cocoyam, Tannia, Yannia Leaf Spinach, Elephant Ears, New Cocoyam, Green Arrow Elephant Ears, Uyautia, Malanga, Yautia, Yellow Yautia, Yellow Ocumo and Yautia Tannia.
Yautia or American taro is a plant that likes tropical climates and includes herbs. The roots spread outward, tuberous, and fibrous. The fruit is a small and yellow berry. widely used in daily meals and various recipes.
Originally originating from northern South America, but then spread to the Caribbean, Meso America, then just famous to Asia, Africa and the Pacific region. Originally cultivated in northern South America, it then covered Africa in the mid-1800s. Now this plant is also cultivated in the Philippines and is known as Cuba and Puerto Rico.
American taro or Yautia or known as Xanthosoma sagittifolium is the oldest root crop in the world. During the Japanese government, this plant was brought to the Japanese archipelago, namely the Marshall Islands.
Yautia or American Taro is a perennial that grows to a height of 1.5 to 2 meters. This is a herbaceous plant, the leaves are arrow-shaped or like a “love picture” shape. The leaves have a length of about 90 cm and a width of 60 cm. The leaves are dark green, the stems are thick and the roots are tuberous in the soil. Taro or yautia tubers are white with orange and dark brown skin. While the color of the inside of the tuber is white.
Before we look at the health benefits of yautia, let’s look at its nutritional profile.
In one cup of yautia contains 132 calories, yautia tubers also provide other minerals, vitamins and lipids. The same size also provides 0.347 mg of copper, 31.9 grams of carbohydrate, 0.32 mg of Vitamin B6, 807 mg of potassium, 0.131 mg of vitamin B1.1.32 mg of iron, and provides 0.251 mg of manganese.
Best Health Benefits of Yautia
Now we see how the health benefits of consuming yautia. Yautia is the best food for those who have allergies, this food maintains blood sugar levels and increases energy for those who eat it. The benefits of yautia also manage the intestines and are able to keep blood pressure stable.
1. Thyroid problems
Yautia contains copper and copper is an essential mineral for thyroid function. The nutrients in these foods balance thyroid activity. In this role, copper works with other nutrients such as calcium, zinc and potassium. Consuming taro can also prevent hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Keep in mind that thyroid is a health problem that occurs because one of the minerals in the body is excessive. Well, this thyroid problem can cause significant weight loss or excessive weight gain. The thyroid can also cause fatigue, chang es in appetite, and changes in body temperature.
2. Benefits of yautia for the brain
Galactose and dopamine are hormones that are influenced by copper. This hormone maintains the body’s energy, good mood, focus and outlook. Copper is an essential mineral, whose deficiency can cause a person to experience fatigue, low metabolism, problems with concentration and related moods.
The benefits of copper are to help maximize the utilization of antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, tyrosinase, Vitamin C, and ascorbate oxidase. Meaning: copper also helps in fighting free radicals though not in a direct way. But to be able to get antioxidants that work properly, we must get enough copper in our daily diet.
Consuming copper-rich foods, such as yautia, can prevent free radical damage and slow down aging.
3. Promote mood
A study revealed that the vitamin B6 content in yautia has a serious effect on the production of GABA neurotransmitters and serotonin production in the brain. This hormone works by maintaining mood and preventing fatigue, anxiety, pain, and depression. So, the content of vitamin B6 is useful for preventing your mood disorders.
Vitamin B6 is also useful in producing hormones whose benefits are maintaining brain disease, mood disorders, and maintaining concentration.
4. Cure anemia
Furthermore, the health benefits of yautia are preventing and treating anemia. The content of vitamin B6 also has an important role in the production of hemoglobin in the blood. Red blood cells help distribute and transport nutrients and oxygen and mobilize iron.
Well, anemia is a health condition that occurs due to very few red blood cells. This condition causes pain, and fatigue. Consuming foods rich in vitamin B6 like yautia is good for getting more hemoglobin and preventing the symptoms of anemia.
5. Good for blood vessels
Furthermore, the benefits of vitamin B6 is to help regulate homocysteine in the blood. If the content of homocysteine in the blood is excessive, then what happens is inflammation, heart disease, and problems with blood vessels that cause heart attacks.
If there is no vitamin B6, then this homocysteine will develop in the blood. This can cause damage to blood vessels, leading to strokes and heart attacks. Homocysteine levels are reduced when vitamin B6 is taken in combination with folate. It also provides benefits for cholesterol levels and blood pressure, so consuming yautia is beneficial for preventing high blood pressure.
6. Heart ailments
Yautia also contains potassium which is responsible for regulating heart activity by balancing blood circulation, regulating heart rhythm, and blood pressure.
Research shows that a diet low in potassium and high in sodium can harm the heart. This can trigger various heart diseases including high blood pressure. Potassium deficiency in the blood can cause chest pain, irregular heartbeats and can even cause a sudden heart attack.
7. Kidney disease
The health benefits of yautia are also associated with kidney disease. Lack or low potassium in the diet can cause kidney stones and also the opposite relationship between calcium and potassium.
Kidney stones occur due to the presence of calcium deposits and these can be reduced in the urine to fight kidney problems.
The period of pregnancy must be high in iron content for pregnant women. Lack of iron intake during pregnancy is said to lead to premature birth or underweight babies. It can also cause other bad things at the time of the baby’s birth such as poor cognition and growth retardation.
Research says that iron intake is very important during pregnancy. This is useful for reducing the chances of babies being born with low weight and premature.
The next health benefit of yautia is as a detoxification of toxins. The job of the kidneys is to remove organic molecules from the blood, and this is important because they can free the blood and urine of toxic wastes. The kidneys and digestive organs depend on electrolytes such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and the balance of sodium, fat and water in the body.
10. Boost immunity
Yautia also contains vitamin B1 whose benefits are to tighten the muscles of the walls of the digestive tract. Another benefit is that it helps in the secretion of hydrochloric acid, this is important in the digestion of food and in the absorption of nutrients.
Traditional uses of yautia
- In peninsular Malaysia, large yautia leaves are used to reduce fever
- Palawan people use the sap of the flower as a medicine to heal wounds, ward off stings and insect bites.
- In northwestern Amaznia, the yautia or elephant ear plant is used as a snakebite remedy.