Yam porridge or yam pottage is a very delicious yam recipe though it’s eaten by many Nigerians. It is also called Asaro and is easy to prepare. It is made by boiling yam till it is tender and then cooked in a blend of peppers, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, onions, palm oil, crayfish, and seasoning.
This article explores the nutritional value and health benefits of yam porridge.
Nutritional Value of Yam Porridge
Since the main ingredients in yam porridge are yam and palm oil, most of the nutrients are from those too. Yam porridge is rich in carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. Some of the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals it contains are vitamin E, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and copper. It also contains folate, thiamine, and vitamin B5.
Yam porridge is strong in potassium and manganese, both of which are essential for growth, metabolism, and heart function. Other minerals, like copper and vitamin C, are abundant in them. Copper is necessary for red blood cell synthesis and iron absorption, while vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help your immune system.
When prepared with onions, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, crayfish and other healthy Nigerian spices, yam porridge becomes more nutritious.
Health Benefits of Yam Porridge
Based on the two major ingredients in yam porridge — yam and palm oil — here are some of the health benefits of yam porridge (Asaro).
1. Improves brain health
Eating yams porridge may help your brain function better. Diosgenin, a unique component found in yams, has boosted neuron growth and improved brain function. In several maze tests, diosgenin boosted mice’s memory and learning capacities.
Also, the palm oil in yam porridge is an excellent source of tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E with strong antioxidant properties that might improve brain health.
2. Improves blood sugar control
Yam porridge helps maintain a healthy blood sugar level. According to some medical studies, yam was able to improve blood sugar levels. It is believed to be due to their rich resistant starch and dietary fiber contents. Meanwhile, palm oil — a major ingredient in yam porridge — comprises a rich blend of antioxidants and is considered beneficial to diabetic patients because it reduces blood glucose and enhances antioxidant status.
3. Loaded with antioxidants
Yam porridge is packed with enough antioxidants to keep you healthy. Antioxidants are substances that prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, which cause cancer. Yams contain several antioxidants that may have cancer-fighting properties, while palm oil is also rich in antioxidants, one of which is vitamin E.
4. Strengthens the bones
Yams are high in potassium and manganese, both of which are vital nutrients for strong bones. Hence, eating yan porridge can greatly boost bone health.
5. Excellent source of energy
Carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for our bodies as we go about our daily lives. Yam porridge is made up of yams and palm oil, which are amazing sources of carbohydrates that provide energy to the body.
6. Fights inflammation
A plate of yam porridge is loaded with all the nutrients and compounds that are necessary for fighting inflammation. The antioxidants in yams may help reduce chronic inflammation. According to animal studies, yam powder was able to reduce inflammation associated with several illnesses, including colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and stomach ulcers.
7. Boosts the immune system
Yam porridge is also a great food for boosting the immune system. Yam contains antioxidants and nutrients that help strengthen the immune function, while palm oil is a great source of carotenoids and vitamin E, which act as antioxidants to help prevent cell damage.
8. Improve cholesterol levels
This delicious meal can also improve cholesterol levels in the body. Some studies have shown that eating yams can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. Furthermore, palm oil have been said lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increasing “good” HDL cholesterol.
Yam porridge is a staple food in Nigeria. It is highly nutritious and possesses some amazing health benefits.