By Titilayo Kupoliyi
Water yam, also called wild yam, is among the oldest food crops we have in the country.
It originated from South-East Asia, Burma and was introduced to Africa far back in the 16th century.
Water yam is packed with a lot of nutrients that can help boost human health by a significant margin.
They include vitamins C and E, potassium, iron, calcium, copper, phosphorus, carbohydrate, and dietary fibre which can help relieve menopausal symptoms, boost the immune system, promote quick healing, improve digestive health and promote weight loss.
According to healthguide.ng, water yam has the following health benefits.
It improves digestive health and prevents certain digestive conditions.
Water yam contains a good amount of fibre, one of the key properties that play a significant role in digestive health.
The fibre in water yam helps to normalize bowel movements and fuels the colon cells, which in turn aids the flow of the digestive tract for improved digestion and reduced risk of digestion-related conditions.
It is Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants refer to a set of compounds produced in the body and derived from foods that help to shield the body cells from damage induced by potentially harmful free radicals.
Antioxidant-rich foods like water yam contain potent properties, including Beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, etc. – all of which have been proven to be effective in boosting blood antioxidant levels to combat oxidative stress and prevent related diseases.
It Aids in Diabetes Treatment
Certain studies reveal that water yam is capable of improving glucose metabolism, stabilizing the rate of digestion, and regulating blood sugar levels, making it an ideal food for people with diabetes.
Water yam can also be of immense benefit to people with diabetes as it is digested and absorbed by the body in a slow manner and triggers no blood sugar spikes.
In addition, water yam also contains sugar which adds a natural sweetness to your meals and lowers your thirst for added sugar.
It Promotes an Excellent Vision
Water yam has a fair amount of vitamin E and beta-carotene, both of which play a major role in eye health.
In fact, Vitamin E to be precise can help improve vision in a myriad of ways.
This helps to protect eye cells from free radicals and shields them against macular degeneration and cataracts, two of the most common age-related eyesight conditions.
It Lowers Blood Pressure Levels
Water yam is an excellent source of potassium, one of the key minerals for regulating blood pressure
At times, we eat foods high in sodium content and take food with little or no potassium.
When we consume sodium in high quantities, we stand the risk of posing great danger to our health.
For instance, when you are deficient in potassium and consume a high amount of sodium, you may eventually develop high blood pressure, or what is called “hypertension.”
Water yam contains a number of powerful properties, including Dioscorin.
This helps to block the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which may further result in increased kidney blood flow and lowered blood pressure.
It Reduces Blood Cholesterol Level
Water yam has the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in human blood. They are needed by the body for proper functioning and the formation of healthy cells.
However, having too much cholesterol [hypercholesterolemia] can expose you to a lot of heart-related diseases. Water yam is packed with fibre and some other potent ingredients, most of which are severally linked with reduced ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels.
With the numerous health benefits associated with water yam, it’s time to give it a try if you have not done that before.
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