Purple yam is one of the foods people eat today. Also known with the scientific name Dioscorea alata, it is a yam species and tuberous root vegetable. It is usually used in different dessert recipes and flavor to various delicacies like cakes, cupcakes, cookies, tarts, rolls, milk, and ice cream. The following are the health benefits of purple yam, along with a sample recipe.
Energy with Carbohydrates
One health benefit of purple yam is energy, as it contains carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are macronutrients, just like protein and fat as the other two. Carbohydrates are responsible for providing energy or fuel to the body to carry out its functions, such as activities of daily living like eating and bathing, among others. Without carbohydrates, the body feels weak and tired, unable to do its everyday tasks. According to The Globe and Mail, half cup or 100 grams of yam contains 27 grams of carbohydrates. Hence, eating purple yam helps a person become more productive each day.
Another health benefit of purple yam includes the antioxidants it contains. According to Health Benefit Times, purple yam has its purple pigments, which are associated to blood circulation regulation in the body. As per the publication, these purple pigments are called anthocyanins and they act as antioxidants, which help eliminate harmful substances like toxins and free radicals from the body. To add, antioxidants are capable of absorbing air pollution, preventing clot formation in the bloodstream; this mechanism also prevents cardiovascular disorders like arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Along with its antioxidants, purple yam also has minerals, which contribute to the health of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. According to Paul Haider’s site, the tuberous vegetable contains potassium, iron, and copper. Potassium is important is sodium-potassium pump and it helps regulate blood pressure by countering water retention caused by increased sodium levels. Sodium attracts water, leading to increase blood volume and blood pressure; hence, adding potassium to the diet helps reduce blood pressure. Moreover, yam also has agents like angiotensin I and II, which helps decrease blood pressure. Meanwhile, copper and iron both contribute to management of anemia, a condition characterized by reduced red blood cell count in the bloodstream. People with anemia experience weakness, activity intolerance, and shortness of breath; thus, adding purple yam to the diet also helps reduce these symptoms.
One recipe that uses purple yam as one of its ingredients is Purple Yam Soup with Pork. According to Cook Pad, the ingredients include mashed purple yam, pork chops, minced garlic, seasoning powder, salt, sugar, cooking oil, cilantro strips, rice paddy herbs, and salted cucumber pickles.
To prepare, as per the publication, the pork chops are rinsed, cut in chunks, and dusted with seasoning powder, sugar, and salt. Then, the ingredients are allowed to sit for about ten minutes. Next, the wok is heated and garlic is added and stirred-fry until fragrant. After that, the pork chops are added into the wok over high heat and stirred-fry until firm and drained. Then, one liter and a half of water is added until the pork chops become soft. Once done, the mashed purple yam is added and simmered for about ten minutes. Finally, the water volume is adjusted and final seasoning is done, depending on the preference for a thinner or thicker soup.
Purple yam is one of the energy-boosting foods people have today. Thus, it can be freely added to various meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dinner for groups of friends and families.