Jicama (also called yambean) is a type of bulbous root vegetable that many people described as a cross between an apple and turnip. Originally from the Mexican peninsula, jicama has played an important role in the traditional kitchens of the populations that live in Central and South America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia for thousands of years.
Jicama Nutrition Facts:
Jicama (which has the name of the Pachyrhizus erosus plant species) is composed of between 86 and 90 percent water, so it is naturally low in calories, natural sugars and starch – and therefore has a score low in glycemic index. It is also a good source of nutrients that stimulate the immune system, such as vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
A Serving of One Cup of Raw Sliced 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 of vitamin C (40 percent DV)
- 180 milligrams of potassium (5 percent DV)
- 1 milligram of manganese (4 percent DV)
- 7 milligrams of iron (4 percent DV)
- 4 milligrams of magnesium (4 percent DV)
- 4 micrograms folate (4 percent DV)
7 Health Benefits of Jicama:
1. Provides a Large Amount of Prebiotic Fibers:
Despite being a tuber, the jicama is extremely diminished in terms of starch, sugars and carbohydrates in proportion to other types of vegetables such as potatoes and beets.
“Jicama 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, however, it benefits the digestive organs and, therefore, the entire body (including the immune system) of different ways. Inulin acts as a prebiotic once it reaches the intestines, which means it helps probiotics (or “good bacteria” that live inside the gastrointestinal tract) to 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 greater number of bacterial populations, including bifidobacteria. In the process, beneficial compounds called butyrate, lactic acid and AGCC 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 control 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, it is a great starchy vegetable option for anyone struggling to balance blood sugar or who has diabetes, and it can also be useful 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 diet high in fiber is better for controlling your weight, appetite and hormones such as insulin. In studies, jicama extract has shown positive inhibitory effects against factors that raise blood sugar levels, including postprandial hyperglycemia (of 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, fiber-rich foods also expand in the stomach and absorb water, so it is important to keep it full and avoid overeating or eating snacks.
3. Helps Increase Immune Function:
As a source of valuable prebiotics, unique jicama 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 functioning depends largely on a delicate balance between the bacteria that populate the microbiota. According to the results of a 2005 study from the British Journal of Nutrition, prebiotic plant foods that contain 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 intestine, reducing tumor growth and stopping metastasis (spread). The researchers found natural effects in the fight against inulin-type fructan cancer on pre-neoplastic lesions (ACF) or tumors in the colon of rats and mice, especially when prebiotics were given in combination. With probiotics (called symbiotics). Prebiotics are believed to help improve protection against cancer due to fermentation mediated by intestinal flora and butyrate production.
4. Benefits Heart Health:
Like many vegetables, jicama has a high density of water and nutrients, and otherwise it is mainly composed of different types of carbohydrate molecules.
5. Ideal for Digestion:
Water and fiber-rich vegetables are recommended for anyone who is fighting digestive problems because they hydrate and provide fiber, essential electrolytes and nutrients that help intestinal and intestinal health. Jicama is considered a very easy digestion vegetable because 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 outbreaks in the gastrointestinal tract associated with IBS, ulcers, intestinal filtration 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 eliminates free radicals and controls inflammation. When foods rich in vitamin C are consumed, inflammation can be controlled, which is important to keep oxidative stress levels low and protect against cancer, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cognitive impairment.
7. Maintains Strong and Healthy Bones:
The oligofructose inulin contained in the jicama benefits bone health because it improves mineral retention, suppresses the turnover rate of bone loss and helps calcium absorption in the bones. It also provides important nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and manganese that are necessary for adequate bone mineralization and to protect against bone loss or osteoporosis in old age. That is why jicama must be added to any natural diet treatment for osteoporosis.
La Jícama History and Interesting Facts:
Jícama plants grow best in warm and tropical regions, so they are often found in the kitchen of Central and South America. The jicama plant itself is grown only for the inner fleshy part of the edible root, since it is believed that its skin stem and leaves 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 worldwide include pickling it in rice vinegar and salt (in the Philippines), turning it into bagoong shrimp paste, mixing it into fruit bars or spicy 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 it has a taste and a feeling closer to an apple. If you are familiar with Asian pears or water chestnuts used in Asian cuisine, you can imagine the feeling and taste of jicama quite similar – with a crispy, somewhat juicy and 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 bruises. Once at home, keep the jicama preferably uncut in a cool, dark place. Like other root vegetables, it will not spoil for several weeks when left whole in the refrigerator, but once you have cut it, try using it several days before it dries. To use jicama, you must first remove firm skin. Fortunately, jicama does not have to be cooked to enjoy it, so you can peel it, slice it up or down 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 jicama sticks pre-cut, roasted or sliced by 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 humus instead of french fries, throw some slices in your salad to get an extra crunch, or roast it just like potatoes or turnips. Finely cutting wide pieces of jicama with a mandolin slicer and then lightly baking a large “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 the homemade sauce is another easy option. It also works well with apples or nutritious pears, Asian flavors such as soy sauce or ginger, oranges and Mediterranean ingredients such as garlic and chives.
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 chopped
- 1/2 cup jicama, skinless and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Peel, sow, dice, chop and chop all the 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.
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