Yam: Properties and benefits of yam
The yam is a little-known tuber , but at the same time very beneficial for health, so it is convenient to know it. It is a tropical and subtropical crop , and for this reason in European countries it is not as widely consumed. However, that does not mean that, today, it is a food of great importance in the daily diet of many peoples of the world. With this article, we want you to know this tuber thoroughly, and for this we will place special emphasis on the benefits that it is capable of contributing to health. We assure you that it will not leave you indifferent. Yam is worth knowing .
Where does the yam come from?
The yam is grown in tropical or subtropical climates , or what is the same: warm areas with high humidity. For thousands of years, this tuber has grown mainly in Africa, South Asia and on several islands in the Pacific. The earliest farmers, living around 5,000 BC, realized that carefully removing these tubers allowed the yam plant to recover and produce new ones. What they found was incredible: an easy-to-grow crop that also had the ability to regenerate itself .
It is suggested that yams originated in forest regions , and that their ability to climb is the result of a historical adaptation to that environment, characterized by high relative humidity and low solar radiation. However, today commercially cultivated species grow without shade and under the humid conditions of open fields. The main yam producing country in the world is Nigeria , and with a lot of difference over its competitors. In 2018, it produced a total of 47,532,615 tons, an astronomical figure that is well above the total produced by the second country: Ghana , with the not inconsiderable amount of 7,858,209 tons.
Properties and benefits of yam
Being a tuber, and like sweet potatoes, potatoes or cassava, yams are rich in carbohydrates, mainly starch (more than 70% of its composition) and fiber , in proportions that exceed 8 grams per 100 grams of food. In addition, compared to other similar crops, it has a high protein content , since it has about 12% of this nutrient. Finally, it is rich in quality minerals , such as calcium, phosphorous and potassium, as well as a source of vitamin C and certain antioxidants .
Analyzed its properties, now it is the turn of the health benefits . These are the most notable:
- It is a healthy energy food : since it contains a large amount of carbohydrates, but not with a high glycemic index due to its richness in fiber and vegetable proteins , it serves as an ideal natural energy food for athletes.
- Strengthens the immune system : it is a source of vitamin C and antioxidants , which help strengthen the immune system in a totally natural way. We can say that the consumption of this tuber helps to increase the body’s defenses .
- It is purifying and diuretic : being rich in dietary fiber and potassium , yam is a food capable of purifying our body and helping the body to end fluid retention.
- Reduces constipation – As it contains dietary fiber , it helps constipated people to overcome their situation more easily.
- Ally against hypertension : the beneficial effects of dioscorin , a type of protein very present in yams , against this condition are currently being investigated . Everything indicates that it has something to do with it.