What Exactly is Mashua?
Tropaeolum tuberosum, commonly known as Mashua, is a species of Tropaeolaceae family of flowering plant, cultivated in the Andes, mainly in Bolivia and Peru, and to a reduced extent in Ecuador and also in Boyacá Department, Colombia, for its wholesome tubers, which are eating roasted or cooked as a vegetable. Anyu, Anu, Bulbous Nasturtium, Capucine, Patagonian Capucine, wholesome Nasturtium, Mashua, Tuber Nasturtium, Peruvian Capucine, Peruvian Nasturtium, Tuberous Nasturtium, Tuberous Rooted Nasturtium are some of the trending names of Mashua. Apart from that, Var. Piliform and Var. lineamaculatum is two of the most known varieties of mashua plant, which is cultivated globally due to its distinctive attributes.
Mashua plant bears tubers on axillary stolons that swells to form elongated, terminal, conical, or ellipsoid tubers, which are about 3–6 cm wide and 5–15 cm long at the distal end, with the glossy, waxy surface, which is somewhat coarsened from enlarge scale leaves, often deeply furrowed, each furrow having an eye (bud) from which it produces adventitious roots and aerial stem. Tubers are often white, yellow, pink, or purple, often striped or mottled red or purple, mainly beneath the eyes. It has yellow, red, white, or pale lilac-colored flesh based on cultivars. Normally tubers have a pungent aroma and a sharp, peppery taste typical of hot radishes when eating raw. Though cooking aids to lower its peppery taste. Due to its distinctive taste and flavor, it can be used in varieties of food items globally.
Due to various vitamins, minerals, and nutrients types present in the Mashua; it has numerous health benefits. Among the health benefits of Mashua is the ability to prevent the risk of cancer, improves reproductive health, prevent constipation, promote digestion, reduces blood pressure, boost immunity, improve cardiovascular health, help prevent anemia, protect our skin, and also prevent urinary disorders.
Where It Grows
These plants can be cultivated on high altitudes and provides excellent yield, which is about 30 tons per hectare. But when it is cultivated under the proper condition, the farmers can anticipate yields of about 70 tons per hectare. This plant has its chemical name to be isothiocyanates which keeps the nematode, insects, and other bacterial pathogens at bay. It grows so well even in marginal soils but often prefers well-aerated soils. It is planted in Colombia as a companion crop to scare/repel pests.
Apart from their pungent, peppery taste typical of hot radishes, Mashua is a great source of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Eating about 100 gram of mashua offer about 77.37 mg of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), 1.5 g of protein, 9.7 g of Carbohydrate, 0.8 g of Total Dietary Fiber and approximately 0.1 g of Total Fat (lipid).
Health Benefits of Mashua
Mashua is a wonderful and delightful vegetable that has remarkable nutritional values. Regular intake of an appropriate amount is often considered beneficial for all folks. Listed here are some of the health advantages of eating Mashua:
Mashua Strengthens Immunity
The Mashua is very rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which plays a vital role in improving our immunity. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is a great antioxidant, which fights against harmful free radicals and makes those free radicals stationary to do any kinds of oxidative harm to our body cells and prevent various forms of disease such as macular degeneration. It also aids in improving the fabrication of white blood cells in the bloodstream, which is a vital element of the immune system. Research studies have proved that regular consumption of Mashua can boost our immunity and fight various types of common complications such as flu and cold.
Treatment of Cancer
As you may have known, that frequent high intake of fresh vegetables and fruit is directly linked to a minimized risk for several types of cancer. Research studies have shown that raised consumption of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is linked with a lowered possibility of cancers of the respiratory region (mouth, lungs, vocal cords, colon, rectum, throat, stomach, and esophagus). Mashua is also among the best options to gain a remarkable amount of ascorbic acid as it consists of about 77.37 mg of ascorbic acid, which is 85.97 percent of the daily required value. So it is pertinent to include Mashua in your daily diet.
Mashua Boosts Digestive Health
Due to the remarkable amount of dietary fiber and water level present in Mashua, it is highly helpful for our gut health. Different studies have shown that regular consumption of Mashua can boost metabolism and can also combat various types of stomach-related complications, like constipation, cramping, bloating, and other gut issues. Aside from this, Mashua also contains a high level of antioxidants, which is highly beneficial to avert free radicals and shield our digestive organs from oxidative harshness caused by free radicals, thus lower the risk of colon cancer and other complications caused by free radicals.
Carbohydrates are regarded body’s major source of fuel. Mashua is among the best sources of carbohydrates. When you take in some food items, the body disintegrates its sugars and absorbs them into your bloodstream at large. At this juncture, they become blood sugar or glucose. The body requires glucose to get the energy to do everything from respiring to weight training. Also, our brain needs glucose to perform suitably. If you do not take in adequate carbohydrates, you may become lethargic (weak) and unable to center on even simple tasks.
Mashua Boosts Reproductive Health
The fat contained in Mashua is very useful for better reproductive health for both women and men since it is utilized to manufacture hormones and facilitates gene signaling that aid in controlling hormonal imbalance. It is very pertinent for a woman, as its limited fat is a typical reason for sterility, while taking the wrong fats likewise expands issues from menopause and PMS. For men, the absence of beneficial fats reduces testosterone and all other androgen hormones that are very vital for healthy reproduction.
Promote Heart Health
Studies have revealed an inverse link between the risk of heart disease in adults, as higher protein diets seem to be among the natural remedies for high cardiac pressure. Apart from this point, substituting carbohydrate diets with protein foods results in the reduction of LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A reason this might be true is basically that higher protein foods balance blood sugar and tend to help avert other heart disease-related issues, including diabetes and obesity. So foods that are high in protein, like Mashua, are normally prescribed to keep one safe from heart-related problems.
Prevents Urinary Disorders
Due to the diuretic nature of Mashua, it is very vital for our urinary function. It aids in the production of urine in the body. Due to the improvement in urination, it helps to get rid of the accumulated toxins in our stomach and liver, which keep our stomach and liver clean, functional, and healthy. Mashua is also a great anti-inflammatory crop, which helps to lower the inflammation in our urinary system. Studies have shown that regular consumption of Mashua can keep our stomach and liver healthy and blocks urinary disorders.
Mashua is packed with fiber which is pertinent for proper bowel motility. Carcinogens found in the intestine aid in the binding to the mashua fiber, adding bulkiness to the stool, which keeps waste to move appropriately through the digestive system. By including fiber into our daily ratio, constipation may be avoided in addition to hemorrhoids. Without leaving any residue, the waste goes through the intestine, the flow of fiber aids in lessening the risk of colon cancer, as well as enhancing bowel motility.
Mashua Lower Blood Pressure
Mashua contains a high amount of potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure and keep our cardiovascular fit. Potassium serves as a vasodilator, which means it lessens the strain from the blood vessels and renders smooth passage to blood through arteries, which helps to lower the blood pressure of our body and prevents various types of cardiovascular-related issues such as hypertension.
Mashua Stops the Risk of Anemia
We know, Anemia is a condition of iron deficiency in the body. So intake of iron-rich food, like Mashua can boldly help in boosting iron levels in our body that lowers the risks of anemia.
One should there avoid eating this vegetable during pregnancy as it may trigger some complications.
Do not take too much, Mashua. It has a serious defect in male hormones. If you overuse it, you could become impotent.