Dioscoreaceae is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants, with about 715 known species in nine genera. The best-known member of the family is the yam. Chinese yam (Dioscorea polystachya Turcz.), has been cultivated for centuries in East Asia as a food crop and as a widely-used ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. The tubers are rich in nutrients, but also contain bioactive metabolites such as resistant starches, steroidal sapogenins (like diosgenin), the storage protein dioscin, and mucilage polysaccharides. These health-promoting products can help to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and disorders of the gut microbiome.