Cocoyam is a tropical plant notable for its edible starch corm, and leaf vegetable for stew. Its corm are an important source of starch and its leaf has a great amount of vitamins. All parts of the raw cocoyam plant contain a toxic compound, calcium oxalate, which is destroyed by cooking before consumption.
Cocoyam is very rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium. The leaves are good source of vitamins A and C and contain more protein than the corms. Cocoyam’s richness in vitamin B6 and magnesium makes it good for controlling high blood pressure and protecting the heart. It is good in diabetes management, due to its content of loose carbohydrate in form of starch rather than sugar. It is one of the finest source of dietary fibers; 100g flesh provides 4.1g. Together with slow digesting complex carbohydrates, moderate amounts of fiber in the food help gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
Cocoyam leaves as well as yellow-fleshed roots have significant levels of phenolic flavonoid pigment antioxidants such as B-carotenes, and crypotxanthin along with vitamin A, which is needed for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, slain and vision.Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. It contains good levels of some of the valuable B-complex groups of vitamins such as pyridoxine. (vitamin B-6), foliates, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin.
The corms provide healthy amounts of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese and good amounts of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Consumption of cocoyam is good for those who are trying to lose weight because of its low caloric and high fiber content. It is ideal food for cancer prevention. Cocoyam has low fat and sodium content, this makes it an ideal food for preventing hardening of the arteries, which is usually caused by eating foods that are heavy in cholesterol.