You must be wondering what Jicama is? How it tastes, what are jicama benefits, and how and where we can find it? Sometimes known as yam bean, Mexican turnip or Mexican potato, it is an edible vegetable root. It is a native plant of Mexico, originally from there. However, the cultivation of jicama seeds is now worldwide. Further in this article are revealed everything you need to know about this tasty, interesting vegetable root known as JICAMA.
What is Jicama?
Jicama is the name of a native Mexican vine. For the edible roots of the plant yam bean, we prefer to use the term jicama. Jicama fruit, as many people call it, is consumed as a root vegetable. Now the very next question which arises in your mind is about the taste of jicama. To clear the suspense, it tastes like a sweet and starchy apple, but its juice mainly is like a firm pear. Next thing to remember is that jicama seeds and bean pods are highly poisonous, and one must discard it before using it. Only the root of this vegetable is consumable.
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.
What are jicama benefits on our health?
Jicama has incredible benefits for our health. Here is a list of nine such fabulous jicama benefits on our body.
1. Jicama is high in nutrients
Jicama contains a lot of nutrients. It is shallow on calories and high in fiber which makes it a great weight-loss food. It is also quite high in vitamin c, which is essential for many enzyme reactions.
2. Jicama benefits for heart health
Jicama benefits regarding heart health are lovely. It is because jicama is high in dietary soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is essential for bringing down cholesterol levels. Low cholesterol levels will thus benefit the heart. Jicama also contains iron and copper which are integral to making red blood cells. Thus, jicama helps generally by taking care of the circulatory system.
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.
4. Jicama may help in improving brain function
Jicama contains folates in reasonable amounts. Folates get linked to healthy brain development and cognitive abilities. Jicama benefits the body by supplying right amounts of folates if consumed regularly.
5. Jicama aids in healthy digestion
Jicama has a high number of dietary soluble fiber. Dietary fiber helps in increasing the stool bulk. It causes the stool to move more smoothly through the digestive system. Also, jicama contains inulin. Inulin can assist in improving the frequency of motions. It allows people who face constipation issues. Also, jicama helps in digestion as it has great water content.
6. Jicama benefits the gut bacteria
Jicama has a prebiotic fiber called inulin. This prebiotics help in increasing the good bacteria in your gut, thereby decreasing the harmful bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria keep you away from many health hazards like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. Thus, jicama benefits you by aiding the growth of the good bacteria in your gut.
7. Cancer risk may get reduced by regular consumption of jicama
Jicama is high in anti-oxidants, especially Vitamin C. Anti-oxidants take care of the free radicals that are responsible for cellular damage and the development of cancer. As jicama is rich in soluble fiber, it can be a preventive for those at risk of colon cancer.
8. Jicama may help you lose weight effectively
Jicama is low on calories but quite high on nutrients. It is also rich in water content and dietary soluble fiber. All these things are essential in an effective weight-loss strategy. The high fiber in jicama also keeps blood-sugar in check by preventing the sugar levels from rising suddenly after eating. High water and fiber contents keep you fuller for longer, thus decreasing the cravings and taking care of obesity.
9. Jicama is rich in anti-oxidants
Anti-oxidants 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 anti-oxidants. Jicamas can help the body by fighting-off oxidative stress, thereby reducing the risks of chronic diseases.
Carbs in Jicama
Jicama supplies a right amount of healthy carbs. Also, it is a low-carb vegetable, thus aiding in efficient weight loss and other benefits.
Is Jicama keto-friendly?
Keto diet is a low-carb diet. The carbs content in jicama is quite low. The net carbs value is also low in jicama. Thus, it is a keto-friendly food.
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 water while boiling. Jicama taste is like that of juicy and crunchy pear, 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.
• 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 like fries
- 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
- 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. Instead, first toss the cooked fries with all ingredients and then bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 30-45 min. Serve hot.
• Jicama appetizer
- One jicama peeled. Cut it into bite-sized pieces
- Two tbsp. fresh lime juice
- Two tbsp. chili powder
Method of preparation
- Take cut jicama in 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 all 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, etc.
Jicama benefits are quite fascinating and unknown to many people. It has a vast variety of nutrients and is flexible for use in daily cooking and diet. It makes the recipes healthier as well as tastier. It is a very nutrient-dense root vegetable and can give enormous benefits when consumed reasonably.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.