Yams are starchy tuber vegetables of West African origin. The yam vegetable has a lot of ritualism and symbolism associated with itself, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Yam belongs to the Dioscoreaceae family, in Dioscorea genus. They have been cultivated since 50,000 BC in Africa and Asia. It is one of the most consumed foods in the world and is a staple food in South America, Africa, West Indies and the Pacific Islands
Yam is available in around 200 different varieties with colors ranging from ivory, yellow to purple. The shape of this tuber is long and cylindrical with a rough exterior. The commercially important species of yam are White Yam, Yellow Yam, Chinese Yam, South East Asian and trifoliate yam.
Yam is grown throughout Africa, Nigeria being the largest producer and exporter of Yam. Nigeria provides around 70% of the world’s total Yam production.
Yam Nutrition Value:
Yam is a good source of energy and each 100 grams contain 118 calories. It is mainly composed of complex carbohydrates and soluble fiber. It is an excellent source of B complex vitamins like Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, riboflavin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and niacin. It also contains a good amount of antioxidants and Vitamin C. It provides around 20% of the required Vitamin C in the body per 100 grams. It also contains small amounts of Vitamin A and beta carotene levels. It is a rich source of minerals like copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. 100 grams of yam provides 816 mg of Potassium
Health Benefits of Yam:
Yam has been used as a traditional medicine in China, Korea and Japan since centuries. It contains allantoin, a cell proliferate that expedites the healing process when applied topically on ulcers, boils and other skin diseases. Its decoction is also known to stimulate and relieve bronchial irritation, cough and other respiratory problems.