How Healthy Is Yam Consumption?
Yams (Dioscorea) are a group of tuber crops that originated in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. They are often confused with sweet potatoes. However, yams are starchier and less sweet. They have a unique brown, bark exterior. The flesh can either be yellow, white, purple, or pink, depending on the variety of the yam. These tubers are very versatile, nutritious, and may help your health in a lot of ways.
Yams are most-known for their great health benefits. Extracts of wild yam are also very suitable for cosmetic products due to their great anti-inflammatory properties.
Current studies state that frequent intake of yams may help boost one’s immunity and in the prevention of obesity. In this very blog article, we will go into some potential health benefits of consuming yams. Just keep scrolling.
What Are Those Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Yams?
Yam is one of the most flavorsome vegetables you can ever imagine. As root vegetables that have been in existence for ages, yams also possess a long and profound history of use in ethnomedicine. The rhizomes and roots of yam contribute to these great benefits.
Yams are very rich in manganese and potassium, which are necessary for growth, good bone health, heart health, and metabolic function.
Yams also contain copper, which is essential for the production of red blood cells (RBC) and iron absorption. The vitamin C in yam is an antioxidant that plays a vital role in keeping a strong immune system.
A 136 gram of baked yams provides:
Carbohydrate: 37 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Ascorbic acid: 18% of the Daily Value (DV)
Potassium: 19% of the DV
Pantothenic acid: 9% of the DV
Magnesium: 6% of the DV
Vitamin B9: 6% of the DV
Thiamine: 11% of the DV
Manganese: 22% of the DV
Copper: 23% of the DV
Protein: 2 grams
Yam is not just an excellent source of fiber but also a sure bet in high potassium and manganese (essential for healthy bone, metabolism, growth, and heart function).
These tubers also provide moderate amounts of micronutrients, such as copper. Copper is essential for erythrocyte production and iron absorption, while ascorbic acid is a very strong antioxidant that can ignite your immune system.
May Promote Healthy Skin
Yams are so rich in diosgenin (a plant steroid substance that fights against aging of the skin in women at the onset of menopause. In-vivo animal research on mice has proved that the administration of diosgenin aids the epidermal thickness in ovary-atomized mice without affecting the degree of fat accumulation. However, more study is required to fully understand the benefits of yams on humans skin.
Possibly Enhance Brain Function
Yams may help your brain. They contain a wonderful compound known as diosgenin, which is often linked with enhanced brain function and neuron growth and improving learning and memory abilities.
A 3-months study proved that folks who took some yam extract supplement ranked higher on a brain function examination than folks in the placebo group.
May Reduce Symptoms of Menopause
Yams may help do away with some signs of menopause. In a month’s study, 24 postmenopausal folks changed from their normal staple food of rice to consuming yams in 2 out of their 3 meals (390 grams total) daily. Their estradiol and estrone blood levels increased by 27% and 26%, respectively.
Blood levels of both estradiol and estrone (two major estrogen hormones) decrease during menopause. Improved estrogen levels may reduce menopause symptoms.
Yet, another half-a-year study discovered that topically applying wild yam cream had a very insignificant effect on menopause signs, such as night sweats and flushing, compared with other skin care creams.
Therefore, further investigation is necessary to properly investigate the role that yams could have in easing menopause symptoms.
May Help with Weight Loss
Glucomannan (a fiber extracted from yam roots) may aid with weight loss. At an average regular dose of 3 g per day, this fiber transforms into a gel-like substance that ling1ers in the gut, thus making you feel satiated for a long. Thus, it can keep your cravings under control and finally lead to loss of weight.
May Possess Anti-Cancer Properties
Yams contain a lot of antioxidants that may help fight against cancer cells. Animal research found that some ration rich in yams relatively reduced tumor growth in the colon, and these reductions were linked with the antioxidants properties of yams.
A test-tube study also found that extracts from Chinese yam peel had antioxidant properties and lowered liver tumor growth.
Help Reduce Inflammation
The antioxidants in these yams may aid inflammation reduction. Chronic inflammation is somewhat linked to an increased risk of diverse conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Taking anti-inflammatory foods like yams may help treat chronic inflammation.
Some rat studies also observed that yam powder lowered inflammation from several illnesses, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colon cancer, and stomach ulcers.
Furthermore, some studies are required to effectively determine whether eating yams have similar anti-inflammatory effects in humans.
May Promote Fertility
A thorough research study proved that yams have high potentials to promote fertility. Most recently, the use of natural hormones is becoming a popular substitute for hormone replacement therapy. Cosmetics containing wild yam extracts are becoming the ideal choice for most women. Natural progesterone can be successfully derived from an unwholesome, wild, Mexican indigenous yam known as Dioscorea uillosa.
May Help Control Blood Sugar
Yams may help boost blood sugar levels. A rodent research study of rats fed yam powder and yam water extract claimed that the rats had a reduced fasting blood sugar level and hemoglobin A1C level when compared with the basal control group.
Another rat research study claims that giving yam powder supplements reduced the level of blood sugar uptake, which made for maximized blood sugar control.
These attributes are related to resistant fiber and starch in yams. Resistant starch passes through your gut untouched (undigested) and is often linked to reduced appetite, optimized blood sugar levels, and high insulin sensitivity.
Important in Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes is a medical ill-health condition caused by a reduction or deficiency in insulin production (or from high cellular resistance back to insulin). Research conducted on rats claimed that yam can contribute a lot to stimulate glucose metabolism. However, more research study is required to verify this benefit in humans.
Also, the sugar contents of yam add some natural sweetness to our meals and help reduce one’s craving for more and more sugar.
Yam, alongside its very active compound, allantoin can fight oxidative stress. They also aid liver function, thus maintaining glucagon and insulin levels.
May Boost Digestive Health
Yams are fully loaded with resistant soluble glycoprotein, starches, and fiber that are beneficial to gut health. Studies have also revealed that yams may induce the spread of gastric cells of the epithelium and thus enhance the activities of digestive enzymes in the small intestine.
These are the main beneficial tips about yams. You saw a few of the vital nutrients in it that contribute to its high benefits. Keep scrolling!
Could Boost Cholesterol Levels
A study on humans discovered that women who take up to 390 grams of yams each day for a month showed about a 6 percent reduction in blood cholesterol levels.
Though the exact mechanism of yam extracts is unknown, several researchers observed that yam extract could protect one against some certain drug-resistant pathogens (viz.; bacteria).
Easy and Versatile to Add to Your Diet
Yams can be purchased whole or as a powder, flour, or supplement. Yams can be boiled, pan-cooked, baked, steamed, fried, and roasted. Here are some other popular ways of enjoying yams:
- Purée. Boil some tubers until they become soft, then place them in a blender before seasoning them.
- Yam fries. Cut the yams into pieces, season it up, and fry or bake them.
- Yam chips. Thinly slice peeled yams and bake or fry them.
- Baked yams. Bake shaped yams until tenderness is achieved.
- Mashed yams. Peel the yam, boil, and mash it, then add seasonings and milk to satisfaction.