The African Yam Bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) is a leguminous crop found in the Volta Region, Ghana, Africa. In comparison to ordinary yam and cassava, African yam beans are minor crops, which also means that they are low in exploitation. But then, African yam beans contribute considerably in providing a source of protein for the surrounding locals. What are the health benefits of African yam beans?
What are its Health Benefits?
- African Yam Beans are Extremely Nutritious
First, African yam beans are nutritious in the sense of having so much variety of nutrients, such as calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, vitamin C benefits, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Those nutrients in a 130g serving of the beans are valued at 49 kcal, 12 grams, 1 gram, 0.1 gram, 6.4 grams, 44%, 4%, 4%, 4%, 6%, and 4% respectively.
- African Yam Beans are High in Antioxidants
Next, African yam beans are also high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C at 44% of the RDI. Antioxidants help protect cell damage by reacting against free radicals and the release of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is also partly responsible for causing serious illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
- African Yam Beans Support Heart Health
African yam beans support heart health by containing dietary fibre, benefits of potassium, iron, and nitrate, which exchanges LDL cholesterol into HDL cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and improve the health of red blood cells.
- African Yam Beans Boost Digestion
There are high amounts of dietary fibre and water found inside African yam beans, all which help to promote one’s regular morning routine. The dietary fibres of African yam beans can increase bowel movements by 31%, while the water content of the beans ease constipation.
- African Yam Beans are Important for Gut Bacteria
African yam beans contain a type of prebiotic fibre known as inulin. Inulin may not be absorbable through the digestive system, they however can be fermented into good bacterias for the gut. The increased presence of good bacteria inside the gut may reduce heart attack symptoms, diabetes symptoms, health risks of obesity, as well as kidney disease.
- African Yam Beans Prevent Colon Cancer
Like what is mentioned above, African yam beans have sufficient antioxidants for preventing the likelihood of cancer. In addition to antioxidants, they also have dietary fibre, in which it has at 6 grams. Dietary fibre could prevent the likelihood of colon cancer by as much as 50%.
- African Yam Beans Aid Weight Loss
African yam beans are nutrient-dense food items, which means that it has low calories, but high in fibre plus water content. Studies have shown that consuming yam beans have been proven to decrease blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity and also make us feel full longer.
- African Yam Beans are an Important Source of Protein
And finally, African yam beans are an important source of protein, in which it has at 12 grams. In fact, in Ghana where it came from, African yam beans are used as the main source of protein for local villagers.
That concludes the health benefits of African yam beans. As we can see, the health beneits of African yam beans revolve around its fibre and antioxidant content, for a better health everyday.