Cassava vs Yam: Difference and Comparison

Cassava and yam are profoundly consumed tuberous root vegetables all over the world. They are common foods with a definitive wellspring of health benefits.


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They are perfect in various food items with vibrant flavors and colors. Some of the prominent nutrients found are copper, antioxidants for cancer prevention, and manganese. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Cassava is a starchy, tuberous root native to South America, whereas yam is a tuber native to Africa and Asia.
  2. Cassava contains higher levels of cyanide than yam and requires proper processing to remove toxins.
  3. Yams are more nutritious than cassava, providing higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Cassava vs Yam

The difference between a Cassava and Yam is that the Cassava is high in fats and overall calories and has a lesser amount of water content. On the other hand, a Yam has fewer calories due to low amounts of fats and higher water content. The amount of water in yams is 16 percent per 100 grams. 

Cassava vs Yam

Cassava is a delicious root vegetable high in resistant starch and nutritional value. It is rich in carbs. It is one of the highly drought-tolerant crops and can sustain difficult climate conditions.

It is eaten whole, boiled, mashed, or grated in flour to make crackers, chips, bread, and cake

Yam is a tuber vegetable known for its distinctive, unique brown bark structure. It is a versatile vegetable used in various sweet and savory dishes. It is nutritious and is overloaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibers.

They are essential in maintaining a functioning metabolism, improved bone health, and healthy heart functioning. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCassavaYam
SizeCassava can be 6 to 12 inches long and 2 to 4 inches wide.It is known to grow up to 6 inches long.
FlavorIt has nutty, bitter, and sweet flavors.The taste can range from earthy, smoky to nutty flavors. 
Type of Regions for CultivationIt is grown in subtropical and tropical regions.It is generally grown in temperate and tropical zones. 
ClimateIt is grown in regions with humid climates and rainfall over 100cms. It requires abundant rainfall with warmth and humidity.
Texture It is high in starch and has a gummy texture. Yam has a waxy and hard texture. 

What is Cassava?

Cassava is a tuber belonging to the woody shrub family. It is a perennial vegetable, though extensively cultivated as an annual crop. Cassava is the third-largest source of carbohydrates in foods. 

It plays a crucial role in the extraction of Tapioca used in animal feed, dishes, and industrial uses. Tapioca is extracted when Cassava is heated for hours leading to the release of starch.

Cassava has a detachable rind with a thickness of 1 millimeter. The inside is a homogenous flesh that is either white or yellowish tones. Cassava roots are high in starch and Vitamin C.

Whereas cassava leaves are rich in high amounts of proteins. 

Cassava was introduced in West Brazil over 10,000 years ago. The modern domesticated cassava is found in southern Brazil in the wilds.

It later evolved as a staple for native people in Northern South America, Taino natives in Caribbean Islands, and Mesopotamia.

It is a great source of copper important for neurotransmission, energy synthesis in the body, and enhancing the metabolism of a person.

Cassava should not be consumed raw, especially in large amounts. The chemicals Cyanogenic Glycosides in Cassava have similar effects to cyanide. It is safe to eat when cooked.


What is Yam?

Yam is a tuber that belongs to the plant species of the Dioscorea genus. It is consumed in various forms and is popular for starchy taste. Yam refers to a perennial herbaceous vine.

It is an edible tuber. There are over 870 types of yam cultivated across the globe, some of which are presumptuous plants and considered noxious weeds.

The tuber has a rough outer exterior, laborious and arduous to peel. The outer skin ranges in colors from light pink tones to dark brown. 

The skin is heated to soften up. The flesh inside has a softer texture that varies in colors purple, pink, white, and yellow. The softer substance inside is often called meat. 

Yam is mistaken as a sweet potato but has a comparatively lesser sweet taste. Yam is highly rich in manganese and potassium for body growth and bone stealth. 

Yam has a unique compound called diosgenin responsible for profound neuron development and refining brain operations. It is perfect for women in relieving the symptoms of menopause.

Yam has cancer prevention characteristics because of its antioxidants. 

Yam is great for reducing body weight and improving bowel functions. Yam is also known for building immunity and eliminating digestive problems. 


Main Differences Between Cassava and Yam

  1. Cassava has fewer dietary fibers when compared to Yam. Yam has 128% more fibers and roughage content.
  2. Cassava is grown in many countries. Such countries include Nigeria, Thailand, and Congo. On the other hand, Yam is primarily grown in Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean, South America, and West Africa.
  3. The largest consumer of Cassava is the United States. Whereas Yam is prominently consumed in China for various traditional and delicious foods. 
  4. Cassava has a higher sugar content compared to a Yam. Yam is lightweight and easy to digest. 
  5. Cassava has lesser vitamins and minerals compared to a yam. Yam has higher levels of Vitamins and minerals. The main vitamins in yam are Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin E. 
Difference Between Cassava and Yam
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