Jicama is a round, fleshy root vegetable from the legume family plant. Jicama is a type of tuber food that is usually served as a vegetable. The tuber whose flesh is ice white is crunchy, refreshing, has a fruity aroma and has a sweet and savory taste, can actually be eaten raw or cooked in various dishes. In scientific language, Jicama is also called Pachyrhizus erosus.
It has been a food for the Mexican people since ancient times. Its name, which comes from the Nahuatl language, means “what is tasted”. And just by looking at the picture of this popular Mexican snack made from slices of raw jicama flavored with lemon juice, salt, and powdered piquin or cayenne pepper, your saliva might come out.
What’s jicama like? Some say that it tastes like an apple but tasteless. The jicama plant originates from Mexico and Central America and has spread to countries as far away as the Philippines, China and Nigeria. Today the plant is cultivated in many lands and there are many different methods of processing it.
In Eastern cuisine, jicama is a substitute for bamboo shoots. People like this vegetable because it remains crunchy after cooking, especially milk jicama, which produces a milky-like juice, unlike water jicama.
As already mentioned, apart from the roots, the jicama plant is mostly inedible, but that does not mean that the other parts are useless. The seeds in the pods contain several compounds that are useful for insecticides, effectively crushing them. The seeds are also used in skin medicinal herbs. The stalks, on the other hand, produce strong fibers that can be used to make fishing nets.
As explained in the benefits of african yam beans, jicama is one type of sweet potato that is found in Asia and South America. Apart from being a complement to food ingredients, what are the benefits of jicama for body health?
In Jicama there are several important nutritional content, including minerals, phytonutrients, and other organic compounds. As part of the benefits of mung beans, there is also dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, and small amounts of vegetable protein. The following are important benefits of jicama which are useful for good health:
1. Helps to Control Blood Sugar
Research shows that people who eat foods rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C have a lower chance of developing high blood pressure when compared to people who consume it rarely.
Consuming foods such as Jicama which is rich in vitamin C is important for overall health, especially in people who are at risk of developing high blood pressure.
Jicama consists of 20.2 mg of Vitamin C in every 100 grams which is 24% of the recommended daily recommended daily allowance (RDA). Doctors often recommend the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure by including lots of fruits and vegetables that are loaded with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, like benefits of yams.
Consuming jicama regularly can also help meet the daily requirement of Vitamin C to keep the body healthy and free from high blood pressure levels.
2. Maintains Healthy Skin
Vitamin E is essential for strengthening capillary walls in our skin as well as for restoring moisture and elasticity. Vitamin E also acts as a natural anti aging nutrient in the body. Research has shown that Vitamin E helps reduce inflammation both in the body and in the skin, helping to maintain a healthy, younger looking skin.
Jicama contains certain amounts of vitamin E which can be included in our routine diet. Taking vitamin E along with vitamin C helps fight skin inflammation after exposure to UV radiation and may also be beneficial in reducing the signs of acne and eczema.
Vitamin E contained in Jicama also helps the healing process in the skin. Jicama intake also helps accelerate cell regeneration and is used to treat wrinkles, acne and scars so that our skin looks healthier and younger.
3. Reduces The Risk of Anemia
As mentioned in the benefits of japanese yam, Iron is essential for the growth and development of the human body. Iron deficiency can cause disorders such as iron deficiency anemia, chronic anemia, cough and predialysis anemia.
Consuming Jicama is one of the easiest ways to meet the body’s iron needs because every 100 grams consists of 0.6 mg of iron which is 5% of the recommended nutritional requirement.
Therefore the intake of Jicama helps in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia as well as in curing some of the common symptoms of anemia such as weakness, headaches, fatigue and increased sensitivity to cold temperatures.
In addition, several other chronic disorders such as predialysis anemia and kidney failure anemia are also treated with adequate iron intake.
4. Reduces Cancer Risks
Dietary fiber contained in Jicama makes it beneficial for our digestive system. According to a 2014 study, dietary fiber may offer protection against several conditions such as preventing colon cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcers and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Jicama also contains important antioxidants, namely vitamin C.
According to the National Cancer Institute, antioxidants help neutralize the effects of free radicals so that they can help reduce the risk of several types of cancer and heart disease. However, further studies are needed to explore the relationship between jicama and cancer prevention in humans.
5. Contains A Lot of Vitamin C
In the amount of 100 grams of jicama, 40% of the daily need for vitamin C dose in the body is contained. As previously stated in benefits of lemon juice, Vitamin C intake in the body plays an important role in maintaining and enhancing the immune system. If the body’s immunity increases, the body will not be susceptible to bacteria, viruses, or fungi that can cause disease.
In addition, vitamin C contained as one of the benefits of jicama contains natural antioxidants that can fight free radicals from pollution. The reason is, free radicals in the body can cause alarming health hazards that re related to heart disease, brain damage, and even cancer.