Benefits of Yams
Yam is the common name for some plant species in the genus Dioscorea that form edible tubers.
Yams are members of the Dioscoreae family. Depending upon the yam variety, of which there are about 200, its flesh may be of varying colors including white, ivory, yellow or purple while its thick skin may either be white, pink or brownish-black. Their shape is long and cylindrical (oftentimes having offshoots referred to as andtoesand) while their exterior texture is rough and scaly. Yams have a very starchy and slippery texture and when cooked, will either be creamy or firm, depending upon the variety. Their taste is earthy and hardy, with most varieties having minimal, if any, sweetness. Specific types of yams include Dioscorea alata (Hawaiian yam), Dioscorea batatas (korean yam) and Dioscorea esculenta (sweet yam).and
2. Studies on Yam
Thereands an interesting link between yams and unpleasant menopausal symptoms. Wild yam extracts have been studied as a possible remedy, due to steroidal saponin compounds, but thereands been nothing conclusive so far. Among the saponin compounds is a chemical known as diosgenin, which tests have shown to exert a positive impact on hormonal patterns, and possible benefits for lowering the risk of osteoporosis. One yam variety, Dioscorea bulbifera, was found in another study to improve ventricular function and protect the tissues surrounding the heart.
3. Yam Fun Facts
Yams are thought to have originated in Asia, carried to Africa around the first century before being transported to the Caribbean with the slave trade. yams appear very similar to sweet potatoes, theyandre quite different. In fact, theyandre not even related. Yams belong to the Dioscoreae or morning glory family, while sweet potatoes are from the genus Convolvulaceae. Yams (from the African word andnyami,and meaning andto eatand) have only one embryonic seed leaf, while sweet potatoes have two.
Yams may be undergoing an identity crisis due to frequent comparison with sweet potatoes. Though yams donandt come close to the vitamin A content and carotenoid presence, this world-traveling tuber has a unique set of phytonutrients. Besides strong antioxidants, including the enzyme superoxide dismutase, yams contain vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, B vitamins, and a long line of other minerals like riboflavin, potassium, iron, and manganese.
Yams are very high in beta carotene vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is particularly helpful to individuals with heart problems, as B6 is known to break down homocysteine, which damages blood vessel walls. Yams are also high in the mineral potassium, which aids in controlling blood pressure, and also provides a good source of fiber.
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