Jicama is a root vegetable, its skin is golden brown, and from the interior its starchy white.
The beans of jicama plant is the same of lima beans. But the beans of jicama plant are toxic.
The origin of jicama is Mexico. Then it traveled to the Philippines and Asia. Jicama grows in the areas that are high in temperature or warm all the year, because it needs a long growing season.
The taste of jicama is a little sweet and nutty flavor. It is a juicy and crunchy on the inside. The taste of it is a mix between potato and a pear, and others simile water chestnut.
Jicama has many names according to its origin or type; yam bean, Mexican potato, Mexican water chestnut and Chinese turnip.
In the following lines, some health benefits and nutrition facts about jicama.
1. Packed With Nutrients
Jicama is known to have a magnificent nutrient profile.
Jicama gives you a good amount of calories, most of them originate from carbs. The remaining calories come from protein and fat. Jicama also has a fair amount of fibre and some minerals and vitamins.
Only one cup (130 grams) of jicama have the following nutrients:
- Calories: 49
- Carbs: 12 grams (g)
- Protein: 1 g
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Fiber: 6.4 g
- Vitamin C: 44% of the RDI
- Folate: 4% of the RDI
- Iron: 4% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Manganese: 4% of the RDI
- RDI: Recommended Daily Intake
Jicama have some small amounts of vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and copper.
Jicama ia a very good root vegetable for people who want to lose weight, because it is low in calories and high in fibre and water. About 130 g (one cup) of jicama has 17 % and 23 % of the RDI of men and women respectively.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for a lot of enzyme reactions. Jicama is rich of this water-soluble vitamin.
2. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are plant compounds that have a role in protecting the body cells from damage. Jicama ir rich with these antioxidants.
One of the major antioxidants in jicama is vitamin C. 130 g (one cup) of jicama have about half of the RDI of it. Other antioxidants that found in jicama are vitamin E, selenium and beta carotene.
The main benefit of antioxidant is fighting the free radicals. These free radicals are harmful compounds that cause oxidative stress, which leads to chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cognitive decline.
It is good to know that diest is rich in antioxidants like jicama, and also assist in protecting the body from oxidative stress, thus reducing any chance of chronic diseases.
Another great benefit of antioxidants – according to some studies – that found in fruits and vegetables is that they can reduce any risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s.
3. May Boost Heart Health
Many nutrients are found in jicama and considered very useful in increasing the health of the heart.
A large amount of soluble dietary fibre found in jicama can assist in reducing cholesterol levels in the body. This is done by either stopping the reabsorption of bile in the intestines or stopping the production of cholesterol from the liver.
A 23 studies proved that if you increase the consumption of fibre, this will reduce total cholesterol and Low-Density Lipo-protein (LDL) “bad” cholesterol.
It is known that potassium reduces blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. Jicama also has this potassium that – according to one study – protects the heart from any diseases and stroke.
130 g (one cup) of jicama has about 0.78 mg of iron and 0.62 mg of copper. These two elements have a great role in improving circulation due to their importance to the health of red blood cells.
Jicama is a good source of nitrate. Some researches connected eating vegetables that contain nitrate with increasing circulation and better exercise performance.
To decrease the risk of blood clotting, you can drink 500 ml (16.6 ounces) of jicama juice, and that is according to one healthy study.
4. Promotes Digestion
Jicama has enough amount of fibre that improves the movement of stool through the digestive system by increasing its bulk.
Only 130 g (one cup) of jicama will provide your body with its daily need (about 6.4 g).
Some researches prove that a certain type of fibre called inulin may increase the viscera movement by 31 % in patients who have constipation. Jicama has this type of fibre.
The diet with the high content of water assists your body to reach its daily goal of fluid. Jicama is high in water, which also assists in facilitating constipation.
5. Good for Your Gut Bacteria
The inulin found in jicama is a prebiotic fibre. This prebiotic compounds may be used in the body by the bacteria which leads to better health.
The bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract may sour these prebiotic fibers like inulin because they can not be absorbed by the digestive system.
Another great health benefit of prebiotic fibres is that they increase the number of good bacteria in the digestive system and reduce the number of unhealthy bacteria.
Some researches proved that that good bacteria in the digestive system have a role in your weight, immune system and also your mood.
Increasing the number of foods that have prebiotic fibres stimulate the growth of good bacteria that can reduce the risk of some chronic diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease.
6. May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Antioxidants are compounds that can fight free radicals which lead to cell damage and cancer. Jicama has antioxidants like vitamins C and E, selenium and beta-carotene.
As we mentioned before, one cup (130 g) of jicama contains about 6 g of dietary fibre. These dietary fibres have a great role in preserving the colon from cancer.
According to one research, people who consume an amount more than 27 g every day from dietary fibre, will have a less chance of getting colon cancer, compared to people who consume an amount fewer than 11 g.