A yam is a vegetable which is similar to the sweet potato. Yams provide a very good source of potassium and fiber. They also offer a good source of vitamins B1, B6, and C. In addition, yams are a good source of manganese and Carbohydrates.Yams are staple tuber vegetables of West African origin. In addition to their use as food, there is lot of ritualism and symbolism has been associated with these humble starchy root vegetables all over Africa, Asia and Latin Americas.
Analyzing yams health benefits, it is wise to know how yam is administered into our bodies. Yam is definitely one of the best natural sources of estrogen and it is quite popular among the people in the tropics.
Health Benefits Of Eating Yams:
- Wild yam has been used as a form of traditional herbal Chinese medicine for a long time. It is mainly used for the proper functioning of the renal and the female endocrine system. For instance, its root has been traditionally given to lactating women. However, there is no clear evidence to support this theory and studies are still going on to establish a connection between diosgenins (a chemical substance found in yam) and the female endocrine function.
- The dietary fiber in yams is approximately six grams per medium sized yam. The fiber in yams can help prevent cholesterol build up in your arteries. In this way, the fiber in yams increases cardiovascular health and reduces your risk of Heart disease and stroke. Dietary fiber can also assist with weight loss by making you feel fuller and reducing the absorption of some fats.
- Wild yam also helps decrease water retention and alleviates nausea during pregnancy.
- Yams have high levels of Vitamin B6, which is a popular supplement for women suffering from depression due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Regular intake of Vitamin B6 is also beneficial against a number heart conditions and stroke, as they help in the breakdown of a chemical substance called homocysteine. High levels of this substance cause direct damage to the walls of the blood vessels, leading to a number of health problems.
- The rate of conversion of the complex Carbohydrates and fiber, present in yam, into sugar is very slow and their absorption rate into the blood stream is also very slow. Thus, they help maintain the blood sugar level. In addition, due to their high fiber content, yams help control the body weight, by the uniform distribution of weight without transferring extra weight to the hip area or the waistline.
- Yams are rich in manganese, which is an essential factor for the metabolism of carbohydrate and antioxidant defenses. It is also a co-factor in a number of enzymes that are related to the production of energy.
- Mexican wild yam is a very effective antispasmodic and is used in conditions like menstrual cramps, pain, improper circulation, neuralgia, nerve tension, muscle tension, abdominal and intestinal cramps and even in inflammatory stages of RA.
- Yam supplies elements that are important for optimal glandular function and benefits the respiratory, urinary and nervous systems.
- Another positive trait of yam is that it helps control high blood pressure or hypertension. This is because of the fact that yams are a good source of potassium, which helps maintain the blood pressure level.
- Yams also aid the process of digestion, by dilating vessels and stimulating bile flow.
Nutritional Value in Yams:
Composition of Yams in 100 grams
|Yams||Nutrition per value in 100gm|
|Vitamin C||12.10 mg|
|Dietary fiber||3.89 g|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||0.23 mg|
- Intake of wild yam can cause certain side effects, like vomiting, diarrhea, and headache.
- People with certain conditions, like liver diseases, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer, should be careful while using products made of wild yam.