Purple Yam (Ube): Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts

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Purple yam or ube is one of the most unusual delicacies in the world. The purple color is appealing and exciting. Purple yam is a root vegetable like sweet potato, which means it’s not a fruit.

Purple yam is scientifically known as Dioscorea Alata. It is originated from Southeast Asia and currently consumed around the world.

It became famous recently in Brooklyn when used as an addition to expensive donuts. If you are looking for the most photogenic food, this is the winner.

Purple yam can be used in all desserts. Whether you are a fan of ice cream, pancakes, cookies, or some other sweets, purple yam is always the right choice. The well-known dessert made from purple yam is ube halaya.

Color and taste are something special

Purple yam is unavoidable in Filipino cuisine. It’s usable for coloring food since the purple color gives a new tone to even a most boring dish.

Like sweet potato, purple yam also has a fascinating mild sweet taste. The combination of pistachios and vanilla will delight even the most demanding palates.

Purple Yam (Ube): Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts:

Aside from this curiosity, purple yam is exceptionally healthy food. Rich in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, purple yam is a great refreshment for the body.

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Since it has as much as 27 grams carbs per 100 grams, purple yam is not keto-friendly. Therefore, if you are on a keto diet, you may want to avoid it.

Also, weight watchers must note that purple yam provides as many as 120 calories per 100 grams. However, it may promote weight loss if you replace unhealthy snacks with purple yam due to its high fiber content.

Purple yam (ube) provides the following nutrients per 100 grams serving (1):

  • Water: 69.6 grams
  • Calories: 120 kcal
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrate: 27 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 grams
  • Calcium: 20 mg
  • Iron: 0.36 mg
  • Sodium: 10 mg
  • Vitamin A: 100 IU
  • Vitamin C: 12 mg

Health Benefits Of Purple Yam (Ube):

Here are 6 powerful health benefits of purple yam.

1. Helps manage diabetes

Purple yam is low on the glycemic index. In one study (2), the glycemic index of purple ram varieties ranged from 35 to 41, with a mean value of 38.

Hence, eating purple yam will not shoot up your blood glucose levels quickly.

Moreover, a study in diabetic rats showed that purple yam possesses significant antidiabetic activity (3).

Therefore, adding ube to your regular diet might help manage diabetes.

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2. Ideal for the heart and circulatory system

Heart disease is a scourge of the modern age. Our lifestyle has burdened our heart and circulatory system.

Purple yam is a top solution if you want to help your heart and blood vessels. Studies in hypertensive rats show that the intake of purple yam effectively lowers blood pressure (4, 5).

Additionally, purple yam might be useful in fighting Hyperhomocysteinemia, which is a risk factor for heart diseases. It’s a condition in which the level of homocysteine in the blood is elevated.

Research has shown that blood homocysteine levels are drastically reduced after feeding rats with purple yam (6).

3. Improves your bone health

Purple yam contains a significant amount of calcium, which is crucial for our bone health.

And, low calcium intake may lead to osteoporosis in which our bones become weak.

Research has shown that purple yam extract can be used as a cure for osteoporosis (7).

4. Rich in antioxidants

Purple yam is exceptionally high in antioxidants, such as polyphenols and flavonoids (8).

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Research says the antioxidants in purple yam are beneficial for gut health (9).

Additionally, it has a significant amount of vitamin C, which is essential for our immune system.

5. Protects your liver

It’s important to point out that purple yam is beneficial for the health of your liver.

Intake of alcohol and drugs may induce oxidative stress in the liver, which increases the risk of liver diseases (10).

A study in rats has shown that purple yam helps reduce oxidative stress on the liver cells (11).

6. Helps relieve constipation

Purple yam is incredibly high in dietary fiber. Fiber helps with bowel movements and prevents constipation.

Furthermore, studies reveal that consumption of fiber-rich foods associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart diseases (12, 13).


In short, purple yam is an ideal food for health. The appealing color and taste, as well as the possible broad application in medicine, indicate that it will soon conquer the world.

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