Taro Leaves: Their Benefits and Various Uses

Taro Leaves: Their Benefits and Various Uses

Taro leaves are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vital micronutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and calcium. They're also packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, bolstering your body's defense against oxidative stress. With their impressive nutritional profile, taro leaves are a smart choice for heart health, aiding in maintaining cholesterol levels and weight management.

taro leaves benefits and recipe

Their culinary flexibility is equally impressive, adding earthy flavor and texture to dishes ranging from traditional to modern. Boiled, steamed, sautéed, or used in soups and stews, taro leaves offer both taste and health benefits. Overall, their abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants underscores their vitality-enhancing qualities and makes them an appealing addition to a balanced diet.

What is Taro?

Taro (Colocasia esculenta), also known as "taro root," is a tuberous vegetable. This plant belongs to the Araceae family and encompasses various species utilized as edibles due to their corms, leaves, stems, and petioles. Taro corms hold significant dietary importance in African, Oceanic, East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian societies, much like yams. Taro is considered among the first cultivated crops, dating back to ancient times.

Taro root is not only a flavorful addition to dishes but also a nutritional powerhouse. Beyond its pleasing taste, here are more compelling facts about its rich nutrient profile:

Fiber-Rich: Taro root is an excellent source of dietary fiber, with a notable 6.7 grams of fiber per cup of cooked taro. This dietary fiber is essential for promoting healthy digestion, aiding in weight management, and supporting gut health.

Micronutrient Marvel: Taro root boasts an impressive array of essential vitamins and minerals. With 30% of the daily value (DV) for manganese, it contributes significantly to your body's antioxidant defense and bone health. Vitamin B6, present at 22% of the DV, plays a crucial role in various metabolic processes and immune system functions.

Vitamin E Enrichment: Providing 19% of the DV for vitamin E, taro root helps protect your cells from oxidative stress. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that supports skin health and may have a positive impact on overall well-being.

Potassium Powerhouse: Taro root contains 18% of the DV for potassium. This mineral is pivotal for maintaining healthy blood pressure, fluid balance, and muscle contractions. A diet rich in potassium is linked to reduced risk of stroke and improved cardiovascular health.

Copper Contributor: With 13% of the DV for copper, taro root supports the formation of connective tissues and aids in iron absorption. Copper also plays a role in maintaining proper nerve function.

Vitamin C Boost: At 11% of the DV, taro root provides a noteworthy dose of vitamin C. This vitamin supports your immune system, promotes collagen production for healthy skin, and aids in wound healing.

Bone-Building Phosphorus: Taro root offers 10% of the DV for phosphorus, a vital mineral for bone health and the formation of DNA and RNA.

Magnesium Marvel: With 10% of the DV for magnesium, taro root contributes to muscle and nerve function, energy metabolism, and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

Incorporating taro root into your diet allows you to tap into a spectrum of nutrients often lacking in typical diets. Its fiber content aids in digestion and weight management, while its rich assortment of vitamins and minerals supports your overall health and vitality.

Do taro leaves have elevated cholesterol content?

Taro leaves stand as a profoundly nourishing sustenance. They possess merely 1% fat content and absolutely no cholesterol. These verdant greens are abundant in dietary fiber and methionine, a compound that can diminish blood cholesterol levels through the amalgamation and processing of fats and glycerol, specifically triglycerides.

Taro leaves can lower Heart Disease Risk

Taro root's fiber and resistant starch content may contribute to reducing the risk of heart disease.

Extensive studies have revealed that individuals with higher fiber intake tend to exhibit lower heart disease rates.

A study demonstrated that with every additional 10 grams of daily fiber consumption, the likelihood of heart disease-related mortality dropped by 17%.

This effect is attributed, at least in part, to the cholesterol-lowering properties of fiber, although ongoing research continues to explore this connection.

Taro root contains over 6 grams of fiber per cup (132 grams), which exceeds twice the amount in a comparable 138-gram portion of potatoes. This makes taro root a remarkable fiber source.

Furthermore, taro root provides resistant starch, a compound known to lower cholesterol and correlate with decreased heart disease risk.

Can Facilitate Weight Loss

Taro root serves as a notable fiber source, containing 6.7 grams per cup (132 grams) (1).

Research indicates that individuals with higher fiber consumption typically exhibit lower body weight and reduced body fat (18).

Fiber's impact on slowing stomach emptying contributes to prolonged satiety, ultimately curbing calorie intake throughout the day. This prolonged fullness can potentially lead to gradual weight loss.

Taro Leaves Coconut Curry Recipe

Servings: 4



  • - 2 cups taro leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • - 1 cup of diced and peeled taro root
  • - 1 cup coconut milk
  • - 1 onion, finely chopped
  • - 2 tomatoes, diced
  • - 2 green chilies, slit
  • - 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • - 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • - 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • - 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • - 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • - 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • - 1 tablespoon oil
  • - Salt to taste
  • - Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Prepare the Taro Leaves:
  • - Clean the taro leaves thoroughly and chop them finely.
  • - Peel the taro root and cut it into bite-sized cubes. To keep them from browning, put them in a bowl of water.
  1. Tempering:
  • - Oil in a pan is heated to medium heat. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter.
  • - Add the finely chopped onions and cook them until transparent.

  1. Cook the Taro Leaves and Taro Root:
  • - Add ginger-garlic paste to the pan and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • - Add diced tomatoes and green chilies. Cook until the tomatoes soften.
  • -Add red chili powders, coriander, and turmeric, and mix well.
  • - Drain the taro root cubes and add them to the pan. Sauté for a few minutes until they are lightly cooked.

  1. Add Coconut Milk:
  • - Pour in the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Allow the flavors to blend for about 5-7 minutes.

  1. Add Taro Leaves:
  • - To the pan, add the chopped taro leaves. Mix well to combine with the spices and coconut milk.

  1. Simmer and Serve:
  • - Cover the pan and let the curry simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the taro leaves to cook and absorb the flavors.
  • - Once the taro leaves are tender and the curry has thickened, check the seasoning and add salt as needed.

  1. Garnish and Serve:
  • - Curry should be taken off the heat and placed in a serving bowl.
  • - Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness.

Serve the Taro Leaves Coconut Curry hot with steamed rice or your choice of bread. Enjoy the delightful blend of flavors and textures in this traditional dish!

The presence of resistant starch in taro root may yield similar effects.

A study demonstrated that men taking a supplement containing 24 grams of resistant starch before meals consumed around 6% fewer calories and experienced decreased insulin levels post-meal, compared to the control group.

Moreover, animal studies unveiled that rats fed diets rich in resistant starch displayed lower overall body fat and abdominal fat. While it's believed this is partly attributed to resistant starch enhancing fat metabolism, further research is warranted.

Potential Anticancer Benefits

Taro root is enriched with polyphenols, plant-based compounds like quercetin, known for their health benefits, including potential cancer risk reduction.

Quercetin, found abundantly in taro root as well as in onions, apples, and tea, has demonstrated in vitro and animal studies its ability to induce cancer cell death and hinder the growth of various cancer types.

Quercetin also acts as a potent antioxidant, shielding the body from excessive free radical damage, which is implicated in cancer development.

In a test-tube study, taro extract exhibited the ability to inhibit the proliferation of specific breast and prostate cancer cells. Human research is lacking in this situation, though.

While preliminary findings are promising, further investigation is essential to comprehensively ascertain taro's potential anticancer properties.

Are taro leaves edible?

Taro leaves are indeed edible and are commonly used in various cuisines worldwide. They are prepared through cooking methods like boiling, steaming, or sautéing. However, it's important to note that certain varieties of taro leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation if consumed raw. Proper cooking effectively neutralizes these crystals, making the leaves safe for consumption.

What are the health benefits of consuming taro leaves?

Taro leaves are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins C, A, and E, along with dietary fiber, manganese, and potassium. Their rich nutritional profile contributes to heart health, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and improved digestion. Additionally, taro leaves contain antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress and promote overall well-being.

Can taro leaves help in weight management?

Yes, taro leaves can be a valuable addition to a weight management regimen. With their high fiber content, taro leaves promote a feeling of fullness, which can contribute to reduced calorie intake over time. The presence of resistant starch in taro leaves may also aid in weight management by influencing satiety and energy expenditure.

Are there any precautions to consider when consuming taro leaves?

While taro leaves offer numerous health benefits, it's important to cook them thoroughly to eliminate any potential irritation caused by calcium oxalate crystals. Additionally, individuals with allergies or sensitivities to certain foods should exercise caution, as taro leaves might trigger allergic reactions in some cases. If you're uncertain or have specific dietary concerns, consult a healthcare professional before incorporating taro leaves into your diet.

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