Actually there are a lot of health benefits of yam that most people are not aware of aside from its good taste and high nutrients.
Here are some very important health benefits of yam you should know.
1. A Good Source of Energy
Yam has a high percentage of carbohydrates which makes it a good source of energy, the presence of dietary fiber in yam aids in digestion and prevents any form of constipation as well as suppressing the side effect of weight gain and diabetes.
2. A Good Source of Vitamin
The presence of the vitamins in yam gives it an edge over other foods that do not have it, though some of these vitamins are in little quantity, it is still beneficial to health when prepared well.
The presence of vitamin C provides the body with the necessary things needed to fight against some common diseases. Vitamin C also helps smoothens the skin and improves hair texture, due to collagen it contains.
Vitamin B-complex which is also in yam provides the body with necessary nutrients for bodybuilding and also makes us healthy.
Vitamin A is good for bright eyes and improves vision, and not only that since it is a powerful antioxidant, eating yam will help to improve the functions of the brain and reduce inflammation as well.
3. Help To Build Up Body Minerals
The intake of yam will also provide the body with minerals such as iron which aid blood formation and prevent clotting, potassium which maintains normal blood pressure, and other numerous minerals that are good for the body.
4. Very Good for Pregnant Women
Yam is essentially good for pregnant women as it contains many nutritional elements that is good for the baby and the mother as well. It contains Folate which is absolutely necessary for the brain and the central nervous system.
Yam contains minerals such as (iron) that relieves pregnant women from early morning sickness such as nausea and vomiting as well as keeping the bones strong which is extremely important for fetus development.
Frequent consumption of yam during pregnancy also helps to prevent birth defect which is caused by lack of red blood cells. The calcium content is essentially good for pregnant women as it helps in developing the fetus.
5. Helps to Lower Blood Pressure
Yam contains the highest amount of potassium nutrient alongside with folate among other food which helps to lower hypertension and modifies the blood vessel for proper blood flow so therefore it is advice that daily consumption of yam is good to the body as it controls the heart rate.
6. Helps to Reduce Menstrual Pain for Women
So many research has been proved that consumption of yam helps to prevent severe pain for women during menstruation but this is what many ladies don’t know. Yam contains many vitamin and mineral supplements that helps reduce those disordersand depression in women during menstruation.
It reduces hormonal imbalance in the female endocrine system and helps to stimulate the ovulation substance that can help boost fertility.
7. Rich in Carbohydrate
Yam are highly rich in carbohydrates and contains a lot of fiber which provides energy in the body and regulation of blood glucose. The carbohydrate also helps in breaking down of fatty acids and prevention of ketosis.
8. Source of Brain Functioning
Experiments carried out by scientist on memory booster proves that frequent consumption yam is increases the speed of which the brain functions due to the mineral contents it contains.
9. Rich in Antioxidants
The presence of vitamin C in yam which is a healthy antioxidant that helps the body to fight against infectious disease as well as killing the cancerous cell that causes free radicals in the body. It is also the best food to eat for those suffering from asthma and arthritis.
10. Balance the Digestive System and Bowel Movement
Yam is a great food for bowel movement and digestive system balance due to the potassium and fiber content that helps with the muscle contraction in the intestine and as well help to get rid of constipation.
11. Helps in Skin Diseases and Respiratory Problems
Yam contains a chemical compound known as Allantoin which is an active moisturizer used to treat scaly, itchy, dry and rough skin, skin burns, boils and other skin diseases. Its extract also helps to relieve chronic inflammatory disease, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
12. Very Good Source of Vitamin B6
A good source of vitamin B6 in the body helps to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases and it also helps the body to break down a substance called Homocysteine which damages the blood vessel walls and can as well lead to heart failure even when your body has low level of cholesterol.
13. A Good Supplement for Menopause
Yams contains some enzymes that helps to nourish and balance some hormones that no function in the body of menopausal women. The lack of vitamin B6 and hormonal imbalance after menopause could lead to depression.
Menopausal women are advised to daily consumption of yam so as to help balance those certain hormones that are very essential in the body.
14. Yam can help in Weight Loss
Due to yam high fiber content, it helps in sugar reduction in the body during metabolisms thereby helping you from getting hungry in between meals and to lose weight. Supplementing your food with yam can help you stay fit since it is not fattening.
Nutritional Content of Yam
The nutrient - carbohydrate is what yam is mostly known for but it contains other essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin B-complex, potassium, vitamin A, calcium, copper, iron etc. and also contains dietary fiber, protein and fats.
|Polyunsaturated Fat||Fat 1g|
|Monounsaturated||Fat 0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||28 g|
Some of these nutrients such as vitamin B Complex and protein are contained on the skin of the yam, which means that peeling it off reduces these nutrients and so it is better to cook it first before peeling but it still depends on what you are preparing.
Is There Any Side Effect of Yam?
Yam has no much side effect as long as you consume it in moderate amount. It is fully packed with carbohydrate which is the most important form of energy but the side effect includes weight increase and diabetes caused by too much glucose from carbohydrate.
Well as the case might be avoiding carbohydrate food is not the solution because human body needs carbohydrate for energy and yam is a food rich in carbohydrate but also high in dietary fiber which will help to suppress the side effect of weight gain and diabetes.
The nutritional and health benefit of yam includes good source of energy, good source of vitamin, help to build up body minerals, very good for pregnant women, helps to lower blood pressure, helps reduce menstrual pain for women.
Also rich in carbohydrate, source of brain functioning, rich in antioxidants, helps to balance the digestive system and bowel movement, use in curing skin disease and respiratory problem, very good source of vitamin B6, a good supplement for menopause.
Where is Yam Grown?
Yams can be found in Africa, and also in the Caribbean. The species of yams in Nigeria differs which might slightly change the composition of the nutritional values but nonetheless yam contains nutrients that normalize the high carbohydrate content making a good source of energy and other essential minerals and vitamins.
Yams too naturally contains toxins like Dioscorine which is a storage protein that benefits the health of individuals suffering from hypertension and as well block Angiotensin that causes increased kidney flow and increase in blood pressure.
We cannot mention food crops in Nigeria without naming yam, Nigeria produces yam commercially and in great quantity, yet it is also one of the highest consumers of it because it forms parts of most of the Nigerian delicacies and has nutritional values which provides the body with the needed nutrients.