I Yam What I Yam

Whether you like them boiled, steamed, candied, or even in french-fry form, there is no denying that yams are a potent source of nutrition.  Boasting a flavour that is simultaneously sweet and earthy, with a slightly starchier consistency than potatoes, this tuberous root vegetable is versatile, hearty, and healthy–an excellent side dish for meals, or as an addition to soups, stews, and curries.

At Anderssen’s Flaxrolls, knowing full well how healthy and tasty yams can be, we have utilized them in several of our savoury and sweet wraps: They are the star ingredient in our  popular Ginger-Coconut Yam and Roasted Almond Yam flaxrolls, and can also be found accompanying other fillings in our 7 Roots and Red Pepper Hummus wraps, not to mention our Zesty Citrus and Pumpkin Spice Goldenrolls.

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The benefits of eating this vegetable are numerous*, but let’s take a look at some of the highlights of what it can do for you:

Cardiovascular Protection

No matter your age, taking care of your heart is always a good investment.  There seems to be no shortage of vegetables that are beneficial to heart health, and yams are right up there in terms of what they can offer your precious ticker.  They are an excellent source of Vitamin B6, which is needed by the body to break down a substance called homocysteine–something that can damage the walls of your blood vessels.  High levels of this substance have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, so consuming yams for their naturally-occurring B6 levels is a sound idea.

They are also a terrific source of minerals that assist with cardiovascular health, such as potassium, copper, iron, manganese, and calcium.  Potassium has been shown to control blood pressure and regulate heartbeat, and one cup of yams provides about 910 milligrams of potassium, which is about 20% of what people are required to consume every day.  Copper is required for the production of red blood cells, and iron is needed for their formation.  Manganese is essential for overall good health and mild detoxification, while calcium assists with the maintenance of a healthy skeletal system and bone density, as well as having calming effects on the central nervous system.

High Fibre

Consuming foods that are rich in fibre aids your body in all sorts of ways, particularly concerning colon and digestive health.  We have written previously about the benefits of fibre here, and yams provide a fantastic source of this essential dietary component.  Along with keeping bowels functioning properly, reducing blood cholesterol, and controlling blood sugar levels, fibre helps you feel–and stay–full for a long time, meaning that any urges to unnecessarily snack or overeat are generally infrequent.

Since the actual wraps used in Anderssen’s Flaxrolls are themselves packed with fibre, eating any of our yam-based flaxrolls will give you a double shot–doing a huge favour to your guts and your heart!

Blood Sugar and Weight Control

A serious bonus to the high-fibre content of yams is the fact that yams contain healthy complex carbohydrates, which provide the body with natural fuel.  They contain little to no protein, but these complex carbs actually allow you to conserve and preserve what protein you have ingested while giving you a major energy boost.  Blood sugar levels are also regulated and balanced, and those with a desire to eat less, and eat better, would be doing themselves a world of good if they started consuming yams.

Many of us also happen to crave carbohydrates when we are hungry, and often gravitate towards the “empty” calories found in bread products and the like.  Satiating your carb cravings with a baked yam will alleviate your appetite, keep you full, and provide you with a source of trace minerals and vitamins; they are surprisingly rich in Vitamin C, a well-known and potent antioxidant.

Yams are also extremely low in fat, which can help with those who are trying to lose excess weight.  While we know that dietary fat is very important–it aids with cognitive development, maintains healthy cell membranes, and cushions the organs, among other qualities–there is no question that many people consume far too much than is good for them.  An excessive amount of fat may lead to a great deal of medical complications, including heart disease.  Yams can absolutely assist with keeping your intake of fat at a healthy level.


Author: N.Bondoreff

*Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for self-diagnosis, nor for self-treatment of conditions that should be interpreted and managed by a qualified health care provider.


Sources:

naturalfoodbenefits.com

livestrong.com

whfoods.com

healthyeating.sfgate.com

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