Gari adds a lot of health benefits to human health which is not just limited to giving energy to the body. There are some other important nutrition it contains that surprisingly adds benefits to health and lifestyle which many people may never have come across.
Gari has many nutritional contents. The minerals and vitamins contained in gari and other cassava derivatives like flour, abacha etc., are not limited to iron, manganese, calcium, sodium, magnesium, thiamin, copper, ascorbic acid, zinc, vitamin A and potassium. It also contains dietary fibre, protein, lipids, and more.
Gari is rich in high fibre content which helps in the digestive health. Gari can be soaked in cold water with milk to make it creamy, and when consumed the fibre content in it helps to make one fuller, helps in quick digestion and sustains one from hunger for some time, and also eliminates the chances of constipation.
Fibre content in gari helps in weight loss as it reduces appetite and as well reduces the chances of other health conditions such as heart and other cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
But in as much as the fibre is good for the digestive system, taking too much of it can cause stomach cramps or bloat.
Cassava contains starch which is known as resistant starch because it doesn’t get absorbed fully in the digestive system, it is beneficial to the body because it helps in removing some of the particles of cholesterol present in the system after it gets attached to them thereby acting like a soluble fibre.
Because of this, eating of gari helps in the reduction of glucose in the blood.
The contents of most of the minerals and vitamins in gari might be low but it is also a good source for other minerals it contains such as copper and magnesium which help in keeping the immune system healthy.
These minerals also play a vital role as it contributes to the maintenance of healthy bones, nerves and the immune systems.
Some people may not know that while consuming food that has good amount of copper that they are maintaining healthy and functioning nervous system and on the other hand lower the risk of getting osteoporosis.
Gari also contains the compound known as bakarotennya, this compound helps to prevent blindness. The presence of an important vitamin (vitamin A) in gari helps in the prevention of poor sight as well, as far as it is consumed in moderation.
Most importantly the gari has to be processed well to avoid eye problems which are caused by the cyanide present in not-to-well processed gari especially and when consumed in large quantity and can also irritate the intestinal bowels leading to or worsen the case of ulcer because of its acidic nature.
It has been noted from researches that Gari has 360 calories of which 99% is Carbohydrate. It is actually the number of calories in food that measures the unit of energy contained in that food.
Soaked gari known as “garium sulphate” in English provides a certain amount of energy as mentioned above which the human body needs to maintain daily health and life. It also provides a good cooling effect to the body in hot weather when soaked in cold water with milk.
The nutrients in it and the combination of milk in cold water makes it creamy and chill the whole body after consumption. Gari in this form energizes the body quickly and makes the system to relax in a calm way.
This might have never been heard of by many people and therefore it may seem too difficult to believe, but this is just a fact you have to note down from reading this article.
Experiments have shown that the presence of B17 vitamin (Amygdalin) and fibre in gari help to stimulate the red blood cell and prevent the stomach from cancerous diseases.
Studies have shown that one cup of gari contains up to 15% of folate that the body requires in a day as well as 47% of the body’s calcium requirement.
Folate has an integral role to play in pregnant women in the aspect of foetal development and helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. That is helping to minimize age-related illnesses that progress faster in the human body and may cause the loss of sight.
Gari is a gluten-free food because it does not contain the combination of proteins found in wheat and related other grain foods.
Therefore, gari can be eaten by people with celiac disease (affects the intestine) or those who are sensitive to gluten. Foods that contain gluten irritate their guts and in most cases damage their small intestine.
Gari is one of the popular foods which predominately originated from the processing of Cassava which is one of the main sources of carbohydrate and a staple food too as it is widely grown and has a lot of its derivatives which serve a larger purpose in both industrial food processing and commercial use.
Just as gari (cassava flakes) can be gotten from cassava, there are also other food products which can be processed from it such as Fufu (Akpu or Santana), it can as well be processed into Bobozee (commonly known as Abacha Mmiri) and chips for snacks