The water yam has a long and complicated history, one that is still being explored by researchers today. It is thought to have originated in Africa, and from there, it spread to other parts of the world. It was a staple crop for many cultures and has been used for food and medicine.
Water yam is prized for its many health and nutritional benefits. Water yam is a powerhouse of goodness. Let’s take a closer look at this amazing vegetable.
History of Water Yam (Dioscorea alata)
Water yam is a root vegetable that is popular in many parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia. It is believed to have originated in West Africa, and it is thought to have been first cultivated in Nigeria. Water yams are a staple food in many parts of Africa, and they are often used in soups and stews. The roots of water yams can be up to four feet long, and they are typically white or yellow in color. Water yams are rich in nutrients and have been shown to provide several health benefits.
Water yams are a good source of fiber and contain vitamins A, C, and B6. Additionally, water yams are a good source of potassium and magnesium. Water yams have been shown to improve digestion and may also help lower blood pressure. Additionally, water yams may help to reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
There are several types of water yam, but the most commonly consumed variety is the sweeter, red-fleshed water yam. This type is high in Vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium and fiber. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect the body against disease.
What is the difference between Yam and water yam?
Yams and water yams are two entirely different vegetables. Yams are a type of sweet potato, and they typically have reddish-brown skin with white or yellow flesh. On the other hand, water yams are a root vegetable that is popular in many parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia. Water yams are a staple food in many parts of Africa and are often used in soups and stews. The roots of water yams can be up to four feet long, and they are typically white or yellow in color. Water yams are rich in nutrients and have been shown to provide several health benefits.
Nutritional Value of Water Yam
Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbs are abundant in water yam. You will get the following in 100 grams (g) of fresh edible water yam tubers.
Vitamin C: 8 milligrams (mg)
Protein: 2 g
Moisture content: 65 g
Vitamin B2: 0.04 mg
Magnesium: 10 mg
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Calcium: 28 mg
Fats: 0 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Vitamin B1: 0.1 mg
B-carotene: 10 mg
Phosphorus: 28 mg
Additionally, water yams are a great source of copper, manganese, zinc, and potassium, which are vital minerals for the health of your body’s cells.
What are the benefits of Water Yam?
Water yam is an essential root crop in the Caribbean. It is a rich source of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. This starchy root vegetable has a high water content and is low in calories, making it an excellent choice for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Water yam is also a good source of resistant starch, which is a type of carbohydrate that is slowly absorbed by the body and has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improved blood sugar control and reduced inflammation.
It Improves Bone Health
It was found that water yam is a source of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium that are essential for bone health. These minerals are known to improve bone mineral density, which can help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis. Additionally, the antioxidants present in water yam help to protect bones from the damage caused by oxidative stress.
Lowers blood sugar level
Water yam has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels. In a study of 30 people with type 2 diabetes, those who ate 100 grams of water yam every day for 12 weeks had significantly lower blood sugar levels than those who didn’t eat water yam.
Another study in rats found that water yam extract helped lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. Water yam may also help prevent diabetes. In a study of 1,374 adults, those who ate the most water yams had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least.
Water yam is a good source of fiber, which has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which helps keep blood sugar levels from spiking.
It Eases menopause symptoms
Water yam is effective in treating menopausal symptoms. This is due to the fact that water yam contains high levels of estrogen. This hormone is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. When women reach menopause, their bodies stop producing estrogen. This can lead to a number of symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Water yam can help to alleviate these symptoms by providing the body with the estrogen it needs.
It Slows down aging
Water yams are a great source of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage and can slow down the aging process. They’re also packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and manganese, which are all essential for good health.
Water yams are a low-calorie food, so they’re great for people watching their weight. And since they’re high in fiber, they can help you feel full and satisfied after eating.
So next time you’re looking for healthy and delicious food to add to your diet, reach for a water yam!
It Improves digestive health
Water yam contains a good amount of dietary fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Dietary fiber helps add bulk to stool and prevents constipation. It also plays a role in the maintenance of bowel health by promoting regularity and preventing conditions like hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.
It Boosts the Immune System
Water yam is a root vegetable that is cultivated in tropical countries. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains a compound called allantoin, which has wound-healing properties.
Water yam is a good immune booster as it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. This help to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. They also help to boost the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infections.
Water yam is also a good source of vitamin C, which is another important nutrient for boosting the immune system. It helps to increase the production of antibodies and also helps to reduce the duration and severity of colds and flu.
It Lowers Blood cholesterol
Water yam can help lower blood cholesterol, which in turn can reduce your risk of heart disease. The high fiber content in water yam helps to remove cholesterol from the body by binding to it and carrying it out of the body through waste.
Additionally, water yam contains a type of soluble fiber known as pectin. Pectin has been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while simultaneously raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Within the water yam tuber is a substance called diosgenin. Diosgenin is a steroidal sapogenin (a precursor to various hormones) that has been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
It Promotes weight loss
Water yam is a weight-loss-friendly food. It is high in fiber and low in calories, which makes it a great food to include in your weight-loss diet. 100 grams of water yam contains just 47 calories and 3 grams of fiber.
Fiber is known to promote weight loss by increasing satiety and reducing hunger. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which can prevent cravings and overeating.
Water yam is also a good source of potassium, a nutrient that has been shown to help reduce water retention. This can help to reduce bloating and promote weight loss.
It Promotes Good Vision
Water yam is a good source of beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body and is important for vision. Vitamin A is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy mucus membranes and skin. It also helps protect against night blindness and other vision problems.
Culinary uses of water yam
Water yam can be used in a variety of dishes, such as:
– Yam porridge: This is a popular dish in many parts of Africa and Asia. It is made by boiling yam with water or milk and then adding sugar or honey to taste.
– Yam soup: This soup is popular in Cameroon and Nigeria. It is made by boiling yam with water or milk and then adding vegetables, meat, or fish to the mixture.
– Yam curry: This dish is popular in India and Sri Lanka. It is made by cooking yam with spices, such as turmeric, cumin, and chili powder.
– Yam fries: This dish is popular in Jamaica. It is made by frying yam slices in oil.
– Baked yam: This dish is popular in the Caribbean. It is made by baking yam in an oven.
All in all, water yam is a highly nutritious root vegetable that can be a part of a healthy diet. It is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and has a variety of health benefits. These include the promotion of digestive health, heart health, and weight loss. Water yam can be enjoyed in many different ways and is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.
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