Taro Root: Nutritional Profile, Benefits, Recipes and More

Hiral Patel

April 23, 2024

Taro Root or Arbi is a starchy tuber that belongs to the Araceae family. It is native to Southeast Asia and India but is now cultivated and consumed in various parts of the world. The taro root plant grows in tropical and subtropical regions and is characterised by large, heart-shaped leaves. The tuberous root itself is round or oblong in shape, with a rough, brown outer skin. The flesh of the Arbi root can range in colour from white to pale pink or purple, depending on the variety.

Being a tuber, it is considered a staple food in many cultures. Its versatile nature and ability to absorb flavours, make it a popular ingredient in a wide range of dishes over centuries. This article will explore Taro root and its benefits in detail. 

Nutritional Profile of Taro Root

Along with it being a household staple and it being used in various culinary traditions worldwide, its importance and popularity are enhanced by its nutritional value. This includes dietary fiber and essential minerals, adding to its significance. Taro root is also gluten-free and thus further enhances its popularity among those with dietary restrictions.

According to USDA, 100 grams of raw taro roots constitute of

  • Calories: 112 cal
  • Protein: 1.50 g
  • Fats: 0.20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.46 g
  • Fibre: 4.1 g
  • Calcium: 43 mg
  • Magnesium: 33 mg
  • Potassium: 591 mg
  • Sodium: 11 mg

Taro root is a good source of complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy. Taro root is rich in dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and promotes a healthy digestive system. It contains significant amounts of potassium, a mineral important for regulating blood pressure and supporting heart health. 

This tuber also offers traces of various micronutrients like vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and supports collagen production. Additionally, it contains minerals like magnesium and vitamin E, which contribute to overall health and well-being. Its nutritional composition makes taro root a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

7 Health Benefits of Taro Root

1. Maintaining Digestive Health

Taro root is rich in dietary fibre, which plays a crucial role in promoting healthy digestion. 100 grams of taro root contains 4.1 g of dietary fibre. It also helps alleviate constipation by adding bulk to the stool and promoting regularity. Furthermore, according to studies taro root contains resistant starch, which acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria, promoting their growth and activity.

2. Boosts Energy

Taro root is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are the primary source of energy for the body. Complex carbohydrates are broken down slowly, providing a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. This gradual release helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and provides sustained energy throughout the day. It is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that play a role in energy production. 

3. Having an Abundance of Nutritional Value

According to studies, this starchy tuber is a good source of essential nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin E. While potassium-rich foods help regulate blood pressure, magnesium supports bone health and muscle function. It also has an adequate amount of Vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant, boosting the immune system, and vitamin E contributes to skin health and cell function.

4. Helps in Weight Management

Taro root is relatively low in calories and also a good source of dietary fibre, which can add bulk to the diet, promoting a feeling of fullness and satiety. This can help control appetite and prevent overeating. The fibre content of taro roots supports stable blood sugar levels and can help control hunger, thus contributing to weight management.

5. Supports Kidneys Function

Taro root is high in water and fibre content and is a good source of potassium, an essential mineral that plays a role in kidney function. 

6. Anti-Inflammatory In Nature

Due to the presence of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, the tuber helps neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Studies claim that it contains various phytochemicals, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds can help modulate the inflammatory response in the body and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory molecules.

7. Regulates Blood Sugar

Taro root has a relatively low glycemic index (GI), which means it causes a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-GI foods. This can help prevent sharp spikes and drops in blood sugar, promoting better blood sugar control for individuals with diabetes. It is a good source of dietary fibre, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes. 


Taro root offers various health benefits. It promotes digestive health with its high fibre content and acts as a prebiotic. Taro root’s complex carbohydrates provide sustained energy, while its abundance of nutrients supports overall health. It aids in weight management, protects kidneys, has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Taro root’s low glycemic index and fibre content make it suitable for individuals with diabetes.

Why Should You Substitute Other Starchy Vegetables With Taro Root

  1. Lower Glycemic Index

Taro root has a lower glycemic index compared to some other starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams. This means it causes a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Choosing taro root as a substitute can be particularly beneficial for individuals looking to manage their blood sugar levels, including those with diabetes or those aiming for balanced blood sugar control.

  1. Excellent Nutritional Profile

It is a highly nutritious vegetable that offers a range of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. It contains various micronutrients like potassium, and magnesium, among other nutrients. By choosing taro root as an alternative to other starchy vegetables, you can diversify your nutrient intake and benefit from its specific nutritional composition.

  1. Lower Risk of Allergies

Some individuals may have dietary preferences or allergies that limit their consumption of specific starchy vegetables like potatoes or corn. Taro root provides an alternative option that can be enjoyed by those with specific dietary needs or restrictions. 


Taro root can be substituted for other starchy vegetables for various reasons. Taro root has a lower glycemic index, making it suitable for blood sugar management. It has an excellent nutritional profile, providing vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Taro root is a viable alternative for those with allergies or dietary restrictions related to other starchy vegetables like potatoes or corn.

Why Should You Add Taro Roots to Your Balanced Diet?

As a nutritious vegetable, taro root is low in fat and calories while being rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Its high fibre content aids in digestion supports regular bowel movements and contributes to a feeling of fullness. Arbi is also a good source of potassium, and magnesium, which are vital for maintaining optimal health. Incorporating this vegetable into your meals as part of a balanced diet can provide you with tons of essential nutrients. It can also help by promoting satiety, supporting weight management, and contributing to overall well-being.

Taro Roots Recipes

  1. Baked Taro Chips


  1. Taro root – 1
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Oil spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Fill a large mixing bowl with water, mix in salt and set aside.
  3. Peel the washed taro roots and thinly slice them.
  4. Add to salt water and soak them for 1-2 hours. 
  5. Remove taro slices from the water, place them on a tray and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Spread the slices over a greased baking sheet and spray oil.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes flipping halfway through or until golden brown or the chip edges begin to curl up.
  8. Serve or store in an airtight container.

2. Taro Paneer Curry


  1. Boiled Taro root – 1, chopped into cubes
  2. Low Fat Paneer – 0.5 cup, chopped into cubes
  3. Onion – 0.25 cup, chopped
  4. Tomato – 0.25 cup, chopped
  5. Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  6. Turmeric powder – 0.5 tsp
  7. Chili powder – 1 tsp
  8. Cumin Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  9. Garam masala – 1 tsp
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Water – 0.5 cup
  12. Oil – 1 tbsp


  1. Heat oil in a pan, add ginger garlic paste and saute for about 20 seconds.
  2. Add onions and saute until it turns light brown.
  3. Add tomato, and spices and saute for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add in taro, and paneer and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in water, and salt and bring it to a boil.
  6. Simmer until desired consistency and serve hot with roti or rice.

Precautions Before Consuming Taro Roots

When consuming taro root, it is important to follow certain safety guidelines to ensure its safe consumption. Here are some guidelines to consider:

1. Thorough Cooking

Taro root should be cooked thoroughly before consumption to destroy any harmful bacteria and to break down the naturally occurring calcium oxalate crystals. Raw or undercooked taro root can cause irritation in the mouth and throat.

2. Moderation is Key

Yes, taro root is an exceptional tuber that contains a plethora of nutritional elements. However, it should be consumed in moderation. Excessive consumption may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort or digestive issues due to its high fibre content.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

Taro provides complex carbohydrates, which can help sustain energy levels throughout the day. Enjoy this taro smoothie as a nutritious and delicious breakfast to get you going through the day.

– 1 cup cooked and peeled taro chunks

– 1 ripe banana

– 1 cup almond milk (or any milk of choice)

– 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (optional)

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.


Taro Root is a highly versatile ingredient with immense culinary potential. Its mild flavour and starchy texture make it adaptable to both savoury and sweet dishes, lending depth and complexity to recipes. 

Moreover, taro root offers notable nutritional value, including dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals, promoting a well-rounded and balanced diet. By encouraging further exploration and appreciation of tuber in various culinary traditions, we can uncover new flavours, create innovative dishes, and preserve the cultural heritage associated with this remarkable ingredient. Let us embrace the versatility and nutritional benefits of Arbi in our culinary adventures.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here

Research Sources

  1. Assessing the Prebiotic Potential of Taro (Colocasia esculenta) with Probiotic Lactobacillus Species in an in Vitro Human Digestion System (P20-022-19)
  2. Nutritional potential, Health and Food Security Benefits of Taro Colocasia esculenta (L.): A Review
  3. Exploring the anti-inflammatory potential of Colocasia esculenta root extract in invitro and in-vivo models of inflammation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is taro a yam?

No, taro is not a yam. Although they may look similar, taro and yam are different root vegetables. Taro belongs to the Araceae family, while yam belongs to the Dioscoreaceae family.

Is taro a potato?

Taro is not a potato either. Taro and potatoes are distinct plants with different characteristics. Taro belongs to the Araceae family, while potatoes belong to the Solanaceae family.

What are the disadvantages of taro root?

While taro is generally considered a nutritious food, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Taro contains oxalates, which can interfere with calcium absorption and may be problematic for individuals with kidney issues or a history of kidney stones. Additionally, taro should be cooked thoroughly before consumption, as raw taro contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause skin irritation and throat discomfort. Proper preparation and cooking methods help mitigate these potential disadvantages.

How many calories are in taro root?

Taro root is relatively low in calories compared to other starchy vegetables. One cup (132 grams) of cooked taro root contains approximately 187 calories. However, the calorie content may vary slightly depending on the cooking method and serving size.

Is taro root safe during pregnancy?

Taro root is generally considered safe to consume during pregnancy when cooked thoroughly. However, pregnant women should ensure that taro roots are properly prepared and cooked to avoid any risk of foodborne illness.

How should taro root be stored?

Taro root should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, ideally in a ventilated container or perforated plastic bag. When stored properly, taro roots can last for up to two weeks at room temperature or up to three weeks when refrigerated.

Is taro root good for diabetics?

Taro root has a moderate glycemic index, meaning it can cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-glycemic foods. While it can be included in moderation in a diabetic diet, individuals with diabetes should monitor their portion sizes and overall carbohydrate intake when consuming taro root.

Is taro root keto-friendly?

Taro root is not considered keto-friendly as it contains a moderate amount of carbohydrates, which may exceed the daily carbohydrate limit for individuals following a ketogenic diet. However, small portions of taro root can be incorporated into a low-carb diet depending on individual dietary goals and preferences.

Can you eat taro root skin?

While the skin of taro root is technically edible, it is often fibrous and tough, making it less palatable. It’s recommended to peel taro roots before cooking to improve their texture and flavor. Additionally, removing the skin helps reduce the risk of ingesting any potential toxins or irritants.

Does taro root induce sleep?

Taro root contains magnesium and potassium, which are essential minerals that may contribute to relaxation and better sleep quality. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that taro root specifically induces sleep. Incorporating taro root into a balanced diet along with other nutrient-rich foods may support overall health and well-being, which can indirectly influence sleep patterns.

About the Author

According to Hiral, “Striving to be better than yesterday, is the key to achieving any goal that is ahead of you”. As a diet and lifestyle consultant, Hiral intends to help her clients inculcate habits such as healthy eating and regular exercise to improve their lifestyle holistically for a better tomorrow. She also aims to make her clients feel good from the inside-out and bring about a positive change to their overall life.

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