In Ghanaian homes, where it is mostly pounded into fufu and eaten for supper by almost every family, cassava is a cherished staple food. In addition to being a great source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber, this starchy root vegetable is also filled with essential nutrients including vitamin C, thiamine, and potassium. There has been discussion regarding the potential health benefits of cassava, specifically its ability to improve skin and hair health. So, in this article, we will look at the scientific evidence supporting cassava's role in nurturing healthy skin and hair. Continue reading to find out more!
A Country Case Study of Cassava Development in Ghana Prepared by Ministry of Food and Agriculture Ghana in 2005 stated that, “Cassava is a major crop in the farming systems of Ghana. It is a main source of carbohydrates to meet the dietary requirement needs and a regular source of income for most rural dwellers and contributes substantially (22 percent) to the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP).” Given its large importance in the nation's agriculture and economy as a key source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and income for rural inhabitants, cassava's potential health advantages could have a big impact on the wellbeing and lives of Ghanaians. Therefore, it is essential to encourage cassava farming and development in the nation while simultaneously supporting research into and promotion of cassava use for its potential health advantages.
Cassava and Skin Health
Cassava's antioxidant properties have been shown to have potential health benefits for the skin. According to a study by Cardoso et al. (2017), beta-carotene, one of the carotenoids found in high concentrations in cassava flour, can help prevent skin damage from UV exposure. In addition, vitamin C, an antioxidant that can protect the skin from oxidative damage brought on by free radicals, is abundant in cassava (Higdon, 2020).
Cassava is a good source of dietary fiber, which can support healthy digestion and detoxification. Skin issues including acne, eczema, and psoriasis can be caused by inadequate detoxification and poor digestion. Cassava can support good skin by enhancing digestion and cleansing (Santos et al., 2020).
The effects of cassava extract on the skin of mice were examined in a study by Freitas et al. (2017) that was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. Researchers discovered that cassava extract significantly improved skin health by acting as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory on the skin. The health of the skin was enhanced by cassava extract's ability to lower oxidative stress and inflammation in the skin.
Cassava and Hair Health
Cassava's nutritional makeup has been found to support healthy hair growth and decrease hair loss. Cassava extract was found to increase hair development in mice in a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. (Kim et al., 2017).
Cassava contains vitamin B6, which is necessary for keeping healthy hair and encouraging hair development. (NHS, 2021). Vitamin B6 aids in the nourishment of hair follicles and the growth of new hair.
Cassava is especially high in biotin, a B-vitamin that is necessary for good hair growth (Trüeb, 2019). Biotin aids in the strengthening of hair follicles and the overall health of the hair.
Cassava has a lot of iron, which is an important mineral for healthy hair growth (Lademann et al., 2019). Iron aids in the delivery of oxygen to the hair follicles, which is required for healthy hair growth.
Finally, cassava is a highly nutritious root vegetable with numerous potential health benefits, including promoting healthy skin and hair. Cassava, with its high concentration of antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, is essential for maintaining good skin and hair. Although the scientific evidence is intriguing, further research is needed to completely understand how cassava must be consumed or applied to improve skin and hair health.
However, regular cassava intake in your diet can be a simple and effective means to improve your general health and well-being, including the health of your skin and hair. You may be able to improve the appearance and health of your skin and hair by consuming cassava on a daily basis, resulting in a more radiant and confident you.
The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It is important to seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional for any medical or diet concerns or questions. The content in this article should not be used as a substitute for professional medical/dietician advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The author does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided and will not be liable for any errors or omissions, or any actions taken based on the information provided. By accessing this article, you acknowledge and agree that the author will not be held responsible for any actions you may take based on the information provided on this write-up. It is your responsibility to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any actions related to your health.
My articles serve an educational and informational purpose only, and should not be considered medical advice for treatment. The primary goal is to provide the public with evidence-based and scientifically proven naturopathic therapies in order to educate and inform.
The writer has a Bsc. Health Services Administration from the University of Ghana, Mini-MBA in Complementary & Alternative Healthcare Leadership, Professional Certificate in Naturopathic Medicine, and a Professional Diploma in Medical Journalism from the Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT). He also has a COTVET accredited Body Massage Certificate. E-mail: [email protected]
Https://Www.Fao.Org/3/A0154e/A0154e07.Htm PROCEEDINGS OF THE VALIDATION FORUM ON THE GLOBAL CASSAVA DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY Volume 2. A Review of Cassava In Africa With Country Case Studies On Nigeria, Ghana, The United Republic Of Tanzania, Uganda And Benin
Cardoso, L. M., Pinheiro-Sant’Ana, H. M., & Stringheta, P. C. (2017). Cassava flour as a source of carotenoids in a Brazilian diet. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 68(8), 926-934.
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Lademann, J., Richter, H., Alborova, A., Humeniuk, M., Patzelt, A., Sterry, W., & Darvin, M. E. (2019). Characterization of the vitamin content in certified reference materials of human hair and the influence of various treatments on the stability of vitamins during hair aging. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 55, 13–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtemb.2019.04.014
NHS. (2021). Vitamins and minerals. Retrieved December 31, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-b/
Trüeb, R. M. (2019). Serum biotin levels in women complaining of hair loss. International Journal of Trichology, 11(2), 62–68. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijt.ijt_98_18