Cultivated in Africa and Asia as early as 8,000 B.C., yam is one of the most consumed organic superfood in the world. Its ability to thrive in hot weather and with a long storage life has made it a vital food staple in most African culture.
Yam is a tuber vegetable that is believed to have originated in West Africa. It found its way to different countries in the 16th century at the height of the slave trade.
This organic superfood belong to dioscoreaceae family under the genus dioscorea. A perennial plant averagely growing up to 2 meters and are usually grown in tropical areas of the world.
Is yam and sweet potato one and the same? The answer is no. This two organic superfood may look so similar but they are not even distant relatives. From two different botanical families, yam is related to lilies and grasses while sweet potato is from the morning glory plant family. Yam has a thick, brown skin, while sweet potato has very thin peel. And unlike sweet potato, yam has less sugar and is made up of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber that allow slow uptake and keeps the blood sugar level balanced thus making it a diabetic friendly food.
Just how much nutrition can you get from yam? A lot! This organic superfood is an extremely healthy vegetable that is teeming with goodness in the form of essential minerals like copper, iron, magnesium calcium, phosphorus and potassium. It is also an excellent source of B complex vitamins that includes vitamin B6, B1, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. Yam can also supply your body with rich amount of vitamin C and antioxidants to help eliminate harmful free radicals that destroy body cells. Its rich content of dietary fiber helps lower your bad cholesterol level and reduces constipation.
When applied topically, Yam can speed up the healing process of boils, ulcers and other skin diseases as it contains a cell proliferate called allantoin. It also holds a protein called dioscorin that inhabits angiotensin converting enzymes, which indirectly increases your blood pressure by causing blood vessels to constrict. This leads to a reduced blood pressure and increased kidney flow. Its anti-inflammatory quality makes yam an excellent food for people suffering from asthma and arthritis. An ideal organic superfood that can form part of a controlled diet due to its low calorie content. It is also low in sodium.
Yam also helps menopausal women by providing a natural alternative to hormonal replacement. It is also known to alleviate bronchial irritation and other respiratory problems.
Things to watch out: Yam is not a known allergenic food, but if you experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and headache after eating yam, its best to consult with your health provider the soonest. Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid eating yam.
Steaming or broiling yam is the best way to retain its health nutrients. Boiling can cause nutritional loss.
Stay healthy. Live life. Eat organic superfood.
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