Elephant Yam is a popular cash crop originating from India and South Asia. It has a delicious tuber root that is full of nutrition and carries multiple medicinal benefits for the prevention of diseases.
It is also known as Suran, Elephant foot yam, or Jimikand in different parts and the scientific name is Amorphophallus Paeoniifolius. For the ease of cultivation and speed at which it grows, it is also termed as a “famine crop”.
Tips for Consumption and Handling
The tuber of the plant is usually fried, boiled, baked, or pickled. Since it has high oxalate content, hence mouth can become itchy if it is consumed raw. Elephant yam should be pre-treated by blanching, steaming, or soaking before it is ready to be consumed.
To avoid itching and allergy on your hands, apply mustard oil or use gloves before you peel the yam.
Nutrition Profile and Benefits of Elephant Yam
It is a rich source of Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber, and health fatty acids.
- It is a rich source of Potassium and Magnesium a good source of minerals as Phosphorus, Calcium, Iron, Copper, Selenium, and Zinc.
- Elephant yam is a rich source of antioxidants and polyphenols that have a biologically positive effect in preventing degradation and oxidation by free radicals.
- It contains high levels of Vitamins B6, Vitamin C, and A. It is a good source of Vitamins B1 and B2.
- It is also a moderate source of Omega 3 fatty acids and molecular hormone Diosgenin that has an anti-cancer effect.
Health Benefits of Elephant Yam
With such a rich nutritional profile, this delicious tuber has multiple positive effects on our health. Traditionally the tuber of the plant is used to treat health disorders of multiple body systems.
The paste of the tuber is applied externally to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Supports digestive system
- It supports gastrointestinal health and removes abnormalities.
- The tuber is used to treat constipation, flatulence, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, dyspepsia, and abdominal pain.
- There is high amount of polysaccharides present in the yam. As a prebiotic it supports our gut microbiome.
Liver Tonic and Supports Blood Sugar Levels
- Regulates blood sugar levels and provides a consistent source of energy due to a high concentration of fiber.
- Supports the health of the liver and spleen, hence used as a liver tonic and a rejuvenating medicine in Ayurveda.
Supports heart health and Weight Loss
- Supports heart health, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to a high concentration of Potassium and antioxidants.
- Elephant yam is micronutrient and fiber-rich, hence a great food to support weight loss and overall well being.
It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Prevents disorders of the digestive system.
Hormone Balance and Phytoestrogenic Properties
It can help relieve the premenstrual pains as it regulates hormone levels.
As a phytoestrogen, the yam provides plant based estrogen that supports hormone balance and action of Estrogen in the body.