Tapioca is a root vegetable like potato. In some developing countries such as Brazil, tapioca is provided as a nutritional supplement. It is also considered as an indispensable part of their daily diet. No doubt, tapioca is a brilliant source of starch and thereby supplies energy.
But, health experts often prefer potato to tapioca as apart from starch, potato provides the body with certain other nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, dietary fiber etc. Unlike tapioca, it also supplies minerals such as iron, potassium, manganese and copper. But, the contribution of calorie is lower in case of tapioca.
Tapioca is low in saturated fat. Harmful presence of sodium is also low. Tapioca is also health-friendly in the sense it does not add bad cholesterol level in the body. People who are keen to increase their body weight are often advised by health experts to include tapioca in their diet.
It is estimated that every hundred grams of this root vegetable provides three hundred and sixty calories of energy. Tapioca is found to be low in nutritional value as the presence of essential vitamins and minerals are minimal. But, tapioca is a stomach-friendly victual as it is easily digestible. Since, tapioca is mainly starch, it is often used to thicken liquids just like authentic arrowroot. It is also found to be great for sauces due to its thickening nature.
Tapioca is also employed extensively for washing and other cloth processing works. The starch content present in tapioca makes it ideal for stiffening the cloth materials. It is often made available in the form of uneven hard white grains that are partially water-soluble. The rhizome from which it comes contains a very dangerous juice. The poisonous content is generally eliminated through natural methods during the washing and drying process. It is then sold in the form of small, medium and large grains.