Yam on Display, Barbados Pocket Guide


Barbados, like many other Caribbean islands and nations, is quite concerned about food safety and security. As a result, Barbadians are constantly urged to grow their own food as a way of cutting back on the island's high import food bill and as a means of sustenance.


Yams can be found growing throughout the island usually on a large scale such as plantation lands. The tubers from this particular vine can be boiled, cooked, fried as yam chips or made into a yam pie.


Health Benefits of Yam

Yam is high in vitamin C, B6, dietary fibre, potassium and manganese. Potassium maintains fluid levels in the body and is used by body-builders to give their muscles more energy. Manganese is important in carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar regulation, nerve function and as an anti-oxidant.
Yam offers great protection against heart disease as it is low in saturated fat. In comparison with potato, it has a lower glycemic index. This results in yam providing more sustained energy levels for longer periods of time, hence offering greater chances of beating obesity as yam consumption keeps you sated.
Yams are rich in manganese, which is an essential factor for the metabolism of carbohydrate and antioxidant defenses. It is also a co-factor in a number of enzymes that are related to the production of energy. Yams can therefore be considered a powerful starch that can easily be consumed throughout training activities for added strength and stamina.
Yams have high levels of Vitamin B6, which is a popular supplement for women suffering from depression due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Regular intake of Vitamin B6 is also beneficial against a number heart conditions and stroke, as they help in the breakdown of a chemical substance called homocysteine. High levels of this substance cause direct damage to the walls of the blood vessels, leading to a number of health problems.
The rate of conversion of the complex carbohydrates and fiber, present in yam, into sugar is very slow and their absorption rate into the blood stream is also very slow. Thus, they help maintain the blood sugar level. In addition, due to their high fiber content, yams help control the body weight, by the uniform distribution of weight without transferring extra weight to the hip area or the waistline.
Yam supplies elements that are important for optimal glandular function and benefits the respiratory, urinary and nervous systems.
Yam help control high blood pressure or hypertension. This is because of the fact that yams are a good source of potassium, which helps maintain the blood pressure level.
Yams also aid the process of digestion, by dilating vessels and stimulating bile flow.


With this many health benefits under one belt, we truly ought to cherish the Barbados yam.
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