Wondering what Jicama is? Well, Jicama also known as yam bean, Mexican turnip or Mexican Potato, is an edible vegetable root. The root of the plant produces beans which are edible. However, the beans of the plant are extremely toxic. Though it is a native of Mexico, Jicama plant is now spread worldwide. Its succulent and juicy flesh tastes similar to water chestnuts. Some even say that it is a cross between a potato and pear. Without further ado, let’s delve deeper into the world of Jicama. Here are the lesser-known 9 health benefits of Jicama.
Jicama Nutrition Facts
Jicama is rich in many nutrients. Here are some jicama nutrition facts based on one cup of jicama in its raw form.
- Calories- 49
- Carbohydrates- 12 gm
- Protein- 1 gm
- Fat- 0.1 gm
- Fiber- 6.4 gm
- Vitamin C- 44%
- Folate- 4%
- Iron- 4%
- Magnesium- 4%
- Potassium- 6%
- Manganese- 4%
Other nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, etc. are also present in small amounts in jicama.
1. Packed With Nutrients
Jicama contains a lot of nutrients. It’s low calorie and high fiber quotient makes it a perfect weight-loss food. It also has high ratio of Vitamin C in it, which is an essential element in many enzymatic reactions.
2. Promotes Heart Health
Jicama is beneficial for your overall heart health. The high dietary fiber present in it helps in bringing down cholesterol levels. It also contains copper and iron which are integral in the production of red blood cells. Jicama also contains potassium which helps in lowering your blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels.
3. Jicama may help in blood pressure
The potassium in jicama is an excellent vasodilator. It reduces the pressure on the blood vessels. Jicama benefits the body by taking care of increased blood pressure.
[Also Read: Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally]
4. Good for the functioning of your Brain
Jicama contains folates in reasonable amounts, which are linked to healthy brain development and aid in improving cognitive abilities. Folates(1) present in Jicama benefit the body if the right amounts are consumed regularly.
5. Aids in healthy digestion
The high number of dietary soluble fiber present in Jicama helps in increasing the bulk of your stool. Thus, helping the stool to pass freely through the digestive tract. Also, Jicama hells a great deal to treat constipation. The Inulin present in it improves the frequency of motions. Foods like Jicama with high water content can also help you meet your daily fluid needs.
6. Good for the Gut bacteria
Healthy gut bacteria aids in keeping you away from many ailments like heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, etc. The prebiotic fiber Inulin present in it helps in increasing the good bacteria in your gut.
7. Reduces the risk of Cancer
Jicama is high in antioxidants, especially Vitamin C. The antioxidants present in it take care of the free radicals that are responsible for cellular damage and the development of cancer. As jicama is also rich in soluble fiber, it reduces the risk of colon cancer.
8. Aids in weight Loss
A food that is less in calories, high in nutrients and delicious on top of that? No less than a miracle right? Well, Jicama is that miracle here. The dietary soluble fiber present in it is essential for weight loss. This fiber also helps in keeping a check on your blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber also keeps you full for longer periods, thus curbing your hunger pangs and obesity.
[Also Read: 8 Super foods For Weight Loss]
9. High in antioxidants
Antioxidants(2) are helpful in taking care of free-radicals, which cause various health hazards like cancer and heart diseases. Jicama benefits the body by supplying these antioxidants. It also helps the body by fighting-off oxidative stress, thereby reducing the risks of chronic diseases.
Now that you know what a superfood Jicama is, are you up for some delicious recipes so that you can incorporate Jicama in your health regime? Listed below some of the simple recipes that are tasty and healthy.
How to cook jicama?
You can cook Jicama in several ways. One of the simplest methods is to cut jicama into cubes and boil in a pot of water for 15-20 minutes. Add a bit of salt to the boiling water and its done! Jicama taste like that of a juicy and crunchy pear also, sweet and starchy like that of an apple.
Jicama is an easy add-on to any diet. That makes it a versatile food. Here are a few jicama recipes that are tasty and healthy.
1. Fried jicama
- One jicama -medium sized
- One tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Oil to fry
Method of preparation
- Peel jicama and cut them in Julienne style
- Bring a pot of water to boil and add salt to it
- Boil the cut jicamas in water for 10 min
- Drain water after done. Transfer jicamas to a bowl
- Heat oil for frying. Lower the half-cooked jicamas in hot oil and fry till golden brown
- Now, remove in a plate
- Add olive oil, paprika, garlic, and onion powder and salt. Toss well
- Serve hot with ketchup or a dip of your choice
To make roasted jicama, follow all the steps except for frying in oil. First, toss the cooked fries with all the herbs and then bake them in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 30-45 min.
2. Jicama appetizer
- Peeled Jicama, cut it into bite-sized pieces
- Two tbsp. fresh lime juice
- Two tbsp. chili powder
Method of preparation
- Take cut jicama into a bowl
- Drizzle the lemon juice all over it
- Sprinkle the chili powder
- Give it a good toss
- Serve immediately
Precautions and side effects
Jicama is generally well tolerated by most people. However, some noteworthy points are listed below
- Only the roots of the jicama plant are edible. The leaves, bean pod and seeds are extremely poisonous and should get discarded
- Jicama is rich in fiber. Too much fiber when consumed suddenly causes serious digestion issues. Hence, you should consume it in moderation.
- It is always better to peel the jicama and consume. The outer skin of the root is too fibrous and creates digestive issues. Moreover, it contains a toxic compound which protects the roots from underground insects and predators.
Jicama benefits are quite fascinating and lesser known. With vast variety of nutrients present, and numerous health benefits to offer, Jicama sure is a must try food. What’s more fascinating is, Jicama is juicy and tasty and can be eaten by itself. So, what are you waiting for? Start incorporating this superfood in your regime today!unknown to many people.
1. Is jicama poisonous?
The root of the jicama plant is entirely edible. However, the plant leaves, the bean pod, and the seeds are highly poisonous. Therefore, you should discard them and only consume roots.
2. Can jicama be eaten raw?
Jicama can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Due to this flexibility, it can be added to various recipes readily.
3. Is jicama a fruit or a vegetable?
Jicama is the root of the plant yam bean. It is consumed raw or cooked, as a root vegetable.