This review investigated African yam beans (AYB) as a novel tropical food plant for human nutrition. AYB plants food potentials, its nutritional and amino acid compositions were also examined. In the same vein, the health benefits, utilization of AYB in starch and composite flour technology as well as its toxicological analysis were explored. Also, strategies to minimize processing difficulties and antinutritional factors were highlighted. It was revealed that AYB plant products are very rich in protein, minerals and antioxidants with low glycemic index (GI). Furthermore, viable processing techniques like fermentation, boiling and roasting can reduce AYB antinutritional factors and its toxicological effects. The result suggests that AYB plant products can meet dietary needs of people suffering from malnutrition, kwashiorkor, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases, thus improving food security. Full utilization of AYB plants in food, drugs and health industries should be explored by carrying out further studies on ethno-pharmacological claims of AYB leaves and tubers. The findings revealed that AYB plant products hold great potential in improving food security globally.
Key words: African yam beans, food security, nutritional factors, health benefits, limiting factors.
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