A very unfamiliar vegetable is jicama. It is unfamiliar to many but it has a lot of health benefits. jicama peel is brown in color and white inside. The white part inside looks like an apple and tastes slightly sweet. Light nutty to eat and high in water. From the outside, it looks like a beetroot.
The scientific name of jicama is Pachyrhizus erosus. Jicama is used in South American and Asian dishes. It is compared to an apple, Asian pear, cranky potato or turnip. Jicama is also known as Chinese potato, Mexican potato, Mexican yam, Mexican yam bean, Mexican water chestnut, Mexican turnip, Leafcup.
Nutritional value of Jicama
Jicama contains many important vitamins and minerals, as well as significant amounts of fiber. Below are the important nutrients of Jicama –
- Calories: 49
- Carbs: 12g
- Fiber: 6.4 grams
- Vitamin-C: 44%
- Folate: 4%
- Iron: 4%
- Potassium: 6%
The health benefits of eating Jicama
Jicama contains small amounts of Vitamin E, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Vitamin B-6, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Phosphorus. The health benefits of jicama are discussed below-
Good for reducing high blood pressure:
Jicama contains potassium which helps to reduce high blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. For example, a study found that potassium lowers high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Jicama is a natural source of nitrate. Nitrate intake from vegetables increases exercises performance. A study of healthy adults found that eating potato juice reduced the risk of blood clots.
Good for digestion:
130 grams of jicama contains 6.4 grams of fiber, which can help meet your daily fiber needs. It contains a type of fiber called inulin. Studies show that inulin can increase intestinal motility by up to 31% from constipation. Also, the amount of water in jicama is high, it helps to reduce constipation.
Maintains good heart health:
Jicama contains a lot of nutrients that are great for heart health. It also contains a sufficient amount of soluble fiber, which helps reduce the levels of LDL bad cholesterol, as well as prevents the liver from making excess cholesterol. A review of 23 studies found that fiber intake significantly reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Good for intestinal bacteria:
Jicama is high in inulin, which is a prebiotic fiber. A prebiotic is a substance used by the body’s bacteria. As a result, “good” bacteria grow in our gut, and the number of unhealthy bacteria decreases. A healthy gut reduces the risk of many diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Can reduce the risk of cancer:
Jicama contains antioxidants, vitamin “C”, vitamin “E”, selenium and beta carotene. Antioxidants protect our body from cell damage by free radicals. Jicama is a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber can fight against colon cancer.
One study found that those who consumed more than 27 grams of dietary fiber per day had a 50% lower risk of colon cancer.
May lose weight:
Jicama contains inulin fiber, which can lead to weight loss. In addition, the amount of water in jicama is high. So, it fills the stomach and helps to keep the stomach full for a long time. As a result, the tendency to eat repeatedly decreases. Those who want to lose weight can add jicama to the diet.
Controlling blood sugar levels:
Jicama has a low glycemic index and high fiber. Blood sugar levels do not rise very fast after eating jicama. This means that eating potatoes as part of a healthy and balanced diet can help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
An animal study in 2015 found that drinking jicama extract reduced blood glucose levels.
If you suffer from a complex disease or go through a regular medical course for any other reason, you must consult your doctor before eating jicama.