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What Are the Health Benefits of Yams?


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  • Regarding the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, the two are not even the same type of plant; yams are part of the Dioscoreae family, while sweet potatoes belong to a genus called Convolvulaceae
  • Nutritional attributes are similar; yams contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium and manganese, while sweet potatoes are good sources of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamins A and C, and manganese
  • The outer bark of wild yam is high in saponins and related compounds, which may help lessen inflammation, balance your gut flora and prevent carcinogenesis by acting as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent
  • How both veggies are prepared impacts their nutritional profile, as certain cooking oils and high temperatures raise the potential for acrylamide formation, which is recognized as a potential carcinogen
  • As a supplement, wild yam is considered safe, but some experts warn that large amounts may cause issues

By Dr. Mercola

Yams are one of the most delicious vegetables you can eat, but you may not be aware that, as a root vegetable that’s been around for eons, they also have a long history of use as an alternative medicine. Modern researchers are examining possible health benefits of wild yams that include relief from muscle cramps, rheumatoid arthritis and symptoms of menopause and diabetes prevention.

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