Health Insights: Lusala (Dioscorea roots) unmatched nutrition

Asunta Simoloka

Asunta Simoloka

Diascorea roots, same family as Lusala

Diascorea roots, same family as Lusala

By Asunta Simoloka

Dioscorea roots, known in Zambia as Lusala, underscore the unmatched nutrition that people forego when they abandon indigenous foods.

This healthy tuber contains iron and copper, essential for the formation of red blood cells and B vitamins needed by the body for various metabolic processes.

Lusala is loaded with fiber, a nutrient tied by studies to numerous health benefits and a reduced prevalence of chronic illnesses.

Fiber plays a central role in improving insulin response, profoundly controlling blood sugar and making Lusala ideal for battling diabetes.

Furthermore, fiber has powerful anti hypertensive traits due to its ability to regulate blood pressure.

Studies also show a strong association between high fiber diets and good heart health, fiber works by reducing bad or low density lipoprotein cholesterol while increasing the good or high density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Fibre also contributes to heart health by removing plaque buildup in the arteries and eliminating harmful fats in the blood known as triglycerides. What’s more, fiber in lusala and the mucilaginous components of the vegetable function as prebiotics, meaning that these nutrients create and maintain an environment in the digestive tract that is conducive for the reproduction, growth, and function of health promoting bacteria known as probiotics.

Potassium, an essential nutrient for controlling blood pressure and maintaining heart muscle movements, is abundant in lusala. Research suggests that adding potassium to diet may be more effective for treating hypertension than extremely restricting salt intake.

The body needs a little bit of salt and even though keeping salt intake low is important for healthy blood pressure, taking too little salt may result in electrolyte imbalance. High in potassium and low in sodium, lusala has the capability to maintain a healthy balance between potassium and sodium in the body.

In traditional Chinese medicine diascorea opposita roots, same family and with an identical nutritional profile as lusala, are believed to strengthen and balance internal organs causing a positive influence in several areas of human health.

The nutritional value of lusala is one more reason to eat as many indigenous foods as possible.

Weight control tip
An enzyme chymonpapain in papaya boosts metabolism by cleaning the digestive tract.