Yams may have originated from West Africa, but it has definitely made the move from across the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean to our part of the world. Most of us know that yams are an ingredient used in many Asian cuisines, but did you know that they have had a history of being used as medicine in the past? Although yams are no longer used as medicines as often in the past, scientists still believe that there are many health benefits to yams and there is a huge potential for it being consumed as a superfood. Read on below to find out how yams can super boost your health and body.
Benefits Of Yams
Yams Help Control Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious issue that a lot of Singaporeans deal with. The great thing is that yams do help in controlling one’s diabetes since yams contain a good mix of carbohydrates and dietary fibre that ensures one’s blood sugar levels does not move up and down in a rollercoaster-fashion. This is all down to how yams are categorised as a low glycemic index food — these food are digested much slower and it prevents fluctuations in the blood sugar levels, which may lead to dramatic symptoms.
Yams Give You Better Eyesight
It is a privilege we have that yams are such an accessible vegetable to include in our diet. Yams have so many rich minerals that are necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Due to the high levels of vitamin A in yams, we are likely to have much stronger eyesight. When vitamin A is absorbed into our body, they are converted into beta-carotene which is what maintains the healthy mucous membranes in our eyes. Expect to see better in the night since our night vision would improve over time and any age-related vision loss would be significantly reduced.
Yams Maintain A Stronger Nervous System
Yams are packed with a lot of nutrients but do you know which ones are the one that helps with cultivating a better nervous system? That would be the group B vitamins and potassium minerals. Group B vitamins are the ones in charge of improving your memory and reinforcing the learning capacity in humans, while the potassium mineral found in yams are the ones that increase blood flow to our brains and from that, it strengthens our concentration, builds our cognitive skills and enhances our neural activity. In addition, pregnant mothers should definitely include yams into their diet due to the folate in yams that assist with the brain development for their babies.
Yams Provide Good Antioxidants
For those who lust after beauty skin, yams are what would help you with your goal. Within yams lie pockets of vitamin C and antioxidants that help with ridding your body of all the free radicals that are known to wreak havoc on your DNA cells, including those found in your skin. These free radicals are also what causes your body to deteriorate as they have the potential to cause massive illnesses like cancer and heart diseases. On the topic of skin beauty, the vitamins actually help your body produce more collagen and this helps with building up the elasticity of your skin through the faster healing of damaged skin to make it more smooth and healthy. This inevitably helps one keep up a youthful outlook and keeping wrinkles and creases away from your face.
Yams Contribute To Better Digestive Health
Yams have a high fibre content. For those who question the importance in fibre, they are what is needed to give your stool the form it does and ensuring a smoother and regular bowel movement. Without fibre, our body would be at the mercy of digestive issues like constipation, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Not to mention, when we consume food with much higher fibre content, we are less likely to snack since those food keeps our tummies contended for a much longer time.
How Can We Introduce Yam Into Our Diets
There are a million and one ways in which yam can be introduced in our diet. The best part is that yams are already used in much of our Asian cuisines, thus we do not have to look far for inspiration. We are sure you would have heard of recipes like yam rice or as a dessert in yam paste and gingko nut, but if you are considering utilising them as an ingredient in your soups, certain medicinal stalls do sell them dried as a herb as well.
Perhaps something that would be easy to whip up in less than 15 minutes would be roasted yams. Just by thinly slicing yams and roasting them in the oven with some salt and pepper, you can easily pair them with your main courses like chicken or fish and surprise your dinner guest with this wonderful side-dish