Is cocoyam in pregnancy safe? What about its fertility benefits? Does it have side effects? This post provides answers to the questions above, you shall discover them as we dive deeper
Health benefits of cocoyam in pregnancy
Is cocoyam in pregnancy safe? Yes, It supplies essential nutrients needed by pregnant women such as manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus, and magnesium. Eating cocoyam both leaves and corms is healthy and safe.
Source of Vitamin B6 for baby development
B6 vitamin is needed for the development of the baby’s nervous system and the brain.
Also, Vitamin B6 can equally help in curbing excessive feelings of nausea (morning sickness) and improve cognitive functions.
Vitamin E and C in Cocoyam boost the immune system
Improve and also protects the body cell from the impact of oxidative stress. Strengthens body immunity which is paramount for pregnant women. The two vitamins are strong antioxidants that can help the body fight disease.
May help maintain blood sugar level
Cocoyam contains resistant starch which does not increase sugar levels when consumed. It is healthier to eat more cocoyam during pregnancy than yam and other forms and tubers.
Cocoyam leaves and corms contain vital minerals and vitamins needed by pregnant women such as manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, and magnesium. Vitamin B6 is vital for the development of the baby’s nervous system and brain.
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Cocoyam and fertility
The fertility benefits of cocoyam are detailed below.
The Leaves of cocoyam have medicinal properties and may improve menstruation in females when they drink a decoction of the leaves.
Vitamins E and C found in cocoyam act as antioxidants for enhancing body immunity and sperm quality. 
In terms of the responsibilities it plays in enabling other minerals to function, this vitamin C and E are among the most important fertility booster.
C Vitamin may also boost progesterone levels in women who have luteal phase anomalies— a disorder marked by insufficient progesterone.
Vitamin B6 found in cocoyam helps to balance body hormones which are necessary for fertility. It helps treat irregular menstruation.
Vitamin B6 found in cocoyam helps to balance body hormones, correct irregular menstruation, and boost fertility. While C Vitamin may increase progesterone levels in women who have luteal phase anomalies
Cocoyam health benefits
Research reveals that cocoyam is the most nutritious among other major tuber and corms-based plants both in mineral content and the rate of protein digestion.
1. Supplies Important nutrients to the body
Cocoyam is a major source of most essential nutrients  needed in the body such as
Fiber, Manganese, Vitamin B6,
Vitamin E, Potassium, Copper, Vitamin C, Phosphorus, and Magnesium as indicated in a study. 
You can have your share of these nutrients by simply eating a delectable cocoyam porridge, and using the powdered extract as soup condiments.
2. Lowers Blood sugar level
Part of the starch found in Cocoyam is resistant starch — starch that can not be digested.
It may boost insulin sensitivity , lower the level of sugar in the blood, and decrease appetite due to their ability to resist digestion.
3. Offer protection against Cancer
Cocoyam contains important phytochemical
compounds such as tannin and phytate that have inhibitor properties against cancer.
A study indicates that this phytochemical called phytate may inhibit the growth of human leukemia cells, and colon cancer cells .
Another related study revealed that the extract of cocoyam may hinder the growth of a certain type of prostate and breast cancer .
4. Aid in weight loss
The intake of Cocoyam as food is may help in weight management due to the presence of resistant starch and high fiber contents.
A study indicates fiber is helpful in weight management as it makes you less hungry, hence the number of your calorie intake will decrease by .
Also, Cocoyam has a good quantity of resistant starch which stays longer in your belly and makes lowers your appetite.
5. Promote healthy heart
Potassium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium are essential minerals that may promote healthy bone and improve heart function.
Potassium can help stable heartbeats, while magnesium may help prevent certain heart diseases .
Cocoyam is a major source of the most essential nutrients needed in the body, including an important phytochemical known as phytate that may have inhibitory properties against cancer. Also, promote weight loss due to the resistant starch and high fiber content.
Economic importance of cocoyam
Uses of Cocoyam (Plant, Leaves, corms)
Source Of Food For Man And Animal
Cocoyam (Taro) has several uses, both the plant, leaves corms, and corms are beneficial as food and have medicinal value.
We eat Cocoyam as food
Both the corms and the leaves are nutrient-filled and serve as food.
- Cook as porridge: Peel desired quantity of the corms, slice them into pieces watch them, and use it a prepare a delectable porridge
- Soup condiments: Cook the corms and grind them into pasta with red oil use it as a soup condiment to prepare your nutritious meal.
- On the Go Snacks: Slice the corms into thin pieces then bake or fry them into chips. Cocoyam chips are tasty and nutritious and can be eaten anywhere anytime.
A source of ingredient for medicine
Leaves are source as medicinal ingredients.
Juice of petioles is used as an herb traditionally to stop bleeding and for treating Wounds. Also, the leaves may improve menstruation when taking smoothies and other uses you will discover as you go further.
Source of income
In most African countries such as Nigeria Cocoyam is part of the major source of livelihood for many peasants. It is cultivated commercially and sold in markets to generate money.
Is cocoyam a protein or carbohydrate
Cocoyam is a carbohydrate food who’s end product is glucose. However, this of type of carbohydrate does not rise sugar level because some part are resistant digestions.
Peel off the bark of the fresh corms wash a sundry, then grind it into powder which can serve various purposes such as;
- Cocoyam cake: The flour can be baked as cakes— mix with your baking ingredient and seasonings and pan fry until crispy.
- As Tea: Blend powdered flour with your tea ingredients and mix with hot water before you drink.
- Condiment for white soup: Popular white soup in most parts of Nigeria can be prepared using cocoyam flour.
Cocoyam (Taro) has several uses, both as a food and medicinal plant, cultivated and sold in markets to generate money. Its Leaves and the Corms can be eaten when cooked as food such as porridge, and powered extracts may be used as soup condiments, or even to prepare tea.
Cocoyam side effects
Despite the mouth-watering benefits and uses of cocoyam, here are possible side effects or downsides of consuming this food.
Excessive intake may prevent nutrients absorption due to the phytate
High intake may cause Skin Irritation.
Body contact with the sap from the leaves may cause scratchiness.
Avoid intake of half-cooked cocoyam as it may cause scratchiness in the mouth or throat.
The corms of cocoyam may not be safe for
people with joint pain, and high levels of acidity.
Cocoyam is nutrients packed plant with numerous health benefits, its side effects can be prevented if consumed moderately.
It can be eaten in several ways and even crunchy chips which are eaten as snacks on the go can be made from it.
Contain enough fiber and resistant starch both of which may lower the risk of heart conditions. It may also help against cancer due to phytate. Vitamin B6 in it may help pregnant women against nausea.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.