What’s the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?
In the United States, chances are, whether you are buying something called a sweet potato or something called a yam, you are buying a sweet potato, of which there are more than 400 varieties.
The name “yam” was given to a thicker skinned, moist, sweeter, orange-fleshed variety in the mid 20th century to distinguish it from the yellow, less sweet variety which predominated in the market at that time. The word “yam” comes from the African “nyami” which are true yams and are not grown at all in the United States.
Sweet potatoes are native to Central America and have been cultivated for over 10,000 years. Christopher Columbus introduced them to Europe and from there they spread to the rest of the world.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potato (and “Yams”)
An excellent source of vitamins A, C and B6, sweet potatoes are also a great source of fiber. In addition, because of their sweet flavor, adding them to your diet can help prevent sugar cravings. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health benefits of sweet potato.
Some of the most noteworthy benefits include:
- Liver protective
- Cancer protective
Some varieties of sweet potato are sweeter than others. Using the moist, orange-fleshed variety often marketed as “yams,” reduces the need to add sweeteners to recipes. But a hint of maple syrup can add lots of flavor and some great minerals.
The soil in which our food is grown, matters. All of our foods are grown in Lancaster County. An area where the soil is rich and mineral dense. The soil on our farmers land is especially good, as poop and manure are the best organic fertilizers known to man.