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7 Surprising Jicama Benefits

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Jicama is a nutrient-rich root vegetable that offers many health benefits like helping you manage your weight, build strong bones, and reduce cancer risk. Jicama may also help manage diabetes, optimize digestion, and increase energy levels.

What is Jicama?

Some popular names for jicama are turnip and Mexican yam. The scientific name of the root vegetable is classified as Pachyrhizus erosus. They grow up to 2 meters long and can weigh up to 20 kgs at the extreme, taking between 6-9 months to fully grow. Its cultivation began in Mexico but soon moved to other parts of the world, including China and Southeast Asia. It’s a popular element in these cuisines.

It has a similar consistency and color like that of a potato or pear while also containing starch inside it.

Jicama Nutrition Facts

The USDA’s National Nutrient Database notes that jicama has a unique mix of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and organic compounds. With a small amount of protein and other essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, copper, folate, manganese, vitamin C, and B6, this veggie gives you balanced nutrition.

Health Benefits of Jicama

Jicama is a very healthy root vegetable, containing many health benefits. It can prevent heart disease, cause weight loss by reducing the body’s appetite, improve digestion and lower cholesterol.

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Can Improve Digestion

One of the most important aspects of jicama is its high level of dietary fiber. Research published in the medical journal Nutrients examined that foods with high levels of fiber may help increase the bulk of stool, thereby easing constipation. Furthermore, jicama also has a rich source oligofructose inulin, a sweet, non-digestible carbohydrate that does not metabolize into sugar. This means that for diabetics, jicama can be a great way to consume sweet food without worrying about fluctuating blood sugar levels.

Might Boost Immune System

Jicama is an excellent source of vitamin C, possessing about 100 grams per quarter cup. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential part of our immune system and fight diseases by stimulating the immune cells to find and fix infected cells. Vitamin C can help the body in fighting all types of illnesses: bacterial, viral, fungal or pathogenic, which means this root vegetable could prevent many common infections.

Might have Anticancer Potential

Dietary fibers are compound materials that are part of the diet and have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, in particular. According to a 2014 study led by Otles and Ozgoz, dietary fiber can offer protection against several conditions, including colon cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, and certain gastrointestinal diseases, amongst others.  The jicama roots also contain antioxidants such as vitamin C.

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Might Manage Blood Pressure

Potassium is a common mineral found in fruits and vegetables. Because it helps to relax blood vessels, it regularly helps to manage blood pressure. In 2010, researchers from the University of Alabama found that an increase in potassium and reduction in sodium could positively impact blood pressure decline. This reduction could be associated with improved heart health and stroke prevention. Potassium also helps maintain fluid balance in opposition to sodium throughout the body, ensuring that we stay hydrated and functioning at a high level. [11]

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Might Improve Blood Circulation

Jicama also has large amounts of iron and copper, which help to keep blood flowing and prevent anemia.

Might Improve Brain Function

Vitamin B6 has been linked to preserving your brain’s health and increased cognitive abilities. It also contains vitamins C and A, which are important for several different metabolic processes in the body. , [13]

Might Strengthen Bones

Jicama contains many minerals like iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. It’s thought that these minerals can help you absorb calcium, build new bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

May aid in Weight Loss

For individuals on a weight loss journey, Jicama is an excellent option. It only has 35 calories per 100 grams, is packed with nutrients and dietary fiber, and may help keep you fuller for longer. It can also be an effective option for curbing cravings and reducing your appetite without gaining any weight or losing any nutritional benefits.

Might Control Blood Glucose

To fight obesity and metabolic syndrome, jicama has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar levels. Mice in a study conducted last year by a team of physicians showed that jicama can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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