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Benefits of yams

Updated on February 21, 2013

I had never heard about the benefits of yams, until my neighbor recommended that I eat them to alleviate my constant stomach problems. They're awesome!

Let me share with you some of the things I have found about this wonderful gift of nature.

So, what's in a yam?

Yams are rich in vitamins and minerals. The most abundant vitamin in this tuber is vitamin A which is the reason for its beautiful, orange color.

In short, yams are rich in:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E (tocopherol)
  • Vitamin B1
  • B6
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Antioxidants
  • Enzymes

Vitamin A in yams

Vitamin A deficiency is related to many health problems such as growth disorders, dry skin, cornea ulcers and night blindness. When consumed regularly, yams can help alleviate some of these problems as well as degenerative diseases, heart problems, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Yams are also used to stabilize blood sugar levels and to diminish insulin resistance.

To obtain the maximum benefit of its vitamin A, yams must be consumed with oils, such as peanut butter.

Another fun fact is that when beta carotene is digested, it turns into vitamin A which stimulates collagen production to protect from sun damage and prevents premature aging.

Fiber in yams

Yams contain great amounts of dietary fiber. When eaten with the skin, yams can contain more fiber than oatmeal. which is necessary to keep a healthy digestive system and even prevent colon cancer.

Fiber also aids with weight loss. How? The fiber in yams helps to fill you up quicker and keep digestive system running smoothly, so that you won't store anything unnecessary in your gut. The fiber is so useful in cleansing your intestines that it can even get rid of heavy metals, such as lead, that may have been stored in your body.

Fiber is also a great cholesterol reducer, which helps you maintain a heathy heart.

More important facts about yams

  • According to the international potato center, yams have more beta carotene than any other food.
  • Helps to eliminate tiredness and fatigue.
  • stabilizes blood glucose levels.
  • great antioxidant. Prevents premature aging and protects from free radicals.
  • great to stop diarrhea
  • promotes even tanning
  • Leaves and roots are good for treating anemia, high blod pressure, diabetes and hemorraghes.

How to eat yams

Yams must be eaten cooked. It is not recommended to eat it raw since it can cause gases and diarrhea due to its high amount of resin.

Keep in mind that boiling yams will make them lose most of its vitamins and nutrients. Therefore, it is recommended that yams be baked.

And the best part is that baking them is super easy and they taste great. What I like to do is wash them, cover them in aluminum foil, and put them in the oven at 400 degrees. They should be ready within 45 minutes, but check them often so they won't over bake.

After they are baked they can be used pretty much anywhere.

I add it to my Cheerios. It makes a delicious, orange paste, and the Cheerios add the extra crunch.

Another way to eat yams is with coconut milk. Warm up the baked yam, add some coconut milk, and you have a delicious breakfast or snack.

Have fun adding baked yams to whatever other recipe you might have. They are super versatile, will make everything taste great, and, most importantly, you will enjoy the benefits of yams.


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    • Silver Q profile image

      Silver Q 4 years ago

      Hi tillsontitan!

      I'm so glad you found it helpful! I've been eating baked yams for some time now and they taste delicious, especially when u wrap them in aluminum foil, since this helps to keep all the sweet juices in....

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I am so glad I found this hub! I had no idea boiling yams made them lose many of their benefits. I guess I'll be baking from now on. Mixing them with coconut milk sounds good to.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.