Yam is a household name in Nigeria and it is reffered to as one of the popular staple foods widely consumed by Nigerians.
It is a preferred source of carbohydrate and income for millions of people in the country.
Whether you believe it or not, Nigeria ranks as the largest yam producer in the world, contributing over two-thirds of global yam production yearly, although Ghana is fighting to overtake this figure.
Take it or leave it – The Ghana yam that has flooded the global market came from the most populous black nation in the world – NIGERIA!.
It is no longer news ! Nigeria has officially kick-started the export of Nigerian yam to the different parts of the world .
The Nigeria Yam Export was reportedly launched at Lillypond Container Terminal, Ijora, Lagos on Thursday, June 29, 2017, by the minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh.
Well, a new yam season is here again, thank God for the harvest period which is all across the country!
Every community is already harvesting different species of the new yam and most have started the celebration of the new yam festival!
As a common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea family (Dioscoreaceae), this root vegetable is a perennial herbaceous vine cultivated for the consumption of its starchy tuber in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania.
…longest yams in Nigeria!
In fact, history tells us that this root vegetable which is regarded as a highly valuable resource in our country Nigeria, was first cultivated in Africa and Asia in 8000 AD.
There are hundreds among the cultivated species of yam. The major species are the white yam called Dioscorea rotunda and the yellow yam called Discorea cayenesis.
They are the mostly cultivated yams in Africa. In the past, they were considered as two species though most people now regard them as the same specie.
Other types are Discorea alata called water yam, the winged yam and purple yam, which has the largest distribution worldwide.
There is also the popular Discorea batatas called Chinese yam. This yam is somewhat smaller when compared to other species of yam.
Discorea bulbifera is known as the air potato. It is found in both African and Asian dishes. Its equally pertinent to note that some varieties of yam can be eaten raw while some require soaking or boiling for detoxification before eating.
Apart from being boiled, yam can also be fried, roasted and even grounded into yam flour to make the likes of elubo, hmmn amala!.
…from elubo to amala!
Nutritional Value of Yam!
- Yam is rich in carbohydrate.
- It is rich in Vitamin C, dietary fibre, Vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.
- While being low in saturated fat and sodium, vitamin C and vitamin B6, consumption in large quantity surely helps to promote good health.
- It is a balanced food in the body.
- This is because it is high in potassium and low in sodium and as such, it protects against osteoporosis and heart diseases.
- As a good source of vitamin C – it has 27% of the daily value for fighting infections such as colds and flu
- By eating yam, you sure will enjoy quick wound healing, anti-aging favour, strong bones, and healthy immune function.
- It also provides good amounts of fiber, manganese, and metabolic B vitamins.
- Yam is known as a monocot, it is related to lily and grass family!
- It is relatively low in protein and is not a good source of essential amino acids.
- Virtually every tribe and ethnic group in Nigeria cultivates yam and boast of various recipes.
- It contains some unique substances called steroidal saponins and among these substances are chemicals called diosgenins.
- Owing to the similarity between diosgenin and progesterone, questions were initially raised about the ability of the body to convert diosgenin into progesterone, but research has shown that the answer is clearly no.
The recipes are endless but watch out for more recipes in subsequent posts!
Just hold on… enter your kitchen and put on your apron!
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