Jicama is a sweet tuber that is rich in complex carbohydrates (about 38 calories per 100 grams), low in sugar and fat, and a good source of fiber, which makes it an ideal choice for weight loss. One cup of jicama contains nearly one-fourth of your recommended daily intake of fiber. Jicama’s nutritional benefits and low calories make it a good substitute for potatoes for people with diabetes.
Jicama is a good source of vitamins and minerals including folate, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. It contains trace quantities of omega-3 and -6 unsaturated fatty acids and significant levels of vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, C, and E, as well as iron, zinc, copper, calcium, and phosphorus. One cup of jicama also contains about 20 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant that is highly beneficial to the body.
10 health benefits of jicama
- Good source of fiber: Jicama can be eaten raw as a snack after peeling its skin. It is rich in insoluble fiber, which promotes good digestion, prevents constipation, and decreases cholesterol in the body.
- Prebiotic: Jicama has a lot of inulin, which is a type of prebiotic fiber. The digestive system contains beneficial bacteria called probiotics. Prebiotics are fibers that the body cannot digest and help probiotics develop by supplying them with food. Probiotics improve gut health, digestion, and nutrient absorption, and lower the risk of infections.
- Regulates blood sugar: Jicama has a low glycemic index that means it does not cause spikes in blood sugar levels, and it is rich in fiber. So, eating jicama as part of a healthy and balanced diet may help control blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for people with diabetes.
- Good source of antioxidants: Jicama is rich in vitamin C. Antioxidants decrease oxidative stress caused by free radicals to delay damage to the cells and the aging process. Vitamin C stimulates the immune system and prevents the body from various diseases. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, oxidative stress may be responsible for aging and cause several diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
- Fights cancer: Jicama is rich in inulin, which helps the digestion process and absorption of nutrients, and helps reduce the risk of colon cancer. Antioxidants, other vitamins, and trace minerals, such as selenium, present in jicama help reduce oxidative damage to the cells and decrease the risk of cancer.
- Enhances heart health: Jicama reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation, and high blood sugar levels. Jicama contains high nitrate levels, which improve blood circulation.
- Strengthens bones: Jicama contains minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. The inulin present in jicama reduces bone loss by increasing the absorption of calcium and retains other minerals in bones.
- Improves brain function: Jicama contains significant amounts of vitamin B6, which is believed to preserve brain health and improve general mental capability, such as problem-solving, thinking, planning, reasoning, and learning.
- Aids in weight loss: Low-calorie foods are beneficial for people trying to lose weight, especially if those are also high in minerals and dietary fiber, which help the body feel fuller for longer. Using jicama for weight loss is great since it is low in calories and high in minerals, water, and fiber. It could be a good snack to suppress hunger and satisfy cravings without gaining weight or losing nutritional benefits. The flesh of jicama is juicy because it contains more water and helps you stay hydrated.
- Prevents anemia: Jicama contains some amount of iron and folate, which are required to produce healthy red blood cells and promote healthy cell growth and functions. This prevents anemia, a condition when the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells, which may cause other health problems, such as weakness, exhaustion, and irritability.
How does jicama taste?
Jicama, like potato or turnip, is a starchy root vegetable that is covered in thick, firm, brown skin and is available year round. Jicama’s flesh is crunchy and juicy and tastes like an apple but not as sweet. It is said to have a nutty flavor. Similarly to potatoes, jicama is low in calories. Though the plant grows as a vine, only the root is edible. The other parts of the plant are highly toxic.
Jicama is normally cooked like a potato but can be eaten raw, which tastes a little like water chestnuts when eaten raw. Although it looks like an apple, it does not brown after cutting. The unused part could be stored for later use.
For a healthy snack with a crunch, cut jicama into slices, splash the slices with lime juice, and sprinkle on the chili powder. You can also incorporate the raw slices in a slaw or combine them with a stir fry.
Jicama grows mostly in Mexico and Central America.
Staughton J. 7 Surprising Jicama Benefits. Organic Information Services. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/jicama.html
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