In “The Healing Power” series we explore the nutritive properties of specific types of foods. You might not consider the benefits (or detriments) of the foods you put into your body everyday, but whole foods have a powerful impact on the overall health of your entire system. Today, we explore the healing power of jicama.
Jicama: (pronounced hee-ka-ma) a legume vine native to Mexico, but the tuberous root is what is commonly referred to as jicama at your local grocer. The flesh is firm and crisp, like a cross between an apple, potato, and turnip. Fibrous, and with a high water content, jicama has a low glycymic index. It’s flavor is very mild and slightly sweet. The tough skin is inedible, and thus needs to be peeled off with a pairing knife or serrated peeler.
Nutrients: One cup of sliced jicama provides 40% off your daily vitamin C requirement, and 25% of daily fiber. It also provides potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B-6.
- Jicama is high in oligofructose inulin, a prebiotic fiber that assists in the absorption of calcium in the gut. Inulin also “feeds” desirable bacteria, helping to create a healthier microbiome.
- The fiber in jicama has a naturally sweet flavor, but can not be digested, so does not affect blood sugar. This makes it a good snack for anyone concerned with blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Due to it’s high vitamin C content, jicama can aid immunity, tamp down inflammation and help fight off infections and cancer.
My favorite way to consume jicama is just straight, but it can be incorporated into salads, stir-fries (similar to water chestnuts), or soups and stews. Jicama sticks also taste great dipped in salsa or guacamole.