Whether you call it Zimikand, Elephant Foot Yam, Yam, Ole or Suran, this vegetable is known for its ‘itchy throat’ nature and probably that’s the reason it is not very popular. Regarded as a part of the compulsory Lakshmi Puja meal on Diwali in several part of India, Suran which is a variety of yam, grows under the soil in form of a tuber and is a powerhouse of nutrition. It has been a part of traditional Indian cooking since ages. Specially popular in Bangladesh, Bihar and West Bengal, it is recommended by three main medicinal systems, namely the Unani, the Siddha and the Ayurveda.
2. How to prepare yam
Buy a yam which is not too young and fresh or it will be more itchy for the throat. Add lemon juice to reduce itchiness.
Yam Curry: Boil yam and cut it into squares. Deep fry them and keep them aside. Heat oil in a pan and add jeera. Add grated onion and tomato and cook for 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and green chilli paste. Add a teaspoon of mustard powder, salt and turmeric and cook till oil separates. Add coriander powder and water and the the fried yam pieces. Simmer on low flame for ten minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Yam Bharta: Boil yam and mash it well. Add salt and chopped garlic and green chillies. Add the juice of one lemon. It tastes heavenly!
3. Nutrition content of yam
Regarded as a rich source of energy, every 100 grams of yam contains 118 calories. With nutrients like vitamin B6, B1, riboflavin, folic acid, and niacin, it also contains a small amount of beta-carotene.
4. Heals skin diseases
In China, Korea, and Japan, yam is used as a traditional medicine that helps control cough, ulcer, boils and other skin diseases. According to doctors, it contains allantoin, a cell that stimulates the healing process.
5. Cancer deterrent
The dietary fibre present in yam is viewed as a cancer deterrent especially in case of colon cancer. Also, vitamin A found in yam works as a shield for lung cancer.
6. Delays aging signs
Yam is known for its anti-aging benefits that include beta carotene, vitamin C, B6 and antioxidants that help prevent wrinkles.
7. Improves hair quality
If you don’t know, deficiency in beta-carotene leads to dry and lifeless hair. Yam, as an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, helps improve the hair quality and growth too.
8. Rich in antioxidants
It contains antioxidants that also have anti-inflammatory properties, thus good for those suffering from arthritis and asthma.
9. Aids digestion
The rich dietary fibre content present in yam reduces constipation and decreases bad cholesterol. It also aids in healthy digestion, due to potassium content and stimulates smooth bowel movements.
10. Good for diabetes
With a low glycemic index, yam is considered a safe food for those suffering from diabetes. Yam increases the blood sugar level slowly, as compared to other veggies and is thus good for diabetics.