5 Benefits Of Taro Root: Reasons To Experiment With This Vegetable

Health benefits of taro root.
Taro root on wooden background

Native to the Asian subcontinent, the starchy and mildly sweet flavor of taro root works well when added to puddings, curries, pestos, and stews. To make things better, it also packs in nutrition. Here are the benefits that taro root provides:

1. Manages Blood Sugar Levels

If you’re trying to keep your blood sugar levels in check, stock up on taro root. A cup packs in 6.7 g of fiber, which makes up for 26.8% of your recommended daily intake, and can’t be digested in the body and, hence, has no impact on blood sugar levels.1 It also slows down the pace of digestion and absorption of other carbs, both of which also prevent large blood sugar spikes after meals. In fact, studies have found that patients with type-2 diabetes can lower their blood sugar levels by up to 10 mg/dl by consuming high-fiber diets.2 3


Taro also contains resistant starch that can’t be digested by humans and, as such, does not raise blood sugar levels. And since about 12% of the starch in taro root is resistant starch, it’s one of the better sources to prevent blood sugar spikes, especially in people with diabetes.4 5 6

2. May Aid Weight Loss

The fiber and resistant starch in taro might help you meet your weight loss goals. Research has found that people who eat more fiber have lower body weight and fat. This could be because fiber moves slowly through the digestive system, keeping you fuller for longer and reducing the number of calories you eat throughout the day. In addition to this, one study found that men who took a supplement containing 24 grams of resistant starch had lower total body fat and belly fat as compared to those that didn’t.7 8


In addition to this, animal studies have found that rats fed diets high in resistant starch had less total body fat and belly fat. This could be because resistant starch increases fat-burning in your body. That said, further research is needed to fully validate this benefit.9 10

3. Lowers The Risk Of Heart Disease

The fiber and resistant starch in taro root may also help reduce your risk of heart disease. Research has found that people who eat more fiber tend to have lower rates of heart disease. In particular, it was found that for every additional 10 grams of fiber consumed per day, the risk of dying from heart disease decreased by 17%. This could be due to fiber’s cholesterol-lowering effects. Taro root also contains more than twice the amount of fiber in a cup than what’s found in a comparable 138-gram serving of potatoes, making it an excellent source of fiber. The resistant starch in taro root has also been found to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.11 12 13 14 15


4. Boosts Gut Health

Considering the fact that taro root contains a lot of fiber and resistant starch, it might help keep your gut health in check. Since the body can’t digest or absorb fiber, it remains in the intestines.16 When it reaches your colon, it becomes food for the microbes in the gut and promotes the growth of good bacteria. When this bacteria ferment the fiber, they create short-chain fatty acids that nourish the cells that line your intestines and, in turn, keep them healthy and strong. Interestingly, in human studies, it was found that people with inflammatory intestinal disorders, such as ulcerative colitis, tend to have lower levels of short-chain fatty acids in their guts.17 18

In addition to this, one study conducted on animals found that diets rich in resistant starch improved colon health and decreased damage to colon cells.19 20


5. May Prevent Cancer

Taro root is packed with plant-based compounds called polyphenols (antioxidants) that may reduce the risk of cancer. One particular polyphenol, named quercetin, can kill cancer cells and slow down the growth of several types of cancer. It might also protect your body from excessive free radical damage that has been linked to cancer. One study linked taro extract with the slowed-growth of some types of breast and prostate cancer cells. However, further research is needed to fully validate this benefit.21 22 23 24 25