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Yam Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts

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Yam health benefits & nutrition stats_Best Body Africa

What is yam?

No, we’re not talking sweet potatoes here! This is African yam, a root vegetable that forms a staple in many cultural diets. Yam originates in some parts of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. It is rich in carbohydrates and is usually the main energy source in many cuisines.

In appearance, yam looks like a larger and longer potato and is often eaten in similar ways as you will see below. There are different varieties of yam found in different locations such as “puna” yam which is commonly eaten in Ghana.

Nutrition Facts per 100g raw

  • 128 calories in yam
  • 0.2g fats in yam
  • 27.5g carbs in yam
  • 1.9g protein in yam
  • 4.1g fibre in yam

What does a 100g portion of yam look like?

100 grams yam_best body africa

What does 100 calories of yam look like?

100 calories yam_best body africa

Health Benefits

  1. Rich in antioxidants

Yam is rich in antioxidants to protect our bodies against free radicals that cause diseases such as cancers.

2. Reduce inflammation

It’s antioxidant-rich nature makes it a perfect food to potentially help reduce inflammation in relation to diseases such as stomach ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome.

3. Improve blood sugar

Yam is rich in fibre and as is a resistant starch which helps to improve blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

4. Improve heart health

Yam is low in fat and rich in fibre. This means that is a good candidate to reduce high blood pressure.

5. Improve digestion

Yam is rich in fibre which helps to break down food and increase the number of “good” gut bacteria to ease digestion.

6. Weight loss

Yam is rich in fibre which helps to improve satiety (fullness), curb appetites and improve weight loss. So if this is your goal, add some yam into your diet but of course, in controlled portions.

7. Improve fertility?

Cultures in countries such as Nigeria perceive yam as a catalyst for improved fertility among women. Research has also recently shown that yams may have an ovulation stimulation effect which helps to boost fertility.

How to prepare

You can bake, boil, fry, roast, pound into “fufu” or air-fry yam. You can prepare it just like how you would prepare potatoes!

Check out some of our recipes featuring yam, such as our Baked Yam Fries recipe, here.



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