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.
One cup (136 grams) of baked yams provides (2Trusted Source):
• Carbs: 37 grams
• Protein: 2 grams
• Fat: 0 grams
• Fiber: 5 grams
C: 18% of the Daily Value (DV)
B5: 9% of the DV
• Manganese: 22% of the DV
6% of the DV
• Potassium: 19% of the DV
11% of the DV
23% of the DV
• Folate: 6% of the DV
They have a distinct brown, bark-like exterior. The flesh can be white, yellow, purple, or pink depending on the maturity of the yam. These tubers are highly nutritious, versatile, and may benefit your health in many ways.
Here are health and nutrition benefits of yams.
May improve hormone balance
Scientists can use the diosgenin in yams to produce estrogen, progesterone, cortisone, and other hormones for medical use. In alternative medicine, yam cream is often used in place of estrogen cream to relieve symptoms of menopause. Women are sometimes advised to eat yams to help balance their hormones, and people with hormone-related conditions are discouraged from using yams medicinally. However, studies seem to disprove this usage.
Cancer occurs due to the abnormal growth of cells. Oxidative damage by free radicals also causes cancer. Yams provide several antioxidants like phenols, flavonoids and vitamin C. These antioxidants have anti-cancerous properties. Antioxidant vitamins help prevent the growth of cancer cells by reducing the free radical damage to organs.
May have cancer-fighting properties
Yams provide several antioxidants that may have anticancer properties (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
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 (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
What’s more, a test-tube study found that extracts from Chinese yam, specifically the peel, inhibited liver tumor growth and offered antioxidant properties
The resistant starch present in yams acts like soluble fibres. Therefore, it remains undigested and passes through the stomach and intestines. As a result, it helps feed the good gut bacteria and increases the digestive enzymes that promote healthy digestion. Therefore, yams are an excellent food for improving digestion.
Improves Gut Health
Yams contain reasonable amounts of dietary fibre. The fibre does not get digested in the stomach. Instead, it passes to the intestines, where it undergoes fermentation. The good bacteria in the gut help execute this process.
Fibre acts as food to the beneficial gut bacteria. It helps them grow and fight off harmful microbes. In addition, studies show that phenolic components of yams have antimicrobial properties. As a result, it helps improve gut health.
May Promote Fertility
A research study shows that yams have the potential to promote fertility (6).
Lately, natural hormones are becoming popular options for hormone replacement therapy. Creams containing wild yam extracts are emerging as the ideal choice for some women. “Natural” progesterone is commonly derived from an inedible
Improves Skin Health
Yams are rich in antioxidants which help to rebuild skin cells. These antioxidants may reduce oxidative damage caused by free radicals. In addition, yams contain vitamin C, promoting collagen production in our bodies. It is a protein that helps maintain skin elasticity. Unfortunately, as we age, the collagen production in the body decreases. Therefore, yams can help us maintain collagen levels and improve skin health.
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.
Yams Can Help with Weight Loss
The roots of yams provide a beneficial fiber known as glucomannan, 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.
May prevent and relieve arthritis symptoms
Wild yam root contains diosgenin, which has been shown to inhibit the progression of both osteoporosis arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Mice who were given wild yam extract daily for 90 days showed a measurable decrease in inflammation and, at higher doses, pain levels. Human studies are still needed to determine whether these same effects would occur in humans.
Yams May Alleviate Menopause Symptoms
Another study discovered that yams can have a positive impact on menopause symptoms. In a 30-day test, 24 women in a postmenopausal state switched rice out of their diets for eating yams at least 2 to 3 times a day. As a result, those women found that the levels of estrone and estradiol in their blood increased by almost 30%.
May Enhance Brain Function
Yams are rich in potassium. Potassium promotes the brain’s nerve activity and cognitive functioning (13). Yams are also abundant in diosgenin, a unique compound that is known for brain health and improving neuron growth. Additionally, it has been found to contribute to enhanced memory and learning skills in mice (14). However, more research is required in this area to understand this effect on humans.
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.
There are some common ways to enjoy yams:
fries. Cut yams into wedges, add seasonings, and
bake or fry them.
• Purée. Boil the tubers until soft, place in a blender, purée, and season
chips. Thinly slice peeled yams and bake or fry them.
yams. Peel, boil, and mash your yams, then add milk and
yams. Bake cubed yams until tender.
yam gratin. Thinly slice peeled yams and bake them with
cheese and seasonings.