Purple Yam (Ube): A Comprehensive Health Guide
June 23, 2023
June 23, 2023
Purple yam, commonly known as Ube, is a remarkable tuberous root vegetable renowned for its vibrant purple colour and distinctive flavour. Originating from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, Ube has ingrained itself in the culinary traditions of various cultures, particularly in the Philippines and Japan. Beyond its historical and cultural significance, Ube has gained widespread attention in recent years, capturing the fascination of food enthusiasts worldwide. Its unique flavour, often described as subtly sweet and nutty, lends itself to a wide range of culinary creations. From delightful desserts and pastries to innovative savoury dishes, Ube has become an emblem of culinary creativity and a symbol of global gastronomic exploration.
Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of Ube, exploring its, nutritional value, health benefits and the tantalizing culinary possibilities it offers.
According to USDA, 100 Grams of Purple Yam contains:
Energy: 85 kcal
Protein: 1.54 g
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Fibre: 3.1 g
Sugar: 3.85 g
Potassium: 337 mg
Purple yam, or Ube, not only delights the taste buds but also offers a range of nutritional benefits. This vibrant tuberous root vegetable contains a rich array of macronutrients and micronutrients. In terms of macronutrients, Ube is primarily composed of carbohydrates, providing a significant source of energy. It also contains a small amount of protein and negligible fat content. However, it is the presence of dietary fibre that distinguishes Ube as a valuable addition to a balanced diet. Fibre plays a crucial role in promoting healthy digestion and supporting overall gut health.
In addition to macronutrients, Ube boasts an impressive profile of micronutrients. It is a good source of various vitamins, including vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and supports the immune system. Ube also provides several essential minerals such as potassium, which is essential for maintaining proper heart function and regulating blood pressure. Other minerals found in Ube include manganese, copper, and iron, all of which play important roles in various bodily processes.
Overall, Ube’s nutritional composition makes it a nutritious choice, offering a balance of macronutrients, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Incorporating Ube into your diet can contribute to overall well-being and support a healthy lifestyle.
Purple yam is a great source of dietary fibre, which plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Research shows that adequate fibre intake helps promote regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports overall gut health. The research also suggests that fibre aids in controlling appetite, managing weight, and regulating blood sugar levels.
Purple yam is packed with antioxidants, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and free radicals. According to studies, antioxidants play a vital role in reducing inflammation, supporting the immune system, and preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Purple yam contains natural compounds, including anthocyanins and flavonoids, which have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects. Scientific findings indicate that compounds help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with various health conditions, including arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.
Purple yam is rich in essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for overall health. It contains significant amounts of vitamin C. Going by recent research, Vitamin C boosts the immune system and supports collagen production for healthy skin. Additionally, Ube provides potassium, manganese, and copper, which are important for proper nerve function, muscle contractions, and antioxidant enzyme systems.
Some studies suggest that purple yam may help regulate blood sugar levels. It has a lower glycemic index compared to other starchy foods, meaning it causes a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels after consumption. This property makes Ube a favourable option for individuals managing diabetes or those aiming to control blood sugar fluctuations.
The high fibre content in purple yam contributes to feelings of fullness and satiety. Including Ube in your meals can help curb excessive snacking and promote a sense of satisfaction, aiding in weight management and portion control. Its low-calorie nature combined with its nutritional value makes it a healthy choice for those aiming to maintain a balanced diet.
Being rich in folate, purple yam is a valuable food choice for expectant mothers. As per studies, folate helps prevent birth defects and supports the development of the baby’s neural tube. Additionally, the vitamins and minerals in purple yam contribute to overall maternal health and well-being during pregnancy.
Purple yam, or Ube, offers a range of health benefits. It is rich in dietary fibre, promoting digestive health and aiding in weight management. The antioxidants present in Ube protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. It is a nutrient-dense food, providing vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Ube’s low glycemic index helps regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, it supports satiety, making it beneficial for weight management. For pregnant women, Ube offers folate and essential nutrients.
By incorporating Ube into these healthy culinary creations, you can enjoy its unique flavour, vibrant colour, and various health benefits while exploring creative and nutritious ways to include it in your diet.
When using Ube, it is important to take certain precautions and considerations. While allergies to Ube are rare, individuals with known allergies to tuberous vegetables should exercise caution. Ube contains oxalates, so those prone to kidney stones or with kidney issues should moderate their consumption. Individuals managing blood sugar levels should monitor their intake of Ube. It is essential to consume Ube in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Choose healthier cooking methods and consider the quality and sourcing of Ube. Tailor its consumption to individual dietary needs and consult professionals for personalised guidance.
Ube can be used in many savoury and dessert recipes as mentioned above. An innovative way to incorporate ube is to use it as a healthy spread. The vibrant colour makes this recipe more appealing and delicious. Take 200 g of ube and boil it in low-fat coconut milk along with a teaspoon of maple syrup. Once cooked, cool this mixture and transfer it to a blender. Add 3 tbsp of coconut oil and blend this into a smooth paste. Use this spread on toast and enjoy this dairy-free vegan buttery spread.
In conclusion, purple yam (Ube) is a versatile and nutritious ingredient that offers a range of health benefits. It is rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. The traditional culinary uses of Ube in different cuisines showcase its versatility and vibrant colour. Additionally, there are various healthy culinary options for incorporating Ube into your diet, such as roasted fries, smoothie bowls, and veggie wraps. However, it is important to exercise precautions and considerations, including allergies, oxalate content, blood sugar management, moderation, cooking methods, quality and sourcing, and individual dietary needs. By incorporating Ube mindfully and seeking personalised advice when necessary, you can enjoy the unique flavours and potential health benefits of this remarkable tuber.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here
Both purple yam and sweet potato are nutritious choices, but their specific health benefits may vary. Purple yam is rich in antioxidants and dietary fibre, while sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene and vitamin A. The choice between them depends on individual nutritional needs and preferences.
Purple yam is good for several reasons. It offers a good amount of dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It can support digestive health, provide antioxidant protection, help regulate blood sugar levels, contribute to weight management, and promote overall well-being.
While purple yam can be consumed raw, it is generally not recommended. Raw purple yams can be starchy and hard to digest. Cooking purple yams through methods like boiling, steaming, or roasting is advisable for better flavour, texture, and digestibility.
The term “superfood” does not have a standardized definition. However, purple yams are often considered highly nutritious due to their rich antioxidant content, fibre, and other beneficial compounds. While they offer numerous health benefits, it’s important to consume a varied diet that includes a range of nutrient-dense foods.
Yes, purple yam possesses anti-inflammatory properties due to its antioxidant content. The antioxidants present in purple yam can help reduce inflammation in the body and potentially alleviate symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions. However, it should not be considered the sole treatment for chronic inflammation, and consulting a healthcare professional is advisable.
Diabetics can include yams and sweet potatoes in their diet, but it should be done in moderation and as part of an overall balanced meal plan. Yams and sweet potatoes have varying glycemic indexes, so it’s important for individuals with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice.