Yam


The yam is a herbaceous and edible plant that makes up the genus Dioscoreafrom the family of discoreaceae (Dioscoreaceae), native and common in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

The gender Dioscorea is very wide, the species that stand out the most are the Dioscorea alata (big yam or water yam) native to South Asia, Dioscorea cayenensis (yellow yam) and Dioscorea rotundata (white yam) in West Africa and the Dioscorea trifida (Mapuey) native to Tropical America.

The yam belongs to the class of plants that store edible material in the root, corma or underground tuber when growing, this class is well known as roots and tubers. The yam is a tuber that is widely used for food, it is of great importance in the daily diet of many peoples of the world.

This plant is characterized by green and flimsy, voluble stems, 3 to 4 m long and quadrangular and winged, large heart-shaped leaves, small white, greenish yellow or green flowers in axillary spikes or in clusters, and root large and tuberculous. Depending on the variety, its flesh can be white, yellow, purple, or pink, and its skin can range from whitish to dark chocolate. Its texture can vary from soft and moist to rough, dry and floury.

This root and tuber crop should be planted in low regions, with rainfall conditions between 1,200 mm and 1,300 mm per year, and distributed throughout the year. Temperatures between 18ºC and 34ºC are required, and as for its soil, it must be fertile, deep, loose, without stones and with good water drainage.

The harvest takes place 7-9 months after sowing, the foliage begins to dry, the tuber is ripe when it presents its characteristic color (depending on the variety it is). It is important to avoid long exposure of the tubers to the sun, as they deteriorate.

Yam is a food rich in carbohydrates, proteins and an appreciable amount of vitamin C and vitamin B1. It supplies a substantial part of the needs for manganese and phosphorus in adults and, to a lesser extent, also copper and magnesium. It is usually consumed boiled, roasted or pureed.

In addition to its widespread food use, medicinal values ​​such as anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic and others are attributed to its moderate content of alkaloids and steroids.