Yams benefits include are highly nutritious, can improve your overall digestive health, can help with weight loss, can improve cholesterol levels, have potentially cancer-fighting properties, can strengthen your brain function, may alleviate inflammation, can potentially improve blood sugar levels, can promote fertility, may alleviate menopause symptoms, are great for your skin and hair, support a healthy heart and prevent Anemia and can improve your eyesight.
Besides its mystical nature Yams are highly nutritional food. They are consumed differently in various parts of the world and have numerous varieties. You can eat them in so many different ways and make them a part of your daily diet. You can use them instead of white potatoes when you make mixed vegetable soup. Or eat them with roast beef or even casseroles. You can even fry them and make fritters. A simple search on google will lead you to numerous easy and some not so easy recipes. Read on to know how this magical food can help you live a healthy life. However, yams are not to be confused with sweet potatoes. With a number of health benefits, yams are a versatile vegetable that you can eat with casseroles or roast beef, fry them and make fritters.
Benefits of Yam
1. Yams Are Highly Nutritious:
Yams are chockful of fibers, minerals, and vitamins. In a single cup of yams, which is around 136 grams, you will find:
• Vitamin B5
• Vitamin C
In particular, Yams contain high percentages of your daily value of fiber, potassium, and manganese. These nutrients and minerals are key to maintaining your bone health, heart health, growth and metabolism.
2. Yams Can Improve Your Overall Digestive Health
Yams contain resistant starches, which act similar to soluble fibers. A resistant starch essentially passes through your stomach and small intestine undigested. From there, it eventually reaches your colon and feeds your healthy gut bacteria while also increasing your digestive enzymes.
3. Good for Your Skin
Collagen is something that helps keep your skin firm, elastic and healthy. Yams help with the production of this chemical in our bodies. Yams are also rich in antioxidants, that help with cell regeneration. While they also fight with free radicals while fighting against premature aging. Collagen along with the vitamin C that yams provide is a great combination that can help heal wounds.
4. Good For Hair
A healthy head of hair can change the entire look of a person, it even adds to your personality. Yams can promote hair growth as they are rich in beta-carotene. Without it, your hair can become dry and lifeless.
5. Yams Can Help with Weight Loss
The roots of yams provide a beneficial fiber known as glaucoma, which is thought to help with weight loss. Essentially, when consumed, the fiber can turn into a gel that sits in your stomach and allows you to feel full for longer. As a result, you curb your cravings and weight loss is more achievable.
6. May have cancer-fighting properties
Yams provide several antioxidants that may have anticancer properties. In an animal study, a yam-rich diet significantly reduced colon tumor growth. These effects were associated with the antioxidants present in yams, suggesting that these tubers may protect against cancer. What’s more, a test-tube study found that extracts from Chinese yam, specifically the peel, inhibited liver tumor growth and offered antioxidant properties.
7. Healthy Carbohydrates
Yams are rich in carbohydrates, but as opposed to other products that are rich in carbohydrates, yams also have a lot of fiber. This way not only does it provide us with a lot of energy but they also get rid of the harmful stuff.
8. Yams for Weight Loss
A cup of yam only has 57 calories. It is also packed with vitamin B6 and potassium, vitamin C and fiber, that are essential for keeping us healthy, which makes them the perfect food for a weight loss program. They produce a lot of energy while the fiber keeps us from being hungry all the time and the nutrients make sure we stay healthy
9. Yams Can Improve Cholesterol Levels
Yams also play a major role in controlling your cholesterol levels. This is because yams provide a special type of soluble fiber, which cholesterol’s worst nightmare. Soluble fiber essentially works by circulating around cholesterol, binding to it and removing it from your body. Moreover, yams have also shown a real change in cholesterol levels in real women. In a study, women who consumed 18 ounces of yams a day over 30 days saw a decrease in their cholesterol levels.
10. May improve blood sugar control
In one study, rats given yam powder or yam water extract experienced decreased fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, compared with the control groups. HbA1c is a measure of long-term blood sugar control (27).
Another study found that rats given higher amounts of purple yam extract showed reduced appetites, greater weight loss, and improved blood sugar control, compared with a control group (28).
Furthermore, another study in rats found that supplementing with yam flour reduced the rate of blood sugar absorption, which led to improved blood sugar control. These effects are attributed to the resistant starch and fiber in yams
11. Yams Have Potentially Cancer-Fighting Properties
In addition to a number of vital vitamins and minerals, yams also have antioxidants that may prevent cancer. A study conducted on animals found that a diet rich in yams showed a massive reduction in colon tumors.
Further studies suggested that these results were closely related to the many antioxidants in yams. Moreover, the peel of Chinese yams was found to prevent or inhibit liver tumors.
Granted, these should be taken with a grain of salt. Currently, the research on the effects of yams on cancer is limited. Most of the tests and studies have been conducted primarily on animals and not on humans.
12. May reduce inflammation
The antioxidants in yams may help reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of various conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Eating anti-inflammatory foods, such as yams, can help manage chronic inflammation.
Several rat studies have observed that yam powder reduced inflammation related to several illnesses, including colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and stomach ulcers.