We often hear about a particular and edible plant namely yams. Well, is a yam a vegetable? This kind of question is quite imperative for all gardeners.
In fact, it’s quite difficult to compare and define between a sweet potato and a yam. Mostly, grocery stores offer similar tubes with different labels. We shouldn’t be surprised if we wrongly buy a yam in a grocery store.
Yam and sweet potato are different. Moreover, they have been categorized as two very distinct vegetables. Overall, we can call a yam as a vegetable instead of a fruit. Compared to a sweet potato, a yam is drier and starchier. It’s hard to find a true yam nowadays. However, we can buy them from international stores with special prices.
Basically, is a yam a vegetable? Of course it is. We can take advantages from this vegetable for different purposes. We can eat it as an edible plant. Yet, we should peel the plant before eating it.
Yams have the similarities with potatoes. We can bake them with its bland flavor. Therefore, small seasonings are important to cook this plant.
In Asia, yams will be useful to make a tempura. In Indonesia, the locals use this plant in a dessert such as coconut milk.
Aside from its edibility, we can use yams as medicinal purposes. Yams have many beneficial uses in the terms of medication. Japan, Korea, and China have used this pant to overcome some health problems including ulcers, cough, irritation, and to enhance the healing process.
Nutritional Value of Yams
There are many things we can do with this healthy plant. We should know about the nutritional value of yams too. Yams become a good energy source for human.
It contains 118 calories per 100 g. We can use it as a food with dietary fiber. Eating a yam helps us to reduce LDL cholesterol, constipation, and the risk of colon cancer. The dietary fiber of yam will prevent the compound of toxic in our colon.
Moreover, yams also contain a good amount of complex carbohydrate. It will regulate our blood sugar levels so we can avoid severe problems including diabetes and high blood pressure.
When we learn about the nutritional value of yams, we may find out that it contains B-complex vitamins. Eating yams will provide us with sufficient daily requirement of vitamin B6, folic acid, thiamin, and many others.
Those will regulate our metabolic functions in our body. The fresh root of yams also contains rich nutrients of vitamin C and anti-oxidant. It’s quite important to prevent anti-aging, increase bone growth, wound healing, and to boost our immune system.
Yams also contain sufficient amount of vitamin A. It will be beneficial for our vision and improve the quality of our skin. This nutrient also helps us to prevent oral cavity and lung cancer. What’s more? There are many things that we can get from this healthy food.
We can take advantages from the nutritional value of yams. Basically, the yam tuber becomes the good source of minerals including manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and many more. 100 gram of yams provides 800 mg of potassium.
It’s an important nutrient of body fluids and cell. The function is to help us controlling the blood pressure and heart rate. It’s by fighting the sodium hypertensive effects. Copper is valuable to produce regular red blood cells while manganese is good for our body as an antioxidant enzyme. Also, yams are good for its iron. We need this nutrient for better formation of red blood cell.
There’s another important question about this plant such as where do yams grow? Well, this plant grows well in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. We can cultivate yams in our garden as long as we follow the instructions.
Basically, we need to study some stages to grow yams. It includes sowing, growing, and harvesting.
We must pass all of the stages for the best growth of yams in our garden. Even beginners can grow yams either in an outdoor or indoor environment.
Even inexperienced gardeners are able to cultivate yams appropriately.
However, it requires both preparations and a proper care. Let’s discuss further.
First things first, we should start with the preparation phase. Small tubers of yams are able to grow at late May. It will be a perfect time after the frost season. Well, where do yams grow? Basically, we can plant them in the garden.
However, we are also able to plant the yams in the pots. We can plant the yams in containers with the proper care. It’s perfect to plant the plant at the late of spring when they have developed perfectly. Yams will develop small tubers in the early fall. We need to harvest yams before they dry out.
In the growing phase, we should provide a well-drained and fertile soil for the yams. This plant requires full sun exposure to grow, although they also can survive in a shady area. Yams will produce vertical roots so we can plant them close to another. Keep them well feed and watered with fertilizers during the growing season.
What’s about the harvesting?
The most appropriate time to harvest yams is during autumn. We can harvest them once they start to fall or die. If we grow them from tubercles, we can lift them easier later. It’s because they produce smaller tubers than regular cultivation methods. So, is a yam a vegetable? Yes, it is and we can grow them easily as well.