Yams are starchy tuber vegetables of West African origin. The yam vegetable has a lot of ritualism and symbolism associated with itself, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Yam belongs botanically to the Dioscoreaceae family, in Dioscorea genus.
Health Benefits of Yam
Although they’re considered to be a starchy vegetable, yams are made up of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber allowing for slow uptake to keep blood sugar levels even, giving it the nod as a low glycemic index food. The vitamin A that is converted into beta-carotene when eating yams isn’t as spectacular as those in sweet potatoes, but the antioxidants they provide are exceptional. The vitamin A in yams has other functions, such as maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin, heightening night vision, supporting healthy bone development, and providing protection from lung and mouth cancers.
Yams are a good source of vitamin C – 27% of the daily value for fighting infections such as colds and flu and quick wound healing, anti-aging, strong bones, and healthy immune function. It also provides good amounts of fiber, potassium, manganese, and metabolic B vitamins. The content of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine; 16% of the daily value) is good for shrinking the effects of homocysteine, which can do real damage to cell walls that could lead to heart attacks and/or stroke.
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