Do you know that yams are perennial herbaceous vines that are native to countries like Asia, Africa, and Tropical America? Some species are long and cylindrical in shape, with rough, scaly exteriors. There are around 200 varieties of yams all around the world, which are usually available throughout the year such as sweet yam, Hawaiian yam, Mexican wild yam and Korean yam. Due to its abundance in West African countries, it has become an important part of their culture and is even worshipped in certain areas. In Nigeria especially in the Eastern part, new yam festivals are celebrated to mark the beginning of harvesting season. Yams are a good source of potassium, which helps maintain the blood pressure level.
Yams can be prepared in a number of ways: fried, boiled, and even pounded. It is worthy of note that constant intake of wild yam can cause certain side effects, like vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. Also people with certain conditions, like liver diseases, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer, should be careful while using products made of wild yam. Despite these pitfalls, wild yam has been used as a form of traditional herbal Chinese medicine for a long time.
Benefits Of Yams
Wild yam is mainly used for the proper functioning of renal and female endocrine system while its root has been traditionally given to lactating women.
Wild yam also helps decrease water retention and alleviates nausea during pregnancy.
Yams contain high levels of Vitamin B6, which is a popular supplement for women suffering from depression due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Regular intake of Vitamin B6 is also beneficial against a number of heart conditions and stroke, as they help in the breakdown of a chemical substance called homocysteine.
They help maintain the blood sugar level.
Due to their high fiber content, yams help control the body weight through uniform distribution of weight without transferring extra weight to the hip area or the waistline.