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Yucca on the Paleo Diet

By Jill Corleone, RDN, LD

Root vegetables, as long as they're not potatoes, are allowed on the Paleo Diet. Yucca, also known as cassava, is a starchy root vegetable native to Central and South America that has been consumed since prehistoric times, according to Food Reference, and therefore makes a suitable choice on your caveman diet. Consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet.

Yucca Nutrition

Yucca is fat-free, high in carbs and a good source of vitamin C and manganese. The starchy vegetable is also a source of fiber, calcium, B vitamins and potassium. A 1/2-cup serving of the raw vegetable has 165 calories, 1 gram of protein, 39 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. It meets 34 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 19 percent of the daily value for manganese.

Paleo and Yucca

The Paleo Diet claims that your body is not genetically designed to digest and process foods available today, which is why you're struggling with your weight. To promote health and wellness, you need to eat the way your body was genetically designed to eat, like a caveman from 10,000 years ago. That means a hunter-gatherer type diet that includes meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and root vegetables such as yucca.

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Toxic Yucca

While yucca may be allowed on your caveman diet, you cannot eat it raw. Yucca contains a chemical called glucoside that reacts with an enzyme in the vegetable to create hydrogen cyanide, which is a toxic substance that when consumed can be deadly. Hydrogen cyanide is a soluble substance, however, and soaking or cooking the root inactivates the poison.

Preparing Yucca

Yucca makes a healthy carb option on your Paleo Diet and can add variety to your usual intake. You can prepare yucca as you would a potato, so you can eat it mashed, diced for a hash or cut into strips for yucca fries. You can also cube the root vegetable and add it to your soups and stews. Yucca also makes a tasty snack treat when cut into thin strips and baked in the oven until crispy.

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