Benefits of yam

Yam vegetable is an edible tuber, consumed in the regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania. Yams can be barbecued, roasted, fried, grilled, boiled, baked, smoked and processed into a dessert recipe. Although some varieties of sweet potato are also called yam in parts of the United States and Canada, it is part of a different food family

Yam has more than 400 different species with colours ranging from ivory, white, yellow to purple. The shape of this tuber is long and cylindrical with a rough exterior.

Yam is a perennial crop which grows up to 2 meters in length. Yams are quite similar to sweet potatoes but they are no way related. The major differences between the two tubers are: yams are larger in size; they have thick, brown to pink skin, depending on the type, while sweet potatoes are relatively smaller in size and have a very thin peel.

Yam is grown throughout Africa, Nigeria being the largest producer and exporter of Yam. Nigeria provides around 70% of the world’s total Yam production.

NUTRITION FACTS OF YAM

Amount Per 100 grams

  • Calories 118
  • Polyunsaturated fat 1 g
  • Dietary fiber 1 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Potassium 816 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 28 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 0 g
  • Sugar 5 g
  • Saturated fat 0 g
  • Total Fat 2 g
  • Sodium 9 mg
  • Protein 5 g

Yam is a good source of energy. It is an excellent source of B complex vitamins like Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, riboflavin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and niacin. It also contains a good amount of antioxidants and Vitamin C.  It provides around 20% of the required Vitamin C in the body per 100 grams. It also contains small amounts of Vitamin A and beta carotene levels. It is a rich source of minerals like copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.

Here are the health benefits of yam. Actually there are a lot of health benefits of yam that most people are not aware of aside from its good taste and high nutrients. 

Here are some very important health benefits of yam you should know.

1.         Helps to Decrease Blood Pressure

Yam contains 816 mg of potassium the highest amount of potassium nutrient alongside Also, yams contain very little sodium this combination with folate among other food which helps to reduce hypertension and relaxes the blood vessel for proper blood flow so therefore it is advice that daily consumption of yam is good to the body as it controls the heart rate.

2.         Very Good for Pregnant Women

Yam is very good for pregnant women as it contains many nutritional elements good for the baby and the mother as well. It contains Folate which is absolutely necessary for the brain and the central nervous system.

Yam contains minerals such as (iron) that relieves pregnant women from early morning sickness such as nausea and vomiting as well as keeping the bones strong which is extremely important for fetus development.

Yam also helps to prevent birth defect which is caused by lack of red blood cells. The calcium content is essentially good for pregnant women as it helps in developing the fetus.

3.         Helps to Reduce Menstrual Pain for Women

So many research has been proved that consumption of yam helps to prevent severe pain for women during menstruation but this is what many ladies don’t know. Yam contains many vitamin and mineral supplements that helps reduce those disorders and depression in women during menstruation.

It reduces hormonal imbalance in the female endocrine system and helps to stimulate the ovulation substance that can help boost fertility.

 4.        Good Supplement for Menopause

Yams contains some enzymes and nutrients that can help relieve symptoms of a premenstrual disorder and helps to nourish and balance some hormones that does not function in the body of menopausal women. The lack of vitamin B6 and hormonal imbalance after menopause could lead to depression. 

5          Promotes Hair Growth:

Adequate vitamin C intake  maintain collagen, an essential protein found in hair and skin. Yams can promote hair growth as they are rich in beta-carotene and promote compounds like antocyanins. Without it, your hair can become dry, dull and lifeless which can lead to dandruff..

It also contains Vitamin A which is highly beneficial for cell growth, including growth of hair. A deficiency in beta carotene can lead to dry, dull and lifeless hair which flakes off into dandruff.