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BENEFITS OF AFRICAN YAM FOR SICKLE CELL PATIENTS


 


AFRICAN YAM AND SICKLE CELL

The African Yam is the Tibet of creeping leaf vines and it belongs to the Dioscoreaceae family. It is a carbohydrate plant and as the name implies, it’s found in African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, e.t.c.

African yams are grown mainly for consumption and it can be toxic when eaten raw, so they must be cooked before consumption. 

Apart from being used to make delicious dishes, they also have several health benefits.

Some are;

African Yams contain essential nutrients like; fiber, Vitamins (A, B6 and C), copper, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. 

Aids In Digestion: African yams contain resistant starch which increases the digestive enzymes that help breakdown food and the amount of good bacteria in your gut. The fiber also helps in  breaking down food. 

Anti-inflammatory: The outer bark of the African yam contains antioxidants known as Saponins. Saponins reduce inflammation caused by many diseases and helps relax the abdominal and pelvic muscles.

Enhances brain function: African yam contains a compound called Diosgenin. Diosgenin promotes neuron growth, enhances learning abilities and memory.

Protects the heart: African yam keeps the heart healthy by removing excess sodium from the blood stream. Excess sodium can be lethal to the heart and causes heart attack, strokes and hypertension.

BENEFITS OF AFRICAN YAM FOR SICKLE CELL PATIENTS

PRODUCTION OF RED BLOOD CELLS: Sickle cell patients loose a lot of red blood cells and they need to be replenished. The iron in African yam promotes the production of red blood cells and this prevents frequent crises and diseases in sickle cell patients.

THIOCYANATE: African yam contains thiocyanate. Thiocyanate is also called yam vitamin or sulfocyanate. Thiocyanate has both anti sickling, antioxidant and antibiotic properties.

Thiocyanate as an anti sickling agent: Thiocyanate inhibits the sickling of red blood cells and also  increases their life spans. This prevents severe crises and loss of blood cells. This characteristic is thiocyanate has led some people to believe that it is a cure, but research has shown that it is not but it helps to control the symptoms and ailments associated with sickle cell disease.

Thiocyanate as an antibiotic: Sickle cell patients are prone to a lot of ailments and crisis, so thiocyanate acts as an antibiotic to fend of organisms that can cause serious illnesses to sickle cell patients.

Thiocyanate as an antioxidant: In sickle cell patients, the rapid loss or breaking down of red blood cells causes the production of reactive oxygen species. These reactive oxygen species cause oxidative stress and if not take care of can lead to Vaso-occlusive crisis, organ damage and inflammation. Thiocyanate acts as an antioxidant as prevents oxidative stress.

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