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Overview

Benefits of Yam (Ratalu) And Its Side Effects

Yam (Ratalu) Nutritional Value of Yam (Ratalu) Health Benefits of Yam (Ratalu) Uses of Yam (Ratalu) Side-Effects & Allergies of Yam (Ratalu) Cultivation of Yam (Ratalu)
Benefits of Yam (Ratalu) And Its Side Effects

Yam is ideal for curing respiratory problems, skin diseases, digestion related ailments and cancer. It also protects the female endocrine system, increases nutrient absorption, improves cognitive abilities, conciliates metabolic functions and increases the count of the red blood cells. Due to the presence of Vitamin B6, Yam also prevents hypertension.

Yam (Ratalu)

Yam is a root vegetable which bears close resemblance to sweet potato. The inside of a Yam is orange or white and they are related to grasses and lilies. They are perennial vines that can be ingested. They are grown in Oceania, Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Nowadays, around 95% of the entire world’s yam crop is harvested in West Africa. It can be cooked in various ways, like it can be smoked, fried, baked, boiled, roasted or barbecued. Yam is also used as a dessert in many places after being grated. The tubers of Yam can grow up to 4.9 feet and it can weigh up to seventy kilograms. It is 3 to 6 inches in height. The skin of the Yam fruit is hard and rough to peel. It usually gets softened after heating. The inside of this fruit can have different colours such as pink, purple, yellow or white.

Nutritional Value of Yam (Ratalu)

Yam has a lot of nutrient density and is very healthy if consumed. It contains vitamin C, dietary fibres, thiamine, manganese, vitamin B6 and potassium. Yam has a very low glycemic index and supplies around 118 calories for every 100 grams. It has 54% glucose as compared to other potato products. In some countries in Africa, where food is scarce, Yam provides a high amount of protein intake ranging from 16% in the humid lands of West Africa and 6% in East and South Africa. Yam is limited in tryptophan, methionine, cystine, maino acids and sulphur.

Nutritional facts Per 100 grams

118 Calories
0.2 g Total Fat
9 mg Sodium
816 mg Potassium
28 g Total Carbohydrate
1.5 g Protein

Vitamins and Minerals

2 % Vitamin A
0.01 Calcium
28 % Vitamin C
2 % Iron
15 % Vitamin B-6
5 % Magnesium

Health Benefits of Yam (Ratalu)

Health Benefits of Yam (Ratalu)
Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Yam (Ratalu)

Cures respiratory problems and heals skin diseases

Yam has long been a traditional medicine used in Japan, Korea and China since early ages. It contains cell proliferate and allantoin which speeds up the healing process if applied topically on boils, ulcers and other skin ailments. It is known to cure respiratory ailments and relieve cough, bronchial irritation and stimulate health of the respiratory system.

Great source of Vitamin B6

Yam has sufficient amount of vitamin B6 in it, which is necessary by our body to break down homocysteine (a substance which can damage the blood vessel walls). High content of homocysteine can lead to a heart attack if you have comparatively low cholesterol levels. Hence, having vitamin B6 in your body can make it immune to heart diseases. Yam also contains some amount of potassium, this is beneficial as it controls the blood pressure and heart rate by countering hypertensive effects. Yam also prevents hypertension to a certain extent. It also results in reduced blood pressure and increased kidney flow due to the enzymes present in Yam

Supports and protects the female endocrine system

Yam contains an enzyme which is beneficial for menopausal women. This enzyme provides a natural alternative to hormonal replacement in menopausal women. It supports the endocrine system in females as its root is full of beneficial enzymes. It contains vitamin B6 which acts as a substitute to fight symptoms related to PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) which include stomach cramps and mood swings.

Improves bowel habits and aids in digestion

Yam has dietary fibres in it, these fibres decrease bad cholesterol and reduce constipation. It also contains a gracious amount of potassium that helps in healthy digestion and also stimulates contraction of smooth muscle in the stomach. This in turn leads to beneficial bowel habits.

Increases the Nutrient absorption in the body

Consuming Yam juice on a regular basis can increase the nutrient absorption of the body. It also protects the enzymes which are needed by the body to create healthier cells and keep the body in good condition. Drinking Yam juice is very useful, as the nutrients are easily absorbed by the body in liquid form.

Can improve cognitive capacity

Yam has the power to increase the memory capacity and the learning capacity of the human brain. According to research, people who consumed Yam for a period of 6 weeks noticed a great change in their cognitive abilities. This is due to the antioxidant compound which is present in Yam. It can also cure Alzheimer’s to a great extent.

Acts as a cancer deterrent

Cancer can be very painful and life threatening. In most cases, people lose their lives while battling cancer. It can tear families apart and cancer treatment is very expensive. The treatment of cancer like radiation therapy and chemotherapy itself can be very painful and can cause a huge discomfort. However, consuming Yam on a daily basis can increase the immunity of your body and prevent cancer to a certain extent. Due to its anti-oxidant qualities, Yam can prevent colon cancer from occurring. The dietary fibre present in Yam can prevent toxic compounds in food from clinging itself to the colon mucosa. Vitamin A present in Yam provides protection from oral cavity cancer and lung cancer.

Conciliates metabolic functions

The vitamins present in Yam can conciliate the metabolic function in one’s body. Yam contains vitamin A which maintains and protects the healthy mucous membranes. It can also improve vision and plays an important role in bone growth, wound healing, improving immunity and anti ageing.

Helps to increase the production of red blood cells in the body

Yam has a lot of minerals present in it which plays a major role in protecting and increasing the count of the red blood cells in the body. It contains copper and iron which aids in blood circulation inside the body. Yam also contains a sufficient amount of manganese which is used as a co-factor for superoxide dismutase and antioxidant enzymes.

Uses of Yam (Ratalu)

Yam has a variety of uses such as, healthy immune system functioning, lowering osteoporosis, protecting the tissues surrounding the heart and aiding in ventricular functioning.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Yam (Ratalu)

Yam can have some side effects if it is not used in moderation. It should be avoided by breast feeding or lactating women as it might be fatal for the child. Wild Yam has the ability to affect conditions related to estrogen imbalance in the body. If you have estrogen related issues like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer or breast cancer, then Yam should be avoided as much as possible as it can make these conditions worse. People having protein S deficiency should also not consume Yam as they might be at an increased risk of forming blood clots. This condition can be very problematic and should be avoided.

Cultivation of Yam (Ratalu)

Yams are usually grown throughout the humid tropics and are priced very economically in most places. Plantation of Yam begins in the rainy season. The yield of the crop depends on where and how the sets are planted, provision of stakes, interplant spacing and sizes of the mounds. The seeds of yam are bulky to transport and are also perishable.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Pharmacology
Reviewed By
B.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist
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