Discover the 7 shocking health benefits of jicama
Jicama (also called yambean) is a type of bulbous root vegetable that many people described as a cross between an apple and turnip.
Native to the Mexican peninsula, jicama has played an important role in the traditional cuisines of populations living in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and parts of Asia for thousands of years.
Jicama Nutrition Facts
Jicama (named after the plant species Pachyrhizus erosus) is made up of 86 to 90 percent water, making it naturally low in calories, natural sugars, and starch – and therefore has a score Low on the glycemic index.
It’s also a good source of immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
A one-cup serving of sliced raw jicama (pronounced hee-bed) has approximately:
• 49 calories
• 0 fat
• 6 grams of fiber
• 1 gram of protein
• 11 grams of carbohydrates
• 2 grams of sugar
• 2 milligrams vitamin C (40 percent DV)
• 180 milligrams potassium (5 percent DV)
• 1 milligram manganese (4 percent DV)
• 7 milligrams iron (4 percent DV)
• 4 milligrams magnesium (4 percent DV)
• 4 micrograms folate (4 percent DV)
7 Health Benefits of Jicama
Below are the health benefits of jicama:
1.- Provides a large amount of prebiotic fibers
• Despite being a tuber, jicama is extremely low in starch, sugar and carbohydrates in proportion to other types of vegetables such as potatoes and beets.
It is also a very good source of fiber, providing almost 25% of the daily needs in each serving.
• Because it is indigestible within the human digestive tract and ferments in the intestine, insulin is considered to have zero calories, yet it benefits the digestive organs and therefore your entire body (including the immune system) from different ways.
• Inulin acts as a prebiotic once it reaches the intestines, which means that it helps probiotics (or “good bacteria” that live within the gastrointestinal tract) do their job better.
• Inulin-type fructans are found mainly in the roots of plants (including jicama or chicory root), which end up residing in the intestine and fermenting to produce a larger number of bacterial populations, including bifidobacteria.
• In the process, beneficial compounds called butyrate, lactic acid, and SCFA are formed. Research suggests that inulin-type fructans have anti-cancer and anti-cancer properties.
• They can also positively boost the immune system, support weight management and metabolic functions, balance hormones naturally, improve digestion, and much more.
2.- Supports weight loss and blood sugar control
• As a high fiber vegetable, jicama also has a low glycemic index, is a great starchy vegetable option for anyone struggling to balance blood sugar or who has diabetes, and can also be helpful for losing weight quickly. .
• The impact of eating sugar and carbohydrates (glucose) on your blood sugar levels is less when you also consume fiber, which is why a high fiber diet is better for controlling your weight, appetite, and hormones like insulin.
• In studies, jicama extract has shown positive inhibitory effects against factors that raise blood sugar levels, including postprandial hyperglycemia (from α-glucosidase and α-amylase).
• When comparing the reactions of diabetic mice that received jicama supplements with those that did not, an increase in postprandial blood glucose levels was more significantly suppressed in the jicama group than in the control group.
• When digested, high-fiber foods also expand in your stomach and absorb water, so it’s important to keep you full and prevent you from overeating or snacking.
3.- Helps increase immune function
• As a source of valuable prebiotics, jicama’s unique fiber molecules help balance the growth of good and bad microbes that reside within the intestines and colon.
• A very large percentage of the immune system – more than 75 percent – is stored in the gastrointestinal tract, so proper immune function largely depends on a delicate balance between the bacteria that populate the microbiota.
• According to the results of a 2005 study in the British Journal of Nutrition, prebiotic plant foods containing inulin-type fructans have chemoprotective properties and are capable of reducing the risk of colon cancer.
They do this by fighting the impact of toxins and carcinogens in the gut, reducing tumor growth and stopping metastasis (spread).
• Researchers found natural cancer-fighting effects of inulin-type fructans on pre-neoplastic lesions (ACFs) or tumors in the colon of rats and mice, especially when the prebiotics were administered in combination. with probiotics (called symbiotics).
• Prebiotics are believed to help improve cancer protection due to intestinal flora-mediated fermentation and butyrate production.
4.- It benefits heart
• Like many vegetables, jicama has a high density of water and nutrients, and is otherwise composed primarily of different types of carbohydrate molecules.
5.- Ideal for digestion
• Fiber-rich vegetables and water are recommended for anyone battling digestive issues because they hydrate and provide fiber, essential electrolytes, and nutrients that support gut and gut health.
• Jicama is considered a very easily digestible vegetable as it has a high water content and its fiber content can naturally relieve constipation or treat diarrhea.
• Jicama is also an anti-inflammatory food that can reduce breakouts in the gastrointestinal tract associated with IBS, ulcers, leaky gut syndrome, and autoimmune digestive disorders.
6.- Rich source of vitamin C
• In addition to being a food with great prebiotic properties, jicama is also an excellent source of antioxidants, including vitamin C.
A serving of raw jicama provides more than 40% of our body’s daily vitamin C needs.
• Vitamin C is a crucial antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and controls inflammation.
When foods rich in vitamin C are consumed, inflammation is controlled, which is important to keep oxidative stress levels low and protect against cancer, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cognitive decline.
7.- Maintains strong and healthy bones
• The oligofructose inulin contained in jicama benefits bone health by improving mineral retention, suppressing the turnover rate of bone loss, and aiding the absorption of calcium in the bones.
• It also provides important nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese that are necessary for proper bone mineralization and to protect against bone loss or osteoporosis in old age.
• That is why jicama should be added to any natural diet treatment for osteoporosis.
Jicama History and Interesting Facts
Jicama plants grow best in warm, tropical regions, which is why they are often found in Central and South American cuisine.
The jicama plant itself is grown only for the inner fleshy part of the edible root, as its skin, stem, and leaves are believed to have toxic properties.
Called “Mexican turnip” or yam in some parts of the world, jicama is technically the root of a type of bean plant and a member of the legume family called Fabacea.
Today, jicama is commonly used in the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Some of its popular uses around the world include pickling it in rice vinegar and salt (in the Philippines), turning it into bagoong shrimp paste, mixing it into spicy fruit bars or fruit salad, and even baking and sweetening it to use as an ingredient in cakes (in Vietnam).
How to buy and use jicama
What does jicama taste like? One of the best things about this slightly sweet vegetable is that it can be eaten raw or cooked.
It looks a lot like a turnip but has a taste and feel closer to an apple.
If you are familiar with Asian pears or water chestnuts used in Asian cuisine, you can imagine the feel and taste of jicama quite similar – with a crisp, somewhat juicy, white interior.
Look for whole jicama bulbs in large supermarkets and Latin or Asian grocery stores.
You want to buy jicama when it feels firm, looks yellow to beige, and has no noticeable bruising.
Once at home, keep the jicama preferably uncut in a cool, dark place.
Like other root vegetables, it won’t spoil for several weeks when left whole in the refrigerator, but once you’ve cut it, try to use it several days before it dries.
To use jicama, you must first remove the firm skin. Fortunately, jicama doesn’t have to be cooked to be enjoyed, so you can peel it, slice it top or bottom to create a flat surface, and then cut it into strips or cubes with a sharp knife.
Jicama is super versatile both in terms of the necessary preparation and in terms of the flavors with which it is combined.
Keeping some pre-cut, roasted, or sliced jicama sticks on hand is even a smart way to replace some of the processed grains in your diet.
You can use raw jicama to soak in guacamole or hummus instead of fries, toss a few slices on your salad for extra crunch, or grill it just like potatoes or turnips.
Finely slicing wide chunks of jicama with a mandoline slicer and then lightly baking makes a great “tortilla” or sandwich wrap and substitute, while cutting it into smaller pieces seasoned with sea salt works well too.
Of course, adding it raw to your homemade sauce is another easy option.
Try adding jicama to some of these healthy and easy recipes:
Avocado and Mango Sauce Recipe
Total time: 15 minutes
• 1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
• 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
• 4 medium tomatoes, diced
• 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
• 1/2 cup jicama, skinned and diced
• 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon of sea salt
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup red onion, minced
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• Peel, seed, dice, mince and mince all ingredients according to the ingredient list.
• Mix in a bowl and mix until everything is covered and the spices are evenly distributed.
• Serve cold with Mary’s Gone Crackers.
• Chunky Tomato Sauce Recipe
We hope the article on the health benefits of jicama has been of help.