Malanga is also called yautia or cocoyam in English and is a starchy vegetable that is popular in African, South American, and Caribbean cuisines. The malanga plant (Xanthosoma atrovirens) has thick, fleshy leaves and mainly grows in tropical areas.
Malanga root is fleshy with brown, hairy skin. It has a mild earthy or nutty flavor resembling yuca and can be boiled, fried, mashed, grated, steamed, or baked.
Is malanga the same as taro?
People often use the words malanga and taro interchangeably, although they are not the same.
Although both malanga and taro have a similar taste and texture and belong to the same family of plants (Araceae), they belong to a different genus. While malanga is from the genus Xanthosoma, taro belongs to the genus Colocasia.
What is the nutritional value of malanga?
One and a half pieces of frozen malanga (110 grams) contains
- Energy: 88 kcal
- Total carbohydrates: 19 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Calcium: 29.7 milligrams
- Cholesterol: None
Malanga contains other minerals (such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, copper, and manganese), vitamins (such as B vitamins, vitamins C and A, and folate), and antioxidants such as quercetin.
7 health benefits of malanga
When eaten in moderation, malanga may have several health benefits:
- Heart health: Malanga is rich in fiber and antioxidants, which help regulate blood cholesterol levels and promote heart health. The potassium content in malanga helps regulate blood pressure, and the magnesium content helps regulate heart rhythm.
- Gut health: The fiber in malanga promotes healthy bowel movements, thereby preventing constipation and indigestion. It also promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which improves not only gut health but also overall immunity and keeps your sugar levels in check.
- Bone health: Malanga contains calcium, vitamin C, and phosphorus which help strengthen your bones. These nutrients may help lower the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
- Oral health: Vitamin C, calcium, and phosphorus in malanga help maintain good oral health, keeping teeth strong and preventing gum diseases.
- Reduces inflammation: Malanga is rich in various antioxidants, which help fight the oxidative stress that causes inflammation and chronic diseases such as cancer and arthritis.
- Weight management: As malanga is rich in fiber, it can help keep you full for longer, which can in turn help you reduce your calorie intake.
- Helps regulate blood sugar: The fiber content in malanga helps regulate blood sugar, and various antioxidants and vitamins help improve overall health in people with diabetes.
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