7 Health Benefits of the Root Vegetable, Jicama
Food as Medicine
First grown in South and Central America, and used in all sorts of flavorful dishes, Pachyrhizus erosus, also known as Jicama or the Mexican yam, is a delicious, sweet-tasting and crunchy food similar to a sweet potato, though without edible skin. It is often white in color and adds a nice touch to salads if sliced and eaten raw, or it can be cooked just like a potato since it resembles a cross between those tubular roots and a turnip. But no matter what, jicama offers numerous health benefits.
Here are 7 health benefits of Jicama.
- 1. Like any fruit or vegetable, jicama is full health-boosting vitamins and minerals, including an amazingly healthful vitamin, vitamin C. Because of its high vitamin C content, jicama is great for boosting the immune system, supporting eye and skin health, and helping with anti-inflammatory action in the body to reduce everything from arthritis to a stuffy nose and watery eyes. Vitamin C could even be the answer to heart disease prevention.
- 2. Jicama has very low sodium and hardly any fat (around .01% of polyunsaturated fat per one medium size jicama root) so they support heart health and maintenance of a healthy weight.
- 3. Due to containing low calories and being high in fiber, the root is a great tool for weight loss.
- 4. The soluble fiber in jicama is excellent for lowering cholesterol as well. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and boosts digestive health.
- 5. One small jicama root contains about 4 milligrams of iron – that amounts to about 22% of the daily recommended allowance. Iron is responsible for making sure our red blood cells have enough oxygen, and helps to boost our energy levels.
- 6. Jicama is full or potassium (around 989 milligrams for one medium root), calcium and magnesium – all important trace minerals for our sustained health.
- 7. Jicama contains vitamin B-6, the vitamin that supports healthy brain functioning, and helps our body to break down protein into usable energy. B-6 also supports nerve functioning, helps to form red blood cells, and helps to synthesize antibodies that fight foreign viruses and bacteria in our body.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.