Are Sweet Potatoes and Yams the Same Thing?

The names sweet potato and yams are often considered synonymous, when in fact they are two different types. In Africa, however, the Food and Drug Administration has tried to correct this misconception by placing sweet potatoes, which are so-called, but under the name sweet potato. Now you can purchase puna yam online also.

Sweet potatoes belong to the convolvulus plant family, and that's because the above-ground parts of the plant are vines. Its botanical name is Ipomoea batatas while Yam is a member of the Dioscorea plant family and is Dioscorea batatas. Surprisingly, neither the sweet potato nor yam is closely related to the common sweet potato, which belongs to the nightingale family.

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Yams vary in colour from white to dark orange, and the more orange they are, the more beta-carotene they contain. It is known to protect the skin from burns and produces vitamin A in the body, which along with vitamin C, is a powerful antioxidant. Yams also contain vitamin B6, which together with vitamin A can help prevent the smoke-related disease, emphysema. 

The anti-inflammatory properties of yams help with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and asthma. Yams also help with bronchitis, and if you smoke them raw, they will prevent coughing. Unfortunately, if you're trying to lose weight, eating these types of potatoes isn't a good idea because of their sugar content.

Puna yams are earthier than sweet, and their often brownish-black flavour and skin colour can help you identify them. They also contain dioscin, which is believed to have antioxidant properties and regulate the immune system.