Suran, also known for its other names Jimikand, Elephant Foot Yam, Ole, or simply Yam, is a vegetable that is not so popular for its known “itchy throat” nature. It is a vegetable often used somewhere in India. It is also used mostly all over Asia and Africa, however unpopular. And as the years progressed, it can now be found somewhere in the Caribbean, Larin America, and even the United Kingdom. Suran vegetable grows under the soil in a form of a tuber and just like any other vegetable, it contains various vitamins and numerous nutritional contents. Particularly in Bangladesh, Bihar, and West Bengal, Suran is recommended by medicinal systems namely Umani, Siddha, and Ayurveda.
This vegetable grows in large shapes. Its size varies from that of a small potato to up to one and a half meters. More so, it can weigh up to 60 kilograms. What makes them different from sweet potatoes which it is commonly interchanged with is their size and skin. It is cylindrical with a brown, rough, bark-like skin that is difficult to peel. When heated, this vegetable softens. Its colours also vary from white to yellow to purple or pink in its mature states. The flavour of yam is less sweet than those of sweet potatoes that it is often interchanged with. It is also more starchy and dry. On a brighter note, it has a longer shelf life depending on its varieties.
Just like any vegetable, it is rich in nutrients and vitamins, and among these are protein and carbohydrates. A hundred gram of boiled or baked yam contains 1.5g protein, 116 calories, 27.5 carbohydrates, 20% DV of vitamin C, and 19% DV of potassium, among others.
Contains cancer-fighting. As Suran or Yam contains various nutrients, it also contains antioxidants that possibly contain anti-cancer properties. A test-tube study discovered and presented that Chinese yam extracts, most especially the peel, inhibited liver tumour growth and offered antioxidant properties. More studies are needed to prove its effectiveness on humans but the findings of that test-tube study gave an inkling of how helpful and healthy yam can be.
Reduces inflammation. Antioxidants take different roles in the body and since suran or yam contains that, it can also reduce inflammation. Inflammation, and chronic inflammation, are linked to the increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, among others. Hence, eating suran or yam helps manage it. A study conducted on rats discovered that suran powder reduced inflammation related to colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and stomach ulcers, among others.
Aids in weight loss. An animal study presented that suran extracts reduced food intake which suggests that this vegetable can help in reducing the appetite which in turn aids in weight loss. More so, the fibre present in suran also promotes weight loss. Further research needs to be conducted to prove its effectiveness on humans, but this finding is already a concrete land to base/begin with and pursue soon.