Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes

I’m sure this post won’t be news to many, but upon embarking on a search {4 different stores!} to satiate my need for a sweet potato, alas! There were none to be had. I boiled it down to this: it simply isn’t sweet potato season {which happens to be October-December}. So what’s a girl with a craving to do? Settle for the next best thing – the yam, right?

I decided to research the nutritional difference between these two orange root vegetables. Other than the few differences we can physically decipher, such as yams being a little stringier, and sweet potatoes being a little smooshier when cooked, there truly is a world of a difference – I suppose you could say they are the fraternal twins of the root world {although, they are not related in the least – weird}.

Because of their high amounts of vitamins b6, Yams can actually aid in reducing cholesterol. They have also been linked to having tons of antioxidant properties, which fight oxidative stress and free radicals, in turn, preventing a huge range of diseases. In some Asian cultures, yams have even been used to treat a plethora of female problems, such as easing ailments caused by menopause.

Sweet potatoes contain iron, which is great for vegetarians, who may lack in that area. Also, {this surprised me} they may save smokers lives due to their amounts of vitamin A, which according to LiveStrong, “cigarette smoke creates a deficiency of this vitamin. This deficiency may be one of the causes of emphysema.” They are also often passed on when it comes to beta carotene, but they actually contain more of it than carrots do {contrary to popular belief, vitamin A and beta carotene are not the same thing, rather, beta carotene is a carotenoid that converts to vitamin A when it hits the digestive tract}.

The similarities? Both Yams and Sweet Potatoes have lots of fiber, so they are both excellent for dieters, because not only is fiber heart healthy, but it is directly linked to weight loss {which we all know is because fiber makes you full}.

The lesson? Both are good for you, so while we wait for the vitamin A rich & emphysema blocking powers of sweet potatoes, indulge in the cholesterol reducing & free-radical fighting potential of yams.

Sweet Potato or Yam? You tell me.

Enjoy!

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