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Yam, also known as taro, is a tuber rich in medium glycemic index carbohydrates, a type of carbohydrate that gradually increases blood glucose levels, being a great food option to prolong energy during physical activity and concentration during a race, for example.
By containing good amounts of fiber, yam also helps to reduce the speed of sugar absorption, balancing blood glucose levels and helping to control diabetes. See other fiber foods that help control diabetes.
Yam is normally sold at fairs and supermarkets, and has a texture that resembles that of potato and a mild flavor, and can be used in recipes such as salads, purees, soups, breads, cakes, chips, yogurts and juices.In addition, yam can also be used for medicinal purposes, in the form of compresses or teas.
By having good amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, minerals and vitamins, yam provides several he alth benefits, the main ones being:
1. Fight constipation
Yams have good amounts of soluble fiber, a type of fiber that absorbs water into the intestines, hydrating stools, facilitating evacuation and thus fighting constipation.
2. Increase energy and disposition
Yam is rich in medium glycemic index carbohydrates, a type of carbohydrate that is released gradually in the body, prolonging energy and disposition during training and concentration during a test, for example. Discover other foods with a medium glycemic index.
3. Promote weight loss
By having good amounts of fiber, yam helps to prolong satiety, decreasing the desire to eat throughout the day and favoring weight loss. See how to consume foods with fiber to lose weight.
4. Help alleviate menopausal symptoms
Yam contains diosgenin, a bioactive compound that has an estrogenic effect and, therefore, can help balance female hormones, helping to reduce menopausal symptoms.
5. Help control blood glucose
By containing fiber, yam slows down the absorption of sugar from food, helping to control blood glucose levels, preventing insulin resistance and diabetes, as well as helping to balance glucose levels in people who already have the disease.
6. Keeping your skin he althy
Yam contains beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant that protects he althy cells against damage caused by the sun's ultraviolet rays, as well as preventing collagen loss, keeping the skin he althy and preventing premature aging.
7. Prevent cardiovascular disease
By having great amounts of fiber, yams reduce the absorption of fat in the intestine, helping to balance the levels of “bad” cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides in the blood, preventing diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
In addition, yams are also rich in potassium, a mineral that helps eliminate excess sodium from the body, preventing high blood pressure.
Do yams make you fat?
Yams are rich in carbohydrates and calories, and therefore, when consumed in large quantities, they can be fattening.
However, yams contain fiber that helps to prolong satiety, decreasing hunger throughout the day. Therefore, when consumed in moderation, in a balanced diet and associated with regular physical exercise, yam can help with weight loss.
Nutrition Facts Table
The following table provides the nutritional information for 100 g of cooked and raw yams:
Raw yam (100g)
3 tablespoons of chopped cooked yam (100g)
|97 kcal||116 kcal|
|23, 2 g||27, 5 g|
|2, 1 g||1, 5 g|
|0, 2 g||0, 1 g|
|4, 1 g||3, 9 g|
|7 mcg||6 mcg|
|83 mcg||73 mcg|
|5, 6 mg||12, 1 mg|
|23 mcg||16 mcg|
|12 mg||14 mg|
|568 mg||670 mg|
|65 mg||49 mg|
|29 mg||18 mg|
To obtain the benefits of yam consumption, it is also essential to maintain a balanced and he althy diet, associated with regular physical exercise.
How to use
Taro yam contains high amounts of oxalate, a compound that, when consumed in excess, can inhibit the absorption of minerals such as calcium, zinc and iron. Therefore, this type of yam should only be consumed cooked.
Yam can be used in purees, soups, cakes, salads, stews and in the preparation of vegetable drink to replace cow's milk. In addition, yam can also be used for medicinal purposes, in compresses or teas:
- Yam tea: To prepare the tea, simply place the husks of 1 yam in 200 ml of boiling water, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes. Strain and drink;
- Yam compress: to make the compress, just grate 1 raw yam, put it in gauze and apply it on the boil. Leave it on for 1 hour and wash the area with warm water. Repeat the process 4 times a day.
In addition, yam was also used in the form of an elixir, a herbal remedy indicated to detoxify the body and relieve the symptoms of menopause, for example. However, the elixir was banned by ANVISA because it contained large amounts of alcohol. Learn more about the benefits of yam elixir.
He althy yam recipes
Some he althy, tasty and nutritious recipes with yams are soups, vegetable drinks, purees, juices and cakes.
1. Yam soup
- 2 large yams, peeled and diced;
- ½ chopped onion;
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil;
- ½ cup of chopped green parsley tea;
- 1 minced garlic clove;
- Black pepper to taste;
- 1/2 dessert spoon of s alt.
In a skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the yam pieces, s alt and pepper, mixing well. Cover the yam with water and let it cook until the yam is very soft.
With great care, beat the yam in the blender, gradually adding the cooking water. Bring the cream to medium heat again and, if necessary, add more water. Let the cream boil for 5 minutes, turn off the heat, add the parsley to the cream, mix well and serve while still hot.
2. Yam puree
- 3 medium yams;
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil;
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon s alt;
- 1 chopped onion;
- ½ cup of cow's milk;
- grated nutmeg to taste;
- Black pepper to taste.
Wash and peel the yam into cubes and place in a pan with water and 1 teaspoon of s alt. Let it boil until the yam is well cooked, for approximately 25 minutes. Drain the water and pass yam in a juicer. In another pan, sauté the onion in olive oil, add the crushed yam, the rest of the s alt and add the milk gradually, mixing with a spoon or spatula. Turn off the heat, add the nutmeg and pepper, mix well and serve.
3. Yam milk
- 250 g of raw yam;
- 3 cups of filtered or boiled water.
Wash, peel and cut the yam into cubes. Place the yams in a pan, cover with water and bring to a medium heat to cook until very soft. Drain the yam and discard the cooking water. In the blender, place the yam, the 3 cups of water and beat until very liquid. Strain the milk, passing it through a clean dish towel or a coffee percolator (used just for that). Place the milk in a glass bottle with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
4. Gluten-free and lactose-free yam cake
- 400 g yam, peeled and diced;
- 4 eggs;
- 1/2 cup of olive oil;
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar tea;
- 2 cups of brown rice flour tea;
- 1 tablespoon of chemical baking powder;
- 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
In a blender, beat the yam, eggs, oil and sugar well. In a bowl, place the other ingredients and gradually add the mixture from the blender, mixing well with a large spoon or spatula. Pour the dough into a greased shape and bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC for about 35-40 minutes.