Exploring the ways jicama benefits the body can be of excellent help to your health. After all, this is a root that originated in Mexico and has been in use for thousands of years in Asia, the Caribbean, and Southern America. And with a profile envied by even the most popular probiotics, you can be sure jicama has a lot of benefits.
What Is Jicama?
Jicama is a root vegetable that looks like a combination of a turnip and an apple. It is also known as yam bean. Many wrongly refer to jicama as a fruit, while actually, it is a bean plant that belongs to the Fabaceae family of legumes. Botanically, it is called Pachyrhizus erosus.
Jicama is made up of nearly 80–90% water and is low in sugar, calories, and starch, and thus scores low on the glycemic scoreboard. Jicama is suitable for nearly every diet, including the ketogenic, Paleo, and vegan diet plans.
Jicama is best grown in tropical warm regions, which may explain why it is common in South and Central American dishes. The exterior (i.e., leaves, skin, and stem) of jicama is believed to be toxic, and so is typically planted for the fleshy interior part of its edible root.
Nutritional Profile Of Jicama
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a cup serving of raw, sliced jicama offers about:
- 49 calories;
- 11 g of carbs;
- 6 g of dietary fiber;
- 2 g of sugar;
- 1 g of protein;
- 0 fats;
- 180 mg of potassium (5% DV);
- 7 mg of iron (4% DV);
- 4 mg of magnesium (4% of DV);
- 2 mg of vitamin C (40%DV);
- 1 mg of manganese (4% DV);
- 4 micrograms of folate (4% DV).
Looking At 6 Ways Jicama Benefits The Body
With such a robust nutritional profile, one should expect that jicama has a host of outstanding benefits, and it indeed does! Below are five benefits of jicama to gain when you take this bulbous vegetable root.
A Robust Source Of Prebiotics
Jicama is a root veggie, and it is thus surprising to know it has low levels of carbs, sugar, and starch, in relative comparison to other vegetables, such as rutabaga, potatoes, beets, and turnips. Despite this, the highlight of this particular jicama benefit is that it is a rich source of fiber. Basically, a one-cup serving of jicama provides you with about 25% of your dietary fiber needs for a day — which means you don’t have to eat a lot to meet up to your daily fiber needs.
Also, jicama contains oligofructose inulin, which is a healthy prebiotic fructan. Inulin does not contribute to your calorie level at all, and yet does a lot of good to your health, especially the digestive system.
Helps To Treat Diabetes
Jicama may help to prevent certain causative factors of diabetes, which are irregular levels of blood sugar and obesity. Fortunately, as a vegetable with a high level of fiber, yet a low scorer on the glycemic scoreboard, jicama is an excellent starchy choice if you’re having trouble regulating blood sugar. It is also a great way to lose weight quite quickly.
According to studies, jicama possesses the potential to inhibit the development of postprandial hyperglycemia and other factors that cause an abnormal increase in blood sugar levels. As per the role of jicama in weight-loss, it satisfies the stomach for long, even if little is eaten, and thus suppresses your appetite and cravings.
Enhances Immune Function
Jicama is composed of unique molecular fiber that helps to keep the growth balance of good-to-bad microbes living in the colon and intestines. Over 75% (obviously a large percentage) of the immune system is with the GI tract. So, positing that for your immune functioning to be prim and proper, there has to be a careful balance between the bacterial species residing in the microbiota.
In recent studies, it is proven that prebiotics containing inulin fructans possess chemo-protective qualities and can lessen the risk of colon cancer. The latter is attributed to the ability of jicama to combat the effects of carcinogens and toxins in the gut, reduce tumor growth, and prevent metastasis (spreading).
Positive Contributions To The Heart
Much like various vegetables, jicama is highly dense in nutrients and water, and in another vein, it is a product of numerous molecular carbohydrates. As earlier said, jicama contains oligofructose inulin, a fiber that is significantly associated with enhanced cardiovascular health and reduced levels of cholesterol.
Any diet, including a lot of high-fiber foods, can improve arterial health, decrease inflammation, and, thus, lowers the risk of suffering heart diseases. This ability can also lessen the risk of developing insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Additionally, jicama offers other nutrients beneficial to the heart, including potassium, which helps to manage blood sugar, and vitamin, which is a powerful antioxidant containing anti-inflammatory qualities.
Fiber-rich and water-dense veggies are always recommended if you have digestive deficiencies. This is because such vegetables are hydrating, provide essential electrolytes, fibers, and nutrients that encourage gut and intestinal health. Also, majorly due to its high water levels, jicama is a natural relief to constipation and diarrhea.
Furthermore, jicama has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it can prevent complications in the GI tract linked to ulcers, IBS, autoimmune digestive disorders, and leaky gut syndrome.
Takeaways From Ways Jicama Benefits The Body
As you will agree now, jicama possesses remarkable healing qualities. Apart from the benefits mentioned above, jicama also helps the bones to absorb calcium easily, which essentially is what helps them develop. This ability is attributed to the oligofructose inulin obtained from jicama.
So, when you make jicama a crucial part of your diet (it goes with all plans anyway), you’re assured of healthy bones even in your 70s. Jicama is also a good supplier of other nutrients, including potassium and magnesium, all of which are important to growth. With this impressive portfolio, there are amazing ways jicama benefits the body.