Are yams good for weight loss?

For all those people who wish to lose weight, yam is a vegetable which is very beneficial. It is good to taste and is available very easily, irrespective of the time of the year. Though they look similar, yam is different from sweet potato. The skin of yams is thicker and it is larger in size.

The following features make it a very useful part of any weight loss programs:

1. Energy - For every 100 grams of yam, one gets 118 calories. The main components of yams are complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. These two help in slowing down the rise in blood sugar. The process is also known as glycemic index. The fiber helps in activating bowel movements. This helps in weight loss as the toxins are washed away from the system.

2. Vitamins - It contains many B complex vitamins like Vitamin B6, B1, riboflavin, folic acid, etc. These act as catalysts in numerous metabolic activities in our bodies.

3. Antioxidants - It is a good source of antioxidant Vitamin C. This also aids weight loss.

4. Vitamin A and beta carotene - Carotene enters the body and changes to Vitamin A, which is also an antioxidant.

5. Minerals - Minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, etc. are present in abundance in yam. All these are very important in the proper functioning of the body, thus keeping away any illness and maintaining the energy levels.

Yams cannot be eaten raw and have to be cooked properly before consuming. Here are some of the ways it can be done:

· Sliced baked yam can be added to a meatloaf recipe. This helps the meat in stretching out and will decrease the calories. In addition to that, it will also add fiber to the loaf and give a delicious flavor.

· Curry baked yam chips are very popular as snacks. These can be eaten instead of the regular potato chips. The yam chips keep one fuller and since they are baked, it also contains less fat.

· Yam can be used as an ingredient in soups. Soups are known to fill anyone's stomach when consumed before a meal. This will also decrease the food intake later.

· Yam fries which are oven baked can be used in the place of French fries. It contains a lot of energy and very less fat, thus making it ideal for weight loss.

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