Yams are more than just a delicious holiday tradition. Thanksgiving
and Christmas were the only times that our family ever ate Yams, until I was on a low-carbohydrate diet. Yams are
not only lower in carbohydrates and starch than white potatoes, but
full of wonderful nutrients. While there are many good recipes using
yams out there, I love them baked with just a little butter, and
sometimes a touch of raw honey, though they can be quite sweet
naturally. Read on for more information about the nutrients in yams.
are actually a variety of sweet potato which we grow in the US. A true
yam is imported, and isn't as attractive as what we call yams and buy
in our super markets. The true yam isn't as orange as what we purchase
in the US. That orange color is Beta Carotene, which can be converted
into Vitamin A.
are a good source of both potassium and vitamin B6, two nutrients that
your body needs every day. Vitamin B6 helps your body break down a
substance called homocysteine, which can cause damage to blood vessel
walls. High intakes of vitamin B6 have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Potassium is a
mineral that helps to control blood pressure. In the Dietary Approaches
to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, one study group ate servings of
fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy food in place of snacks and sweets.
This approach offered more potassium, magnesium and calcium. After
eight weeks, this group lowered their blood pressure by an average of
5.5 points (systolic) over 3.0 points (diastolic). Yams also contain a
storage protein called Dioscorin. Preliminary research suggests that
Dioscorin can help your body to achieve increased kidney blood blow
thereby reducing blood pressure.
addition, Yams' complex carbohydrates and fiber deliver the goods
gradually, slowing the rate at which their sugars are released and
absorbed into the bloodstream. Because they're rich in fiber, yams fill
you up without filling out your hips and waistline. Yams are also a good
source of manganese, a trace mineral that helps with carbohydrate
metabolism and is a co-factor in a number of enzymes important in energy
production and antioxidant defenses.
Image Credit: chefkeem on Pixabay
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