Nutrients in Yams
One cup of yams (cubed and cooked) has 158 calories with less than 2 calories being from fat. It provides about 21% of the daily value of fiber, 27% of vitamin C, and 26% of potassium. Yams are also a good source of B vitamins, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Health Benefits of Yams
Eating foods high in fiber, like yams, offer many benefits.
Fiber helps in weight loss because it is filling and is not absorbed by the body.
Fiber draws water into the intestines and can help prevent constipation. By preventing constipation, the risk of developing hemorrhoids are low.
Cholesterol binds to fiber and is carried out before it is absorbed, thus helping in the prevention of heart disease.
Fiber passes food (and cancer-causing agents) through the intestinal tract quickly. This reduces ones risk of developing colon cancer.
People with diabetes can benefit from eating yams because sugar is absorbed at a slower pace.
Fiber also keeps the intestines healthy and strong by stimulating the muscles to contract.
Vitamin C offers many health benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant and can help slow the aging process and prevent many diseases like cancer. It is also important in promoting the absorption of iron, maintaining healthy skin, and protecting against infections.
Potassium helps control blood pressure and can reduce ones risk of stroke. It also increases muscular strength and helps reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and irritability.
Buying, Storing, and Cooking Yams
True yams are not very common in the United States. You may have to shop at an African or Asian food market to find them.
When buying yams, select ones that are firm and without bruises, soft spots, or cracks.
Store uncooked yams in a cool (not above 60° F) dark place that is well ventilated. Store them loosely (for example, not in a bag) and do not keep them in a refrigerator or in sunlight.
To get the best health benefits of yams when cooking, steaming is advised. If you do not wish to steam, roasting is preferred over boiling.
Image courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:YamsatBrixtonMarket.jpg
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