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    Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae). These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. There are many cultivars of yam. The vegetable has a rough skin which is difficult to peel, but which softens after heating. The skins vary in color from dark brown to light pink. The majority of the vegetable is composed of a much softer substance known as the "meat". This substance ranges in color from white or yellow to purple or pink in ripe yams. In central parts of India, the yam is prepared by being finely sliced, seasoned with spices and deep fried. In southern parts of India, the vegetable is a popular accompaniment to fish curry. In Assam, it is known as Kosu and is normally boiled, mashed and lightly seasoned with salt. Yam provides around 110 calories per 100 grams of product. Yam is high in vitamins C and B6, potassium, manganese and dietary fiber while being low in saturated fat and sodium. A product that is high in potassium and low in sodium is likely to produce a good potassium-sodium balance in the human body, and so protects against osteoporosis and heart disease. Yam products generally have a lower glycemic index than potato products, which means that they will provide a more sustained form of energy, and give better protection against obesity and diabetes. It is also known to replenish fast-twitch fibers and West Indians use it as a way of recovering after sprinting.