A lot of people experience having thickened and discolored fingernails or toenails. About 50 percent of such abnormal nails are caused by a fungal infection of the matrix, nail bed, or nail plate. The most common microorganisms that cause this infection belong to the group known as dermatophytes. The medical term for this condition is onychomycosis. It is also known as tinea unguium.
How It Looks
There are four types of nail fungus infections. These are classified according to the part of the nail that is affected. The most common type of nail infection affects the tip of the nail. Initially, the infection makes the nail plate split from the nail bed. This is known as onycholysis. The end of the nail turns yellow or white and you can find keratin collecting underneath the nail, which causes the complete separation. The fungus starts to grow in the nails, making them fragile and crumbly.
Some factors encourage fungal growth or serve as a catalyst for fungus to spread. Communal showers and pools expose the feet to fungi, particularly when not protected with appropriate footwear. Medical conditions that affect the immune system make people more susceptible to fungi. These include AIDS, diabetes, and blood circulation problems. Physical exercise may also cause repeated minor trauma to the nail, making the nail susceptible to fungus.
It is crucial to ensure an official diagnosis of the fungal infection before a nail fungus treatment is provided. Treatment can be costly and long-term. Most of the time, the doctor will ask for a fungal culture or KOH test to be done which will determine the cause of the infection. A nail sample is usually required for the tests.
A treatment plan may include oral pills or topical medication prescribed by the doctor. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a combination therapy.
Yam is one of Nigeria’s staple meals. It is usually boiled, roasted, fried, or baked, if not pounded. Yam is the starchy staple that is being cultivated around the globe. Nigeria is the largest producer of yams all over the world, producing over 90 percent of yam supply. Cultivating yam has been done in Africa for 11,000 years now and there is no sign of letting up.
As an Antimicrobial
Based on several studies, yam extracts are known to protect the body from several drug-resistant bacteria. Another variety which is the purple yam has sap extracts whose metabolite compounds are known to have antibacterial properties. These metabolite compounds include tannins, phenols, triterpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, and triterpenoids. The study revealed that purple yam extracts showed the strongest inhibition effect on bacterial growth, particularly those of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli bacteria.
Other Health Benefits
Apart from the aforementioned health benefits of yam porridge, it can also offer the following:
Improved Brain Functions
Simply put, consuming yam may boost your brain prowess. A 12-week study revealed that those who took a yam extract supplement scored better on a brain function test compared to those who were in the placebo group. This is because of the unique compound found in yam which is known as diosgenin. This compound has been known to help with neuron growth and improve brain functions. Diosgenin is also associated with improved learning and memory in mice during several maze tests. However, this requires more human studies.
Improved Blood Sugar Level Control
Yam is capable of improving your blood sugar levels. In a study, rats that were administered yam powder or yam water extract exhibited reduced fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin compared to the group that wasn’t. In another study, it was proven that supplementing rats with yam flour reduced their rate of absorbing blood sugar, resulting in improved blood sugar control. Such effects are due to the fiber and resistant starch content in yams. Resistant starch is associated with various health benefits such as decreased appetite, improved insulin sensitivity, and healthy blood sugar levels.
Boosts the Immune System
Yam porridge boosts the body’s immune system. This is because yam has antioxidants and nutrients that help boost the body’s immune system. Palm oil which is also abundant in yam porridge is also loaded with vitamin E and carotenoids, which all function as antioxidants that help in cell damage prevention.
Provides Energy to the Body
Carbohydrates are a major source of energy for the body, which fuels our daily activities. Yam and palm oil which are the primary ingredients of this meal are loaded with carbohydrates, providing fuel to the body.
Promotes Regular Bowel Movement
The yam porridge contains vegetable ingredients that are rich in vitamins and fiber. Such nutrients are required for bowel movement, which reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Aids Weight Loss
An animal study exhibited that yam extract could reduce food intake. The study suggested that tubers may help in reducing appetite and contributing to weight loss. Weight loss is also supported by the yam’s fiber content.
On top of all these, if you don’t want a yam porridge, you can easily add yam to your daily diet. Yams come in various forms, such as powder, flour, or supplement. This can be added to both sweet and savory dishes.