Malanga has been cultivated since well before the year zero by the Mayans in Latin America, for whom it was an important source of nutrition. Even today it is a basic food in certain regions, including for small children and people with poor health. Malanga has been used as a traditional medicine for gut-related diseases for thousands of years.
Malanga has a number of mutually reinforcing health benefits. It is completely hypoallergenic and good in case of gastrointestinal problems or when the digestive system is not yet fully developed as in babies and small children. Malanga is rich in fiber that provides long-lasting satiety and "cleanses" the intestines to relieve or prevent inflammation or constipation. It is also a rich source of complex carbohydrates and resistant starch, which reaches the intestines and there feeds the healthy bacteria necessary for a healthy intestinal system. The starch grains are very small, which allows enzymes to digest them easily and completely, which in turn allows the many vitamin and mineral nutrients to be more easily absorbed by the body.
Malangaroot is characterized by its long, thick roots and dark-colored skin. Malanga should be cooked, it cannot be eaten raw. How you cook it is up to you. It can be roasted, steamed, baked, and even mashed like mashed potatoes. The flesh of the malangaroot is lila or light-colored, and it has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Malanga roots are used in a variety of dishes, including curries, stews, and stir-fries. They can also be boiled or roasted and served as a side dish. In addition to being eaten as a food, malanga roots are also used in traditional medicine for their purported anti-inflammatory properties and positive impact on gut health.