Yam is a tubular vegetable of the Dioscorea family. In India, it is famous as Suran or Jimikand. Yam is a stony hard bulbiferous vegetable with lots of nutritious value.
Yam has dark-brown colored skin, and their pulp varies in color with maturity, such as yellow, purple, white, or pink. They look similar to the tubular sweet potatoes but are different.
Because of their stony texture, yams are difficult to cut and cook. Irritants are also present in yam, so before consuming, boil them in lemon, vinegar water, or tamarind after cutting. Yams also oxidize and discolor easily, so dip them into the water before cooking.
Yam looks like a tacky vegetable. It contains numerous health benefits, including:
- Yams are rich in fibers and resistant starch, which improves our gastric health and promotes good gut bacteria. Consuming them reduces appetite, so yam helps in weight loss.
- Yam contains a decent amount of vitamin B5, thiamine, folate, and vitamin C, which boost our immune system and are beneficial for growth and bone development.
- Yams are rich in many minerals, such as manganese, magnesium, and potassium, which are beneficial for bone health, decrease cholesterol levels, and proper functioning of our heart.
- Daily consumption of yam increases estrogen hormones (especially estrone and estradiol), which helps ease post-menopausal symptoms in women.
- Yams contain a reasonable amount of antioxidants, which reduces the risk of many cancers.
- Yam is rich in anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants, which help manage many chronic inflammatory conditions such as heart diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, and stomach ulcers.
- Diosgenin present in yam encourages neural growth and amplifies memory and brain functioning.
- Eating yam, especially the purple variety, helps decrease fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels in our blood.
Nutrient-dense yams are a highly beneficial and versatile vegetable. We can add them to our diet in various ways, such as baked, boiled, mashed, curries, or yam chips and fries. So, add them to your diet to enjoy its countless health benefits.