Nepalis cannot celebrate Maghe Sankranti without yam, also known as ‘tarul’ in Nepali & has many health benefits.
This festival’s rituals include eating yam, ghee, chaku, and sesame laddu. Yams are typically boiled one day ahead of Sankranti (the first day of Magh month), on the last day of Poush, and eaten on Sankranti. This practice adheres to the old Nepali proverb ‘Poushko pakya, Maghma khanya.’
Aside from the cultural significance of yams among Nepalis, this ground vegetable has a plethora of medicinal benefits. Yam is a herbaceous vine that produces tubers and is part of the family ‘Dioscoreaceae’ and genus ‘Dioscorea’. There are hundreds of species of yams in the world, with a wide range of colors and sizes. Ghartarul (cultivated yam) and bantarul (wild yam) are the two most popular in Nepal.
Yam or tarul is high in nutrients and minerals such as carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B1, B6, and C, manganese, and many more. Here are a few examples.
1. Improve digestion
2. Fight cancer
3. Boost brain functions
4. Keep the heart-healthy
5. Help in weight loss