What Is Jicama?
While you may have a hard time to pronounce the name, jicama (HEE-Kah-mah) is a vegetable, not a fruit. This round, fleshy vegetable can grow to be quite large, and its skin has a bark-like texture. Many describe the taste of jicama as being like an apple. Many refer to this vegetable as a Mexican turnip. Jicama is a starchy, slightly sweet root vegetable popular in Mexico.
So, is it low in calories and carbs? Yes! This veggie is made of less than 90 percent water, so it’s naturally low in calories. It’s also low in natural sugars and starch. Therefore, it has a low score on the glycemic index. So, it fits most diets, including the the Ideal Protein diet, vegan, Paleo and the ketogenic diet plans.
Great Source of Prebiotic Fibers:
One of the most important elements of of this vegetable can be the high levels of dietary fiber. Jicama is high in dietary fiber. You can get 25 percent of your daily dietary fiber in just one cup of jicama. In addition, it contains prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fiber helps the beneficial bacterial that exists in the stomach to work properly. These prebiotic fiber helps to free the body of free radicals that can cause cancer. Most people don’t eat enough prebiotics. Individuals should take a prebiotic supplement daily. However, you just can’t provide your body with all that it needs better than naturally through food intake.
Supports Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Control
Why is jicama good for diabetics? As a veggie high in fiber, it also has a low glycemic index. Therefore, it’s a great starchy vegetable that can help diabetics manage their blood sugar. So, jicama can be a great way to have something sweet without worrying about blood sugar fluctuation. It may also be helpful for losing weight fast, too. When digested, high-fiber foods also expand in your stomach and absorb water, so it’s important for keeping you full.
Helps Increase Immune Function
Jicama contains a large amount of Vitamin C. Eating 3/4 cup, loaded with Vitamin C, it can provide your body with 40% of the total recommended requirement.. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for proper functioning of our immune system. Vitamin C actually stimulates white blood cells. White blood cells stand on the front line in our bodies to fight against viruses and illness. Vitamin C can help the body in battling bacterial, viral, fungal, or pathogenic diseases.
Improves Brain Function:
Jicama also contains Vitamin B6. Food scientists have found that Vitamin B6 can preserve, not only your brain’s health, but also facilitate cognitive functioning.
High in Antioxidant Vitamin C
Eating the vegetable is a good way to increase your intake of certain antioxidants, including vitamin C. Just one cup of raw jicama provides over 40 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.
Vitamin C is a crucial antioxidant that scavenges free radical damage and controls inflammation. Eating plenty of vitamin C foods helps control inflammation, which is important for keeping oxidative stress levels lower and protecting against cancer, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.
Supports Bone Health
Jicama’s oligofructose inulin helps keep bones strong because it enhances mineral retention, suppresses the turnover rate of bone loss and helps with the absorption of calcium into bones.
Jicama supplies important nutrients like potassium, magnesium and manganese. Studies show these are needed for preventing osteoporosis into older age. Seniors should really add jicama to their diets to support their bone health.
Fun Facts About Jicama:
- Dieters can peel jicama like a potato and eat it raw
- Raw jicama is very similar to raw apples light, and sweet.
- Unlike apples, jicama keeps its color longer and doesn’t turn brown
- Cooks love to use jicama because of it’s ability to absorb the flavor that it’s cooked with
You can see why ideal4umeals offers jicama weekly on our a la carte menu as well as offers it in a variety of meals. Click here to order it from our a la carte menu.
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