Jicama is a sweet, delicious tuber vegetable that belongs to the genus Pachyrhizus and family Fabaceae. It is a member of potato family and is commonly cultivated in Latin America, typically in Mexico and Central America. Also known as the Mexican potato or Mexican yam bean, jicama is as sweet as a fruit and has a light crunchy texture. It has a thin brown skin, a round, turnip-like form and tail, and smooth white flesh. Hence, at times it looks like a cross between a potato and a turnip.
Being a versatile vegetable, jicama can be either consumed in its cooked or raw form. In its raw form, it has a flavor similar to a pear or apple and has to peeled off before consuming. It also has a juicy texture and when left in open after peeling it does not get discolored or spoiled. Hence, it is often used as an accompaniment to many raw vegetable platters. Whereas when cooked, it tends to absorb flavors of the ingredients it is combined with. Therefore, it serves as an excellent complement to various stir fried dishes and recipes. After having a brief idea about jicama vegetable, let us now move on to jicama nutritional benefits and facts.
Jicama Nutritional Value
Jicama is loaded with different vitamins and minerals. In fact, it is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium and is also low in sodium. Moreover, it has no calories or fat, and so serves as an essential ingredient in many health food recipes. On an average, one cup of raw sliced jicama contains:
Protein: 0.86 grams
Carbohydrate: 10.6 grams
Total Fat: 0.11 grams
Fiber: 5.8 grams
Jicama Nutritional Benefits
Due to its high nutritional value and low jicama calories, this vegetable offers numerous nutritional benefits, of which some are given below:
Being low in calories and fat, jicama helps to control the cholesterol levels and reduces the risks of having any heart problems like heart attack, hypertension, etc.
It is high in vitamin C, hence acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Its anti-inflammatory properties benefit by subsiding the symptoms of asthma like wheezing especially in young children and being rich in vitamin C, it helps to cure common cold and flu.
Deficiency of vitamin C can increase the incidence of bruising in some people. Hence, people who suffer easy bruising can overcome this problem by increasing their vitamin C intake by including jicama vegetable in their daily diet.
Jicama also benefits by strengthening or supporting the structure of capillaries, thereby reducing the risks of having capillary fragility or damage.
Being rich in folic acid, beta-carotene and many other vitamins, jicama is quite effective in lowering the homocysteine levels in the body. Homocysteine is an amino acid that affects the cellular metabolism and production of proteins in the body and can also increase the risks of heart disease by damaging the lining of blood vessels. Moreover, studies show that people who eat jicama regularly, are found to have 11 percent lower homocysteine levels as compared to those who don’t eat this vegetable.
To sum up, jicama basically boosts the body’s immune system and helps in enhancing the overall body functioning. However, while purchasing jicama make sure you buy jicama having roots that are smooth skinned, firm and dry as the larger ones may not be as sweet. I am sure after understanding jicama nutritional benefits you will not forget to incorporate this delectable and nutritious vegetable in your daily diet.
Benefits of Jicama
Jicama is a common vegetable found in the produce part of many supermarkets. It resembles a potato and tastes like an apple. Technically, the jicama is categorized as a legume and its texture is similar to a radish. The following are some of the benefits of jicama.
1. Treats asthma
Jicama has high vitamin C content and thus it is a very powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These vital anti-inflammatory properties lessen the various symptoms of asthma such as wheezing particularly in young children. In addition to that, having high amounts of vitamin C in the body is also beneficial as it assists in curing flu and common cold.
2. Maintains cholesterol levels
Since jicama is low in fat and calories, it assists in controlling the cholesterol levels. This particular action could possibly reduce your risk of contracting any heart complications such as hypertension as well as heart attack among others.
3. Prevents easy bruising
Many people eat inadequate amounts of meals containing vitamin C and this leads to vitamin C deficiency. This increases the chances of bruising and the only method of making certain that you steer away from such complications is through the regular consumption of jicama since it is an excellent source of vitamin C.
4. Capillary fragility
Jicama benefits the body through strengthening the structure of the capillaries and thus reduces the risk of capillarity fragility. This is due to its rich vitamin C and flavonoid content.
5. Reduces risk of multiple sclerosis
A recent study that was carried out showed that people who consumed jicama over a long period of time correlated with a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis. This is because jicama contains various important nutrients like calcium, riboflavin, potassium and thiamine among others.
Nevertheless, jicama also has its shortcomings and one of them is that its roots may rot or have certain blemishes. It is highly recommended that you only purchase dry and firm tubers for the most gain.
Jicama Carrot Parsley Juice Recipe
To Make the Vegetable Juice below, you will need:
1. Clean the vegetables nicely with cold water
2. Chop off the ends of the carrots
3. Cut the vegetables to fit into your juicer with a knife
4. Juice the vegetables
5. You can add a little salt to make the juice a little more delicious. Do not add too much salt (you are on a fast, just a little sprinkle is enough).