COCOYAM, GOOD TO FIGHT COVID-19 – EXPERT

The Director-General of the Raw Materials Research Development Council (RMRDC), Prof Hussaini Ibrahim, has said that cocoyam contains rich nutrients that could fight COVID-19 infection.

Speaking at a book presentation in Abuja, the Director General maintained that “Cocoyam is a veritable raw material with a lot of nutrients, with higher protein content than our normal root crops like cassava and yam.

“It has a lot of essential vitamins as well as minerals that are good for the body. They have materials that reduce instances of disease, cocoyam on its own has what we call low glycemic index.

According to him, “Sugar is converted to glycogen, which can be stored in the body so that when you have emergencies, glycogen will be pumped into the system and the body will process it.

“Consuming cocoyam will help because it has two carbohydrate, one fibre and the other, we call resistant carbohydrate or starch.

“So, if you have a body that is not functioning very well in terms of insulin production, it is important you consume cocoyam”

He listed the nutritional contents in cocoyam as digestible starch, good quality protein, Vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and high scores of proteins and essential amino acids.

The RMRDC boss described cocoyam as a neglected crop with more nutritional benefits than cassava and yam.

Represented by Dr. Bola Olugbemi, director of Industrial Extension Services, he said: “Some of the issues of those who fall to COVID-19 are those with diabetes, high blood pressure and some other opportunistic diseases that attacks the immune system and when such people are exposed to COVID-19, they easily fall victims.

“So, what we are saying is that if you can take care of diabetes, then your immune system will be much higher. If you consume cocoyam, your body tends to have higher immune level that can combat the incidents of COVID-19.

“So cocoyam is very important because you will not fall easily to COVID-19, which is why we say it is a crop of choice to those who have the illnesses that can be attractive to COVID-19.

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