There are up to 18 different varieties of yam are cultivated in Jamaica, and they all have a unique taste, flavour and texture. Some are dry, some waxy, some soft, and some sweet. Yams, whose name comes from the Senegalese 'nyami' meaning to eat, were another important crop because they provided the crucial vitamin C that enabled sailors to battle the dreaded scurvy. It is said that yams came to Jamaica from Africa in a Portuguese slave ship.
Yam is referred to as a complex carbohydrates food source because, in addition to the starch and sugar that provide energy, yam has soluble and insoluble fibre Slows the release of sugar or glucose from the blood into the cells. For this reason,persons with diabetes should consume yam to achieve better blood sugar control.
Renta yam is easily cooked, when cooking it with other ground provisions, such as; sweet potato. Put the sweet potato into the pot at least ten minutes before the yam. Renta yam is not used to put into soup in Jamaica. Cooked the yam and served it with curry chicken etc..
Yam provides the body with:
- fibre, starch and sugar
- vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins help us to get energy from carbohydrates and fat.
Yam is rich in potassium. Yam has no fat, no gluten and is a poor source of iron.
Note: Yam, like all carbohydrates-rich foods, should be eaten in moderation. The end product of yam digestion is sugar (glucose) and too much sugar in the body is stored as fat, which may cause weight gain if adequate exercise is not done.
In southern United States, sweet potato is called yam