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Health Benefits of Yam

Mostly mistaken as sweet potato, yam is running on a league of its own. Yam’s distinct characteristics include a cylindrical shape, bark-like skin texture, and its color varies from pink to purple to white or even yellow. It has over 600+ varieties and most of them are still grown in Africa where it originated. 

Let us unearth the health treasures that this tuber has to offer!

Cancer fighter & anti-inflammatory

Yams contain an impressive amount of cancer-fighting properties, namely the antioxidants, in addition to their vitamins and minerals. These antioxidants also provide anti-inflammatory properties which fortify the ability to reduce colon cancer, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Rich in iron and heart-friendly minerals

Yams keep your heart healthy by flushing out the excess sodium, therefore, reducing your risk of getting long-term diseases such as stroke, hypertension, and heart attack. Other minerals that support your heart are manganese and potassium which improve the condition of your blood vessels.

High iron and mineral contents make yams your companion in protecting you against anemia. The trace minerals can also improve your blood flow. 

Sharp eyesight

One of the many functions of Vitamin C is it safeguards your ocular (eye) health that further prevents the risk of macular degeneration.

Strong hair and nails

Yams are known to promote collagen production which keeps your skin firm and elastic; and your hair strong. Antioxidants along with Vitamin C, protect your body from free radicals preventing your skin from premature aging. 

Healthy Candied Yams

Ingredients

  • 1 yam cubed
  • 1/4 cup organic orange juice
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. 
  2. Slice the yam into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Throw them in a pot of boiling water for about 5-7 minutes until they are slightly underdone.
  4. Transfer then yams to a greased baking pan. (For this recipe I used an 8X8 glass dish) 
  5. In a measuring cup, mix the orange juice, 1T maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
  6. Pour the mixture over the yams. 
  7. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. 
  8. For the last 2 minutes of cooking, pull the dish out and brush with the last T of maple syrup. Enjoy!

Adapted from My Whole Food Life

2 thoughts on “Health Benefits of Yam

  1. Do you peel the yam first?

    1. Hi Debra – If its a true yam, it will have a thick, fibrous tough exterior when comparing it to a sweet potato; so it is recommended that you peel before you eat 🙂

      Here’s a quick link – on how to prepare them from Bon Appetit!
      https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/yams

      Dr Z

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