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For the love of yams...

I have always enjoyed sweet potatoes and yams, but recently I re-fell in love with them, and I didn't even do anything fancy to them.

In fact, all I did was bake them in the oven—peel on and everything—at 375 for 40 minutes. The natural sugars come through so nicely. Then just butter and salt and pepper. So incredibly simple. So tasty. And literally no effort whatsoever.

In case you're not sold on the simplicity of the baked yam, here are 3 other health benefits:

1. Vitamins galore

Yams are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. One cup of yams gives you:

  • Calories: 158
  • Carbs: 37 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Vitamin C: 18% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin B5: 9% of the DV
  • Manganese: 22% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 6% of the DV
  • Potassium: 19% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 11% of the DV
  • Copper: 23% of the DV
  • Folate: 6% of the DV

2. Makes menopause easier

Though this only affects a small percentage of the population, there's research that shows yams help with various symptoms women experience during menopause. 

3.  Decreases inflammation

Chronic inflammation can lead to all sorts of bad health problems. Yams have anti-inflammatory properties that science says helps decrease inflammation.

Whether you believe the menopause or inflammation science, bottom line is yams are healthy. AND SO DAMN EASY!

To get you thinking in the direction, here are some great ways to turn yams into all sorts of easy and creative dishes:

Yam fries: Cut into wedges, season and add a fat of some sort and bake or fry

Puree: Boil them until they're cooked through and throw them in a food processor. Add some coconut milk, salt, pepper and a little butter and boom!

Yam chips: Slice them thinly with a mandolin and throw them in the oven (or deep fryer) with oil or butter, and, as always, salt and pepper. A little cayenne is also delicious. 

Yam hash: Fry them up and throw them into a scramble with eggs and any other veggies you have on hand