Nigeria is the world’s prolific producer and exporter of White yams (dioscorea rotundata), which are the most common specie of yam in Africa. Yams are used for several delicacies such as porridge, pounded yam, boiled yam, yam pepper soup and barbecued yams. The following are things you probably don’t know about yam!
1. Yams are root vegetables and very rich in fiber
Yams are starchy vegetables and are very rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Dietary fiber are very beneficial for digestive health, they help in preventing constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Dietary fiber also helps in improving colon health and prevents the risk of bowel cancer.
2. Yams are healthy source of energy especially for those on weight-loss scheme
Yams are termed low calorie foods because they give only 118 kcal per 100g which make it suitable for those that want to cut down on their energy intake or lose weight. Also, due to its richness in fiber and complex carbohydrate, it quickly gives a feeling of satiety and helps to prevent overeating.
3. Yams boost immune system and protect body cells
Yams are rich in antioxidants especially vitamin C; just 100g can help you meet up to 27% of your vitamin C daily requirement. It also contain traces of vitamin A. Vitamin C are powerful antioxidants which are known for boosting the body’s immune system, enhancing quick wound healing, supporting good vision, slowing down aging, protecting body cells from damage caused by free radicals and improving elasticity of the skin.
4. Yams may protect your heart!
Yam is an excellent source of vitamin B6 which has been associated with lower risk of heart attack. Vitamin B6 helps to break down homocysteine in the body, a substance which contributes to the development of cardiovascular diseases. A particular research study found that taking foods very rich Vitamin B6 and Folate may be important in the prevention of Coronary Heart Disease in women. The dietary fiber in yams also help to reduce the bad cholesterol in the blood leading to reduced risk of heart diseases.
5. Yams can improve your blood pressure
Yam gives 816mg of potassium (17% DV) per 100g. Foods rich in potassium are associated with improved kidney function and improved blood pressure control.
6. It is suitable for diabetic patients Yam has lower glycemic index than white rice
The Complex carbohydrate and high amounts of fiber found in yams helps to slow down glucose absorption and prevent fluctuations in blood sugar level making it a low glycemic index food. Diabetics can eat a moderate portion of yam as prescribed by the dietitian without worrying about a rise in blood sugar level.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and make that yam delicacy!