Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals


Last Updated August 23rd, 2019

What is Jicama?

Jicama health benefitsJicama, famous as a prebiotic fiber, from the plant species named Pachyrhizus erosus, is a palatable root vegetable indigenous to Mexico. Pronounced as HEE-kah-ma, this leguminous tuber from the pea family, Fabaceae, has other equally popular names such as Mexican potato, Yam bean, Mexican turnip, and even Sweet turnip.

It is a tropical vegetable and grows well in warm climates. Even though it is called the yam bean, it has nothing to do with yam. This tuber is very high on nutrition, a good reason for its increasing popularity. It contains about 90% water, considered the biggest plus to this vegetable.

The overriding blessing is that this vegetable is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, low in calories, high on protein and lends itself as a good prebiotic in combination with other vegetables.

Can Jicama be called the poor man’s quinoa? What makes this root vegetable so good for the gut? Can Jicama be eaten instead of an Acai berry to derive the same nutritional benefits? What makes this well rounded legume such a hit with weight loss? Read on to know why this yam bean should be a healthy portion of your plate.

Tracing Jicama’s Roots

Jicama has been in use for thousands of years, mainly as food and medicine. The Spanish use the name Jicama to refer to any root vegetable, jícama de aqua in Spanish. Spanish voyagers carried this tuber far and wide during their travel, causing the spread of Jicama from Mexico to the South Pacific. Today many parts of Asia, like the Vietnam, Philippines, China, and Malaysia use this bulbous legume in their cuisines.

Authentic cuisines in the Caribbean employed this root vegetable as part of the recipe. Even people in Central and South America have been using Jicama for their traditional dishes. History shows the use of this root many thousands of years ago in several parts of Asia.

The vegetable has become popular in the United States and most of it is grown in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Florida. Jicama is easily available in Central America. People in this region are so easy with this vegetable that it is sometimes eaten raw with a bit of spicy topical seasoning.

Jicama is used widely in Mexico during the ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration on November 1st. This tuberous legume makes up one of the four elements that come into play during this event. Interestingly, the celebration includes jicama dolls made from paper strips.

Jicama – Plant Facts

  • This tuber is famously described as a ‘combo of the turnip and apple’. Jicama is oval in shape with a brown and hard outer skin. The flesh inside is succulent and white. The size/weight of this tuber can range from one to five pounds with some reaching up to fifty pounds.
  • The plant needs nearly 6-8 months of the frost-free environment to grow well. Therefore, warm weather is best suited to cultivate this tuber. The Jicama plant grows well in alkaline soil and needs about 8 hours of sunlight per day.
  • The vines of the jicama plant can exceed a length of 20 feet. The leaves of this plant species are a dark green shade and interestingly have three leaflets. The flowers are white or blue and bear the legume fruits.
  • The vegetable is not seasonal and is available at all times of the year. The best times of the year begins from October and goes on till the Spring.
  • The taste of the jicama is mildly sweet. The vegetable is crisp and starchy. The texture of this vegetable is likened to raw potato.
  • The edible part of the complete plant is just the root. The seed and leaves are poisonous and cannot be consumed.
  • The best tubers are the ones that are yellow or beige in color, a firm with no soft patches or spots. If left in a cool place like other tubers it can last up to a week with no refrigeration. Once it is diced, it needs to be used or can also be refrigerated.

How to Eat Jicama

Jicama has a hard outer skin that is tough to peel. A sharp knife will do the trick. This vegetable can be diced or cut into long strips. It can be consumed either raw or cooked.

The root of the jicama is the only edible portion of the plant. The seed pods are edible before they mature, but they get toxic afterward. It is safest to eat only the root.

The flowers, vine, and leaves are poisonous as they contain a natural insecticide, rotenone. This appears to be nature’s way of protecting the plant from predators. Consuming this part of the plant can trigger an extreme toxic reaction.

Popular Dishes with Jicama

jicama salad nutrition

  • The versatile vegetable can be sautéed or stir-fried. Sliced and chilled Jicama is popular among Mexicans. They also season the chilled tuber with traditional spices to give it a distinct flavor.
  • This legume is low in fat. Raw salads with jicama are extremely popular, especially with the weight watchers.
  • Another interesting Jicama use in the Philippines employs a combo of the tuber and rice vinegar marinade, interestingly called the bagoong shrimp paste.
  • It can also be added into a fruit salad and fruit bars.
  • Vietnamese bake Jicama and sweeten it to include it in the pie.
  • Another way of eating the jicama is using a large chunk of it in tortillas and rolls. It can be used as a wrap as well.
  • Paleo diets may well tap into the low fat and high protein nutrition combo option in jicama to derive maximum benefit.
  • Fish sandwich with Jicama is quite a hit among foodies.
  • Jicama is also used in slaw. The root vegetable tastes heavenly when added to a chicken sandwich bringing a slight crunch to the serving.
  • Spring rolls can also include jicama. Spreads and dips with this legume lend a sweet flavor as well as makes it a crunchy bite.
  • It doubles up as a spicy snack.
Editor's Recommendations

Smoked BBQ chips

Chilli lime chips

Cinnamon sugar chips

  • To add to the crunch, the root vegetable needs to be diced and salted. It needs to rest in a colander for 30 minutes before cooking it. This is one way to remove some water content so that the vegetable gets crunchier.
  • This legume can be added to a bowl of freshly cut fruits like watermelon, mango, pineapple, and cucumbers to make it a power-packed nutritive dish.
  • The tuber can be roasted along with turnips and potatoes.
  • It is a healthy substitute to dip into hummus instead of chips. Home-made salsa with the root is another great way to add jicama in food.
  • Jicama works immaculately with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. One could use all kinds of peppers in combination with this tuber.

Jicama -Nutrition

  • This vegetable contains close to 90% water, therefore, its calorific value is low.
  • It is low in starch and natural sugars and this makes it ideal for a low glycaemic index meal. However, like potatoes, it also contains carbohydrates.
  • It can give a boost to the immune system as it is loaded with key nutrients- potassium, Vitamin C, fiber and magnesium.
  • The big health advantage of this vegetable is its high nutritional value without adding to excess calories.
  • Significantly, it can provide one-quarter of our body’s daily fiber requirement.
  • It is also a very high source of Vitamin C, a key nutrient that protects our body against various diseases.
  • In addition, this tuber is enriched in vitamins like riboflavin, pyridoxine, thiamine, folates, pantothenic acid, and minerals like iron, copper, manganese, and magnesium.

Nutrition in a one-cup serving of raw diced jicama

jicama for health

  • Calories: 49 calories
  • Carbs: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 6 Grams
  • Fat: 0
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Folate: 4 micrograms
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Manganese: 1 milligram
  • Iron: 7 milligrams
  • Vitamin C: 2 Milligrams
  • Magnesium: 4 milligrams
  • Potassium: 180 milligrams

Health Benefits of Jicama

Alleviates Depression and Anxiety

Vitamin-B6 present in this root can be a mood enhancer as it impacts the neurotransmitters that regulate mood. It can keep anxiety and depression at bay.

Boosts Brain health

Jicama in the diet improves cognitive abilities. This is due to the presence of Vitamin B6 which gives a boost to cognition and brain functions.

Offsets Cancer Risks

A one cup serving of this vegetable can meet nearly a quarter of the daily fiber needs. The biggest plus is that the root is low on starch, carbs, and sugar. A good source of prebiotics which is key to promote the health of the gut. The probiotic contained in Jicamas fiber is special, called oligofructose inulin. Inulin helps gut bacteria and boosts the immune system. Inulin has nil calories and it ferments in the gut, mainly helping the gut bacteria grow in numbers. Studies have shown that inulin-type of fructans portray anticancer properties. This prebiotics can deal with toxins in the gut and quell the growth of tumors. It is known to offset the risks of colon cancer.

Regulates Blood Pressure

Rich in potassium, this tuber promotes the health of blood vessels and arteries. Improves blood flow and reduces the stress on the cardiovascular system.

Keeps Heart Healthy

Oligofructose inulin is a heart-healthy prebiotic. The high water and fiber content in jicama is good for the heart. Also, nutrients like Vitamin C and Potassium in jicama promote better artery health, as well as help, keep cholesterol levels low.

An impetus to Blood Sugar Control and Management of Weight

Foods rich in fiber help in better weight management as they absorb water and promote a satiated feeling. This also curbs appetite. Jicama has a low glycaemic index and just the right amount of starch which can be good to control blood sugar levels. Animal studies have proved the beneficial effects on blood sugar levels with Jicama supplements.

Alleviates constipation/diarrhea and improves autoimmune digestive disorders

This tuber has anti-inflammatory properties. It can lower the incidences of inflammation in the gut. The high fiber content can alleviate constipation. Patients with IBS may find relief with this vegetable. High water content and prebiotic properties can relieve diarrhea too.

Boon for Osteoporosis

It is endowed with healthy levels of magnesium, potassium, and manganese which assist in retaining minerals in the bones. The presence of oligofructose inulin helps with better calcium absorption and resists the loss of bone associated with aging. Jicama is considered as part of an effective treatment for osteoporosis.

Elevated levels of antioxidants

Vitamin C is available in this vegetable in ample measure. Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant that can combat inflammation and control the damage caused by free radicals.

Boost to blood circulation

Jicama is rich in iron and copper. Blood circulation in the body is given an impetus by the presence of these two elements. This root helps stave off anaemia by triggering the formation of red blood cells.

Side-Effects of Jicama

  • Rotenone, a toxic substance present in the peel, leaves, vines and flowers of jicama is poisonous. Only the root is edible; inadvertent consumption of any other part of the plant could lead to significant side effects.
  • It is high on fiber and is good for the digestive system. However, over-eating Jicama root can cause a fiber overload which could give rise to digestive disorders. Constipation and pain in the stomach can manifest due to over-consumption of this tuber.

TL;DR?

Jicama-infographic

 

Display this infographic on your website

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Organic Foods: Is the popularity of pesticide-free food justified? What does the term "organic" really means? And why are organic foods credited as being…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
CBC blood test
CBC blood test CBC blood test refers to the complete blood count test that measures the number of…
calories healthy
Calories: How to keep a check on these for faster weight loss Did you know you can burn calories while sleeping? Calorie-burning is what causes weight loss.…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin.…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Silicon Dioxide: How can a component of sand be essential to your wellbeing? Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the nature. Find out how silicon…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
Electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush: Who wins the dental war? Manual brushes are ideal for kids as it is important to start slowly unlike the…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream…
RHABDOMYOLYSIS muscle cramps
The hidden dangers of magnesium deficiency and how you can prevent it Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body.Its deficiency can cause harm to your vital…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential…
Aphrodisiacs
Aphrodisiacs: These are the best foods to get you in the right mood While wine and chocolates have forever been associated with romance, there are several other aphrodisiac…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well.…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
lgbtqia
LGTBQIA : Important pointers for a safe and healthy sex life In the USA alone, the LGBTQIA community accounts for 11 million people. Let us understand…
10 reasons why you should up your selenium intake Selenium, though a trace mineral, is very much integral to your health. Find out how…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with…
Magnesium depression
Citrate or Oxide: Which magnesium supplement is best for your body? Magnesium : Does your DNA require some repair works? Or bones and muscles need some…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling…
Essential oils: Choose the right one based on your need Essential oils can effectively treat the triggers causing migraines and address the root cause of…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.