Tubers have always been widely regarded for their potency and wide range of health benefits. As such, tubers have been consumed since ages both as a meal and also as a food in whole. While sweet potatoes are recognised easily throughout the globe, its close cousin, the Wild Yam Root is not as well-known.
Surprisingly, the Wild Yam Root, derived from the fleshy roots of the Yam (Dioscorea) is basically healthier than sweet potatoes. These tuber roots are usually brown, pink or white in colour and are less sweeter than sweet potatoes. However, the Wild Yam Root contains more starch.
Consumed extensively in Asia, Africa and in the West Indies, these tubers are delicious and immensely nutritious. The Wild Yam Root is today well-documented for its large list of health benefits and as such, people are not only increasingly consuming this tuber but it is also being used among the ingredients in various health supplements. This article aims to explore these health benefits and the various aspects related to the consumption of this root either as a whole or in supplements. Let us check out the health benefits that have made Wild Yam Root so popular.
Health benefits of the Wild Yam Root
As mentioned, most tubers are well-known for their nutritious value. Similarly, the Wild Yam Root is linked to several health benefits as listed below:
The Wild Yam Root is packed with several nutrients that make it a very nutritious and wholesome food.
Research has established the Wild Yam Root as an excellent source of potassium. In addition, it is also an excellent source of manganese. These nutrients are crucial for the proper functioning of the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system. Not just that, it also supports growth characteristics and improved metabolic rate.
Among other prominent nutrients, there is Vitamin C and copper. Vitamin C is excellent for the immune system as it serves as a powerful antioxidant. Copper, on the other hand, helps to produce red blood cells (RBCs) and aids in the absorption of iron.
Lastly, Wild Yam Root is rich in fiber, making it a very good dietary food. The rich content of several minerals and vitamins also help to establish this root as a popular choice of food in several parts of the world in their cuisine. Also, it turns out as a popular and worthy addition to health and diet supplements.
Helps to deal with menopause
Wild Yam Root is popular among woman who have entered their menopause stage. There are usually several symptoms associated with menopause which are not welcome by women. Switching to a diet consisting of Wild Yam Root works wonders.
A one month study on some women showed that replacing the intake of rice with Wild Yam Root in 2 out of 3 meals per day resulted in blood levels of estrone and estradiol, two estrogen hormones, by 26% and 27% respectively. The blood levels of these two estrogen hormones typically decrease during menopause and this results in several menopause symptoms such as hair loss, vaginal dryness, painful sexual intercourse, fatigue, loss of libido, mood swings, insomnia etc. The increased levels induced by the consumption of the Wild Yam Root help to decrease the unwelcome symptoms.
Boosts the cognitive functions of your brain
An experimental study of 3 months has demonstrated that people taking Wild Yam Root extract supplements secured a higher score in brain function tests when compared to those taking a placebo.
The cognitive function boosting abilities of Wild Yam Root is attributed to its content of diosgenin, a potent chemical compound proven to contribute towards the growth of neurons and enhance your cognitive functions. The benefits of diosgenin does not end here. Certain animal tests have shown the this chemical compound improves memory, information retention and learning functionalities.
Can potentially fight cancer
Research has shown that the rich source of antioxidants in yam can potentially fight cancer. An animal study showed that a diet rich in yam may drastically reduce the growth of cancerous tumours in the colon.
Further studies have established that extracts from the peel of yam inhibits the growth of cancerous tumours in the liver with its characteristics as an antioxidant.
Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent
Yam serves as an anti-inflammatory agent. A diet rich in yam can reduce the risks of chronic inflammation. These risks include conditions such as obesity and heart disease. Studies have proven this aspect.
Controls blood sugar levels
Wild Yam Root may potentially help to control blood sugar levels. An animal study displayed healthy blood sugar levels on the consumption of yam.
Another study has shown how the high fiber and resistant starch content of yam significantly reduced the rate of absorption of blood sugar, thereby assisting in the control of blood sugar. This is due to the fact that resistant starch can pass through the gut without being digested. This helps to keep hunger pangs in control and improves insulin sensitivity.
Research has suggested that yam possesses antimicrobial characteristics which help to deal with bacterial infections.
Better functioning of the digestive system
As mentioned, the resistant starch in yam remains undigested. Studies have verified that this results in an increased functionality of the digestive enzymes, contributing towards the in increased density of good bacteria in the gut.
Helps in weight loss
Studies have indicated that the fiber rich content of yam helps in suppressing appetite and thereby, contribute towards weight loss.
Reduces cholesterol levels
Women involved in a one month study displayed a decrease in the bad cholesterol levels by 6%.
How to consume Wild Yam Root?
As it is pretty obvious, the consumption of the Wild Yam Root is linked to various promising health benefits. So it is definitely a very good idea to include yam into your diet. The various ways to consume yam include:
- As yam flour, wherein you can mix with other foods.
- As a part of health supplements.
- The tubers themselves can be fried, roasted, boiled, baked or just eaten raw.
- You can add yam tuber in other dishes.
Yam is extremely delicious and can be enjoyed as a meal or a snack at any time of the day.
This delicious root really need to be a part of your diet. With so many health benefits, it is pretty obvious why yam is so popular all around the globe. Saviour this wholesome tuber, munch into it and help yourself attain great overall health!