Nutritional Benefits of Jicama

NutriNeat Staff Jan 2, 2019
Jicama, a sweet root vegetable, is used as a main ingredient in a variety of dishes. Besides its culinary uses, the vegetable also offers various health benefits. Get information on the nutritional value of jicama. Know how it can bring about significant improvement in your health.
Jicama is a sweet, delicious tuber vegetable that belongs to the genus Pachyrhizus and family Fabaceae.
It is a member of potato family, and is cultivated in Latin America, typically in Mexico and Central America. Also known as the Mexican potato or Mexican yam bean (or yambean), jicama is as sweet as a fruit, and has a light crunchy texture.
It has a brown skin, a round, turnip-like form, a tail, and smooth white flesh. Hence, at times, it looks like a cross between a potato and a turnip.
Being a versatile vegetable, jicama can be either consumed in its cooked or raw form. In its raw form, it has a flavor similar to a pear or apple, however, it has to be peeled off before consuming. The skin is thick, tough, and it contains an organic toxin called rotenone.
Jicama has a juicy texture, and when left in open after peeling, it does not get discolored or spoiled. Hence, it is often used as an accompaniment to many raw vegetable platters. Whereas when cooked, it tends to absorb flavors of the ingredients it is combined with. Therefore, it serves as an excellent complement to various stir-fried dishes and recipes.

Nutritional Value of Jicama

Jicama is loaded with different nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins C, A, and folate, and the minerals potassium, iron, and calcium. Moreover, it lacks fat and cholesterol, hence, serves as an essential ingredient in many health food recipes. However, because of the high carbohydrate content, it should be consumed in moderation.
Source: USDA

Jicama (100 g), Cooked, Boiled, Drained, without Salt

Calories - 38 kcal
Water - 90.07 g
Fiber - 4.9 g
Sugars, total -  1.60 g
Total fat - 0.09 g
Carbohydrate -  8.82 g
Protein - 0.72 g
Minerals
Calcium - 11 mg
Sodium - 4 mg
Potassium - 135 mg
Magnesium - 11 mg
Zinc - 0.15 mg
Iron - 0.57 mg
Phosphorus - 16 mg
Vitamins
Vitamin A, RAE - 1 µg
Vitamin A, IU - 19 IU
Vitamin B6 - 0.040 mg
Niacin - 0.190 mg
Riboflavin - 0.028 mg
Thiamin - 0.017 mg
Folate - 8 µg
Vitamin C - 14.1 mg

Lipids
Cholesterol 0 mg

Nutritional Benefits of Jicama

As Jicama is low in calories and fats, and high in vitamins and minerals, it offers numerous nutritional benefits, of which some are given here:
➽ As Jicama contains no fat and cholesterol, it can be incorporated in a diet that is designed to lower the cholesterol levels. It aids heart problems like heart attack, hypertension, etc.
➽ It is high in vitamin C. It exhibits powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps lower the symptoms of asthma, like wheezing, especially in young children as well as common cold and flu.
➽ People who suffer easy bruising due to deficiency of vitamin C can overcome this problem by including this vegetable in their daily diet.
➽ Jicama strengthens or supports the structure of capillaries, thereby reducing the risk of capillary fragility or damage.
➽ Jicama is rich in calcium and it's fiber contains oligofructose inulin. It helps improving bone health as it enhances the process of absorption of calcium from ingested foods, lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
➽ Inulin also promotes the growth of good (essential or helpful) bacteria in the intestine. This helps maintain health of the colon and balanced immunity.
➽ The vegetable comes with a very low glycemic index, and is a great food for diabetics.
➽It can be incorporated in a weight loss diet, as it is low in calories and fats.
To sum up, jicama basically boosts the body's immune system, and helps in enhancing the overall body functioning. However, make sure you buy medium-sized jicama, as the larger one may not be as sweet. Select firm tubers with dry roots. Jicama with wet or soft spots can be rotten.
Do not store jicama in your refrigerator, as low temperatures are likely to damage the vegetable. Jicama, peeled and cut, can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Before cutting, you may store the vegetable in a cool, dark place for up to four weeks.
Disclaimer: The information provided in here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.
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