Jicama is a root crop that may be eaten raw or stir-fried with other vegetables. Inside its paper-like yellow skin is the crunchy veggie’s creamy-white flesh that closely resembles a pear or raw potato. Also known as Mexican turnip, Mexican yam bean and Chinese potato, jicama possesses a starchy and mildly sweet flavor, and contains plenty of translucent juice.
Once native to Central and South America, jicama is now being cultivated in various parts of Southeast Asia. That’s because the Spaniards brought the vegetable to the Philippines, from which it has spread to China and the neighboring countries.
Thanks to the vitamin, mineral and fiber content of jicama, it’s a wonderful addition to your diet. Aside from eating it raw and adding it to vegetables you love to stir-fry, you may also cut it in wedges and deep-fried or baked. Throwing a handful of chopped up jicama adds more crunchy texture to your raw vegetable salad. If you cannot find it at the farmers’ market or grocery store, you will surely find some at your favorite Asian grocery.
Here are some of the health benefits offered by jicama:
Jicama Helps You Manage Your Weight
Are you constantly on the hunt for low-calorie snacks? Get your hands on jicama which contains only 35 calories per 100-gram serving! This root vegetable is very good at making you feel satiated, thanks to its loads of water and fiber. By munching on it, you can save yourself from succumbing to hunger pangs that tend to leave you wolfing down treats that are packed with calories and fat. Go ahead and add thinly-sliced strips of it to your raw vegetable salads and even soups for a delicious and nutritious meal.
It Allows You to Dodge Osteoporosis
Having soft and brittle bones is a condition referred to as osteoporosis. You don’t want to have this problem because it puts you at risk of ending up with fractures. A very simple way to keep your bones strong and healthy is by eating foods that are rich not only in calcium, but also manganese, magnesium and copper. Guess what? Jicama contains the said minerals!
Eating It Regularly Can Help Ward Off Anemia
There’s a form of anemia that stems from having insufficient iron in the body, and that is why it’s known in the medical world as iron-deficiency anemia. This blood condition is something that can be easily avoided simply by adding foods with iron to your everyday diet. Iron is one of the many nutrients found in jicama, so consuming it helps make sure that you get good amounts of the said mineral that’s necessary for the formation of red blood cells.
Jicama Helps Regulate Your Blood Pressure
There’s another reason why the consumption of jicama is good for your circulatory system: it helps in keeping your blood pressure normal. That’s because this crunchy veggie that you can easily incorporate in your diet contains potassium. The said mineral helps keep high blood pressure in check by allowing the walls of the blood vessels to relax.
Adding It to the Diet Strengthens Your Immune System
Experts say that a 100-gram serving of jicama supplies up to 40% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. It’s no secret that vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps make your immune system work very well in shielding your body from infections and allergies brought about by invading microbes. Vitamin C is also necessary for wound-healing and young-looking skin, thanks to its ability to fight off free radicals and promote the production of collagen!
It Helps Save You From Constipation
Last but not least, regularly serving jicama on the table helps prevent constipation. This does not come as a surprise because the root vegetable is rich not only in water, but also fiber. It is a good idea for you to include fiber-rich foods in your diet because, aside from it helps promote bowel movement, it may also reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.