Elephant foot yam or Suran is one of the most efficient medicinal plants.
It is used in several medical disciplines like Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani.
The scientific name of elephant yam is Amorphophallus paeoniifolius.
It is a tuber plant used for several purposes, including regular cooking.
There are several health benefits attributed to elephant foot yam (1).
In this article, we will find out its nutrition profile and some important medicinal uses.
Elephant foot yam is a rich source of dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins.
It also contains a lot of essential minerals, including iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper. All these minerals are crucial for our body functions.
100 grams of elephant foot yam provides the following nutrients (2):
- Calories: 118 calories
- Moisture: 66 grams
- Carbohydrates: 25 grams
- Fat: 1.5 grams
- Protein: 9.81 grams
- Dietary fiber: 5.7 grams
- Potassium: 1208 mg
- Calcium: 20 mg
- Iron: 1.8 mg
- Magnesium: 82 mg
- Sodium: 14.2 mg
- Zinc: 2 mg
- Copper: 0.3 mg
Health benefits of Elephant Foot Yam:
1. Good for weight loss
Since elephant foot yam is exceptionally high in dietary fiber and low on calories, it is weight-loss-friendly.
Also, a study showed that feeding rats with a combination of mung bean and elephant yam significantly reduced blood cholesterol levels (3).
Hence, eating elephant food yam may help you lose weight.
2. Possesses anti-inflammatory properties
Research indicates that the methanol extract of the elephant foot yam has anti-inflammatory properties (4).
Therefore, it is useful in several medical conditions. For example, it helps relieve pain during inflammatory diseases like arthritis, ulcerative colitis, etc.
3. Protects liver function
Elephant foot yam contains a chemical compound called Quercetin.
Studies have found that this compound is effective in protecting liver functions (5).
4. Rich in antioxidants
Elephant foot yam is incredibly high in antioxidants (6).
Therefore, it protects against oxidative stress, which helps prevent cancer.
These antioxidants also may help slow down the aging process.
5. Good for diabetes
Elephant foot yam has a low glycemic index (7), which means it will not raise your blood sugar levels rapidly.
Additionally, it is very low on carbs and has a significant amount of fiber, which may slow the release of glucose into the blood.
Also, studies have found that elephant yam has anti-diabetic properties (8).
Therefore, adding it your regular diet may help manage diabetes.
6. Hormonal balance
Elephant foot yam maintains the estrogen levels in the female to the optimum level.
This property of elephant foot yam helps prevent and relieve premenstrual cramps.
This benefit can also be attributed to its vitamin B6 content (9).
7. Helps reduce blood pressure
Elephant yam is an excellent source of potassium. 100 grams of elephant foot yam provides 1208 mg of potassium, which is 30% of the recommended daily intake.
Eating potassium-rich foods is one of the efficient ways to reduce blood pressure without medications.
8. Improves gut health
Elephant foot yam helps ease constipation by improving digestion.
It also helps treat serious gastrointestinal disorders like persistent diarrhea and piles (10).
Therefore, it helps maintain our digestive system healthy (11).
Potential Health Risks:
Despite all the beneficial health benefits, elephant foot yam has a few anti-nutrients such as oxalate and tannin (12).
Hence, it’s advised to cook them thoroughly to remove these toxins (13).