15 Yam Nutrition Facts That Will Keep You Healthy In Life

Christian Mba
Oct 05, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Jan 20, 2022
One of the most interesting yam nutrition facts is that they are often misunderstood to be sweet potatoes but are equally nutritious.

Yams are a whole package of goodness and they are from the genus Dioscorea.

Yams are highly cultivated in African countries. Around 96% of the yam cultivation in the world was recorded in Africa in 2007.

Yams are simply healthy tuber veggies. There are a variety of yams that are famous all over the world. There are purple yam, Chinese yam, Wild yam, Indian yam, Mexican yam, and so on.

Commonly, yams are brown in color on the outer side but the flesh of yams can vary in color. Yams are also known as starchy tubers. They are strong in potassium and manganese, which are essential for bone health, growth, metabolism, and heart function, among other things.

Yams are nutritious tubers that can be consumed by people of all ages. Also, they are known to be dietary fiber and protein supplements. They are rich in water and contain a little less sugar. Raw yams are generally not good for health. They also contain low calories and are known to have no fats.

Yam Nutrition Table

The vitamin C-rich Yam has some amazing nutritional values that would surely be worth knowing before consumption.

  • Yams and sweet potatoes are two different vegetables. Let us start with this fact being established.
  • If you consume a 5 in ( 12.7 cm) of yam then you can have zero fats and zero cholesterol. The 5 in (12.7 cm) yam carries 112 calories and also is rich in fibers. Yam is also rich in protein, carbohydrates, and sodium.
  • Apart from vitamin C, yam is also rich in pro-vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin E, and so on. It also contains a good amount of calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, and iron.
  • Yams are not at all fattening. They are considered great for weight loss as it has low calories and let us not forget the fact that they are also a rich source of fibers.
  • Yams are not only healthy, but also help in weight loss. They are used as dietary supplements for many athletes too. They are often considered an alternative to regular potatoes.
  • Many often wonder which among these usual potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yam are healthier. Research has proven that sweet potatoes and yams are considered healthier than regular potatoes. This is due to the rich vitamin A and vitamin C content.
  • As you know, vitamin C is always safe to consume in recommended amounts. Instead of consuming supplements, why not go with the foods that bring you all needed vitamins, carbs, and other nutritional content.
  • You can expect your blood sugar levels to be maintained with the help of saturated fat and dietary fiber present in yams.
  • The fatty acids will be under control and that is one of the important benefits of yams. Also, tubers like yam and sweet potatoes contain antioxidants that are healthier for the skin and also help in removing impurities from the body.

Yam Benefits To Cure Disease

Yams and sweet potatoes are both very healthy and can do wonders in the body; it supports good bone health, instill proper growth in the body, helps in proper metabolism, and also reduces chances of heart disease.

  • Yams are known to enhance the functioning of the brain which would increase cognitive ability. It is also known to reduce inflammation in the body. This can be a great choice if someone wants to have good blood sugar level control.
  • Since yam is rich in beta carotene, yams are considered to be even better for the immune system. It also plays a big role in wound healing and has anti-aging properties.
  • It promotes gut health. It also helps in strengthening vision power in humans.
  • Some of the other benefits of having yam in a good amount are; it helps to promote fertility, is considered great for smooth skin and hair, may prevent anemia, alleviate the symptoms of menopause, also helps in controlling cholesterol levels, and so on.
  • Also, there has been a wise belief of many practitioners that yams actually help in curing rheumatoid arthritis and it also helps to deal with cramps and muscle pain.
  • However, despite several amazing health benefits of yam, these tubers can even cause some side effects on humans.
  • If too many wild yams are consumed it may lead to vomiting, nausea, digestive issues and can also cause headaches.
These tuber plants can be grown in the gardens or in the backyard with just a little care and can be eaten fresh.

Raw Yam Vs Cooked Yam

Unlike sweet potatoes, yam is needed to be cooked to make it healthy for consumption.

  • Yams are more nutritious and healthier when cooked. Cooked yams are free from toxins. These toxins are the plant proteins that are present in the yam tuber. People must be cautious about the ways to eat yams.
  • Yams must not ever be consumed raw. Yams can cause illness if eaten raw. Hence, it is always advised to peel off the yams, boil or cook them to make them fit for consumption. However, sweet potatoes can be eaten raw.
  • Sweet potatoes, unlike yams, can be healthy even if it is consumed raw. Toxins like Dioscorea are not present in sweet potatoes. However, to retain the goodness and nutritious values in yam tubers it has been advised to boil the yams for not more than 20 minutes.
  • One must boil yams by covering the lid of the container.
  • Many of the people would be much excited to know about the differences between yams and sweet potatoes.
  • As we mentioned earlier, it is surely a myth that people consider sweet potatoes and yams as the same veggies. The size and skin of both yams and sweet potatoes are highly distinguishable.
  • Yams can be purple, white, yellow, or pink in flesh color whereas sweet potatoes can be of orange or red flesh colors.
  • Sweet potatoes see known to be sweeter than yams. Yams are rich in water content whereas sweet potatoes are considered to be dry. Sweet potatoes are even considered to be more nutritious than yams.
  • The taste of yams is known to be better than the taste of sweet potatoes.

These are some differences between a yam and sweet potato with which people can easily differentiate between the two tuber roots.

15 Facts On Yam

Here are the top 15 facts on yam that would blow anyone’s minds off.

  • Did you know that yams are available throughout the year?
  • The word yam is derived from the Portuguese or Spanish word 'yama'.
  • Yams are known to be one of the highest sources of carbohydrates and energy.
  • Yams can have different tastes, it can be sweet, tasteless, and even bitter.
  • The leaves of the yam plant are heart-shaped; yet another reason to consume yams.
  • Wild yams are left alone and cultivated yams are eaten.
  • Yams are famous in the tropical region where there are around 600 known species of yams.
  • Yams are usually found in warmer regions, and as we mentioned earlier it is available throughout.
  • Yams are intensively grown in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Africa.
  • In some regions of the world like West Africa and New Guinea, yams have a ritual value and are also considered to be the primary agricultural product.
  • Canned yams can last for a year, so plan accordingly when you are purchasing canned items.
  • Yams are called Nyami in Africa and it carries some interesting names in different countries.
  • In a few countries like Japan, the purple yam is often called a sweet potato.
  • The heaviest yam till now weighed more than 100 lb (45.4 kg).
  • The word yam in literal terms means 'to eat'. So, you should be already adding this to your diet to eat.
  • Yams are high in carbohydrates. However, yams are generally considered to be a part of the high carb diet. Whereas sweet potatoes are considered to be a part of a low-carb diet.
  • Raw yams do not contain any healthy nutrients that would be good for the body.
  • Yams are meant to be nutritious and raw yams contain the same proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, and so on. But raw yams are known to contain toxins, which makes them unfit for consumption.
  • Yam is more than just a contributor of nutrient yam cream is often used instead of estrogen cream to relieve symptoms of menopause. These are quite helpful in balancing hormones and if you have any hormone-related problem, you might want to refrain from using yams medicinally without the advice of a physician.
  • Yams are highly recommended for improving cardiovascular health and even the nervous system.
  • Adding yams to a diet can actually help an individual to be healthy for ages. Yam can be great for the body but it is always recommended to have good research on the amount of the yam to be consumed which would determine the effectiveness of the healthy tuber.

We highly recommend you rely on fruits and vegetables for your daily nutrition content rather than supplements. Yams, for that matter, would be a healthy and tasty start. Let us start including yams as a part of our diet and start a healthy life.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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