Tapioca: The Health Benefits And Other Uses



Published on: 15-Mar-2023


10 min read


Updated on : 28-Nov-2023




Rishi Singh


Tapioca: The Health Benefits And Other Uses

Tapioca: The Health Benefits And Other Uses

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Tapioca or generally known as sabudana is a widely used option in Indian households. It is the primary food consumed during fasts. 

Tropical and subtropicals are the main regions where cassava crop is harvested. It is extracted from the tube-shaped cassava root. It is a pure starchy food product. It has recently gained a lot of attention as it is an excellent alternative to wheat and other grains and is gluten-free. It has been used for snacks, baking and as a staple diet in place of wheat flour.

After all the starchy liquid from the root of cassava is extracted, the water present in it is allowed to evaporate. After evaporation, tapioca powder is left. This fine powder is moulded into flakes or pearls. Pearls are the most common form used for consumption. They also help with weight gain due to their carb content and can give you enough energy to stay active and fit. 

Table Of Contents 

1.How Is Tapioca Made?

2.What Are The Uses Of Tapioca Pearls?

3.How Nutritious Are Tapioca Pearls?

4.5 Health Benefits Of Tapioca Pearls 

5.The Final Say 

6. FAQs 

How Is Tapioca Made?

The production of tapioca varies by the region it is being harvested. Still, it will always involve squeezing ground cassava root to obtain starchy liquid.

After collecting the starchy liquid from the root, it is allowed to sit so that the water evaporates. Once all the water has been evaporated, a finely powdered form of tapioca remains. This powder is processed and made into the desired form, such as pearls or flakes. 

Although, pearls are the most consumed and popular form. They are extensively used in puddings, bubble tea and desserts and as a thickening agent while cooking. The water from the liquid is evaporated, which is why the flakes, pearls and sticks are dehydrated, so we should boil them before consuming them. They become leathery, translucent and swollen to the extent that they turn almost double in size. 

What Are The Uses Of Tapioca Pearls?

What  are The Uses of Tapioca Pearls

Tapioca pearls are more widely known as “Sabudana” in Hindi “, Javvarisi” in Tamil, “Sabu” in Bengali, “Chavvari” In Malayalam and “Saggubiyyam” in Telugu. They are widely used in the preparation of Indian recipes such as khichdi, upma, kheer, thalipeeth and vada, and crunchy snacks like javvarisi vadaam and papad.

Traditionally sabudana is used in Indian cooking, especially in recipes that are prepared during festivals like Diwali, Varalakshmi Vrat and Navratri, as these dishes are eaten in Indian fasts. These circular gem-looking fluffy balls are a time-tested Ayurvedic remedy for cooling the body. They also help in effectively regulating the acids in the stomach, thereby ensuring smoothness in digestion. Fatigue is also dealt with by consuming these pearls, as they are an instant and excellent source of calories.

ToneOp brings you a list of uses for tapioca pearls and their benefits.

1. Bread Without Gluten And Grain

The flour of tapioca is often used in making bread, although it is often combined with other flour.

2. Flatbread

In developing countries, flatbread is often made using tapioca flour. Different toppings are used on it, and then it is eaten as breakfast, dinner, or even dessert.

3. Desserts And Puddings 

Tapioca pearls are used in the making of bubble tea, which is soaked & swollen and is called boba. Its pearls are also used to make snacks, puddings and desserts. 

4. Thickening Agent

 It is used to thicken soups, sauces, and gravies. It is cheap and has a neutral flavour, and is an excellent thickening agent.

5. Binding Agent

It is an excellent binding agent in burgers, nuggets, and dough in order to improve the texture and moisture content of the dough. It traps moisture in its gel-like form and prevents it from being soggy.

Additionally, they are also used to add starch to clothing by boiling them with the clothes.  

How Nutritious Are Tapioca Pearls?

Sabudana mainly contains starch, which is easily digested and a good and direct energy source. However, sabudana is comparatively less nutritious and wholesome from grains that are fibre rich, like wheat and oats. It has a low sodium content, no cholesterol, and is rich in bone-strengthening calcium. Additionally, sabudana also promotes blood synthesis and transport because of the presence of iron, the optimal metabolism because of manganese, and ensures the synthesis of DNA and cell division in all the bodily tissues because of folate.

Today, sabudana is used in various dishes worldwide, as it is used in diets low in sodium and cholesterol-restricted diets as well. It is used in medical care plans to prevent the risk of chronic diseases like muscular atrophy, boosting metabolism and enhancing overall well-being.

Nutrients Per Serving

A 1/4 cup serving of tapioca starch contains:

  • Calories: 100 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Fibre: 0 g

5  Health Benefits Of Tapioca 

Tapioca pearls have the following health benefits:

1. Excellent Weight Gainer 

Tapioca is a rich source of the purest and simplest forms of carbohydrates and starches and is also suitable for vegetarians. This helps to build vital fat tissues which protect the internal organs. It also ensures the uniform distribution of lipids across the body and is great for those who are underweight.

2. Great For Restricted Diets

Tapioca pearls are nut-free, gluten-free and grain-free. It is an excellent ingredient that can be routinely added to the diets of people who suffer from gluten sensitivity and food allergies. Gluten is a type of protein that is majorly present in some whole grains, such as barley and wheat. Gluten is responsible for triggering a severe reaction in the bodies of people who are averse to this component.

3. Stimulates The Growth Of Strong Muscles 

Tapioca has vital amino acids and is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians. Both amino acids and proteins are important for various enzymatic reactions in cells and tissues in the body, which helps in maintaining the main functions of all the organs in the body. It also adds muscle mass and enhances the tensile strength of connective tissues in order to foster muscular development.

4. Regulates Proper Digestive Function

Tapioca is an unprocessed food; its starches and simple sugars are easily broken down in the stomach, thereby being a great energy source. Sabudana also helps to eliminate blockages in the passage of the gut in digestion, preventing constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

5. Fights Neural Tube Defects

Sabudana is suitable for mothers who are expecting, as it has profuse amounts of folate, which is vital for the proper development of the foetus. It helps avoid chances of neural tube defects and other birth abnormalities in the newborn. Folate also enhances red blood cell synthesis, which is responsible for the transportation of nutrients to reach the crucial organs in the person's body.

The Final Say

Sabudana, when taken in moderation, is highly beneficial as it aids in easing the digestive process, promoting strong bones and muscles, gaining weight and boosting energy levels when feeling exhausted and tired. Consume this cholesterol-free grain variant after properly softening it by soaking it in water to procure the wonderful rewards it offers for complete wellness.


1. Does tapioca increase blood pressure?

The naturally-occurring sodium content is low, making this a safe food to consume if you have high blood pressure. It has no bad fat or cholesterol so you can stock up on healthy carbs.

2. Is tapioca better than rice?

Tapioca puddings are slightly lower in calories, fat and sodium. In contrast, rice pudding is power-packed with more protein and nutrients, such as calcium and iron.

3. Does tapioca causes gas?

Many gluten-free foods contain refined starches like corn, potato and tapioca starch, soy, oat or rice flour. All of these can cause issues, especially symptoms of gas and bloating.

About ToneOp

ToneOp is a platform dedicated to improving and maintaining your good health through a comprehensive range of goal-oriented diet plans and recipes. It also intends to provide value-added content to our consumers.  

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