What Are The Benefits Of Eating Yams?

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Yams?
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Yams?

The benefits of a diet that includes fruits vegetables and foods low in fat is huge. . Yams are the staple food for more than 100 million people in subtropical parts of the world but is usually eaten only during holidays in the West. Candied yams are a common holiday dish. Yams are often confused with sweet potatoes but yams are usually larger and less sweet. Yams are an excellent addition to a balanced diet.
Nutrition Information
yams are one of the most nutritional of all bulbs. They are an excellent source of vitamins B1 B6 and vitamin C. Yams contain manganese potassium phosphorus and healthy carbohydrates and is an excellent source of fiber and are rich in protein. Yams have a sweet taste and is a natural source of sugar but they have a low glycemic index which measures the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar. According to the website Nutrition Data the daily goal for glycemic load 100 or less. Cooked yams have a glycemic load of only 16. A serving size of 100 grams (3.5 grams) of yams contains 27.6 grams carbohydrates 3.9 grams of dietary fiber and 116 calories.
Reduced Cancer Risk
The American Cancer Society advises foods rich in carotenoids and lycopene such as yams can reduce a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. In the article Certain foods can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer American Cancer Society is based on a study by Dr. Daniel W. Cramer and others reported in the International Journal of Cancer in 2001. The study involved 549 women with ovarian cancer and 516 women that does not have cancer. The researchers asked the women about their dietary habits and learned that those who were cancer free ate more raw carrots and tomato sauce (foods rich in carotenoids and lycopene) than those who had cancer. Dr. Cramer found that women who ate two or more servings of tomato sauce per week had 40 percent reduced risk of cancer compared with those who ate less. Women who ate 20 or more sticks of raw carrots every week reduced their risk of ovarian cancer by 54 percent. The American Cancer Society does not single out yams as particularly effective in cancer prevention but lists yams among several foods that are rich in carotenoids and lycopene believed to be the nutrients that help the body fight the effects of carcinogens oxidants.
Other Health Benefits
Yams contain phytoestrogen (a plant hormone) diosgenin that can help in the synthesis of estrogen and progesterone. Diosgenin was one of the ingredients in the first pill used by women in 1960. The plant tips leaves and dried tips of yams especially wild yams have been widely used as an herbal supplement to relieve symptoms of menstruation and menopause. An article by the University of Maryland Medical Center article Wild Yam confirms that the plant hormone diosgenin can be converted to progesterone by chemical synthesis but that diosgenin does not behave chemically like estrogen. Animal studies indicate it interacts with estradiol in the body and it has been used in estrogen replacement therapy for women. According to the author of the University of Maryland article Steven D. Ehrlich NMD there is no scientific evidence to support allegations that diosgenin in yams is an effective treatment for menopause symptoms. There is disagreement between those in the medical community and those in nutrition and herbalist community if there is any advantage to taking herbal supplements containing wild yam to relieve symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause.”