Yucca root (Manihot esculenta), also spelled “yuca,” is the same as cassava root. It originated in South America, although it is now widely eaten in Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean. Yucca root produces tapioca flour. It can be eaten in a number of ways and is often used in place of potato, or in a fashion similar to potato, since its starchy texture and mild taste is much the same.
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A 1-cup serving of yucca has 330 calories, with just over 1/2 gram of fat per serving. It also has almost 3 grams of protein, over 78 grams of carbohydrates, almost 4 grams of dietary fiber and 3.5 grams of sugar. A 1-cup serving also has 29 milligrams of sodium. Yucca root is commonly served boiled, baked or fried, often with other accompaniments. Both the cooking method and the accompaniments it is served with can increase the macronutrient content of the final yucca dish.
Potassium circulates throughout your body. It is important for skeletal and muscular contractions and conducting electricity within the body. A diet rich in potassium can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis, particularly in women over 40. With 558 milligrams of potassium per 1-cup serving, yucca root has almost 12 percent of the adequate intake for adult men and women, who need 4,700 milligrams per day. It has almost 11 percent of the adequate intake for pregnant and breast-feeding women, who require 5,100 milligrams per day.
Vitamin C is more than just a natural antioxidant and immune system booster. It is also crucial to your body’s ability to produce collagen, an essential protein for maintaining healthy skin, hair, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. In addition, vitamin C helps your body heal from injuries and keeps your bones and teeth healthy. Adult men should consume 90 milligrams of vitamin C each day, while women need 75 milligrams. Pregnant and breast-feeding women require more -- 85 milligrams and 120 milligrams, respectively. A 1-cup serving of yucca has 42.4 milligrams of vitamin C, providing roughly half of the total requirement for adult men and women and 35 percent of the requirement for breast-feeding women.
Folate in Yucca
Folate, a member of the B-vitamin group, is especially important for pregnant women because it can reduce the chance of your fetus developing certain birth defects. Folate also reduces the risk of anemia and helps your tissues to grow and your cells to work. As part of the vitamin B group, it provides support to your immune system and helps your body break down carbohydrates into energy. Adult men and women require 400 micrograms of folate per day, while the adequate intake for pregnant and breast-feeding women is 500 micrograms. A 1-cup serving of yucca contains 56 micrograms of folate, which provides between 11 percent to 14 percent of the recommended amount.