Jicama belongs to the category of root vegetables. It is a native of South America and Mexico. It is regarded as one of the main vegetables in Mexico and is used in celebrations and festivals. Only the root portion of the vegetable is edible. The rest of it is toxic and should be discarded.
The vegetable has a thick outer skin and the inners resemble that of a fresh potato – however, the jicama slices are juicier and crunchier. Jicama can be consumed, both in raw and cooked forms. The thick outer layers should be scraped and discarded. Then, jicama should be washed thoroughly under running water before using it for consumption.
Jicama contains vitamins like A and C and traces of vitamins B, K and E. It contains folates, beta carotenes and minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and iron. It contains good amounts of fibre.
Some recipes with Jicama:
After removing the peels, cut the vegetable into thin slices. This can be had along with other vegetables like carrots and cucumbers, in a salad.
Take the thin slices of jicama. Sprinkle a little salt and dry roasted black pepper powder. Add a few drops of lemon juice and toss. Your nutritious evening snack is ready.
Peel Jicama. Dice it into thin cubes. Pressure Cook for five minutes. Remove and drain the liquid. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, a little rock salt and coriander powder.
Take a few drops of pure olive oil in a fry pan and heat the same. Allow a few mustard seeds to crackle and drop the jicama slices. Cook for a few minutes. Decorate with finely chopped coriander leaves.
Health Benefits of Jicama:
Jicama is a vegetable with a very low level of fat. Also, it has very low levels of sodium. The above two qualities of Jicama qualify it as a heart-friendly vegetable.
Regular consumption of this vegetable is believed to reduce heart conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Jicama contains soluble fibre. Regular intake in the form of cooked jicama helps in easing digestion problems. It helps in free bowel movement and eases problems like constipation and piles.
However, if you have digestive problems, never eat the jicama, raw. Steam it or pressure cook it before consumption. Also, never go head-on and start eating more of this vegetable. Go slow. Increase the intake gradually giving the body enough time to adjust to the changed food pattern.
The soluble fibre in Jicama makes it perfect for diabetics. It ensures that sugars are absorbed slowly by the body and not all of it is converted into glucose.
Jicama juice can be consumed by diabetics regularly to regulate blood sugar levels.
General Immunity Booster:
Jicama contains good amounts of Vitamin C, which is required for overcoming minor infections and fighting diseases and restoring health.
It contains iron, which is responsible for good oxygen circulation in the body. This, in turn, boosts the energy levels.
It contains minerals which are vital for sustained health.
Promotes women’s health:
Consumption of jicama is recommended for women in the peri-menopausal and menopausal age groups. The production of estrogen, a female hormone, is reduced as one ages. Lack of estrogen leads to problems like joint pains, back aches etc., in women and makes their bones brittle.
Jicama regulates the production of estrogen, thus promoting women’s health.
Jicama for acne:
A paste of jicama applied on acne is said to reduce the outbreak.
It is also believed that application of this paste clears the scars left by acne, very rapidly.
Intake of steamed jicama, promotes gut health – sometimes, poor gut health causes an acne outbreak.