|Jicama Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Pachyrhizus erosus|
|Origin||Native to Central America - from South Mexico to Hicaragm and Costa Rica -and has naturalized elsewhere after introduction.|
|Colors||Yellowish-brown, coarse, membranous|
|Shapes||Large, subglobose, large turnip-like shaped tuberous roots 10-20 cm or more across|
|Flesh colors||Creamy succulent white, crisp starchy flesh that resembles raw potato or pear.|
|Taste||Best described as a cross between a water chestnut and an apple.|
|Major nutrients||Vitamin C (15.67%)
Dietary Fiber (12.89%)
|Health benefits||Vitamin C (15.67%) Dietary Fiber (12.89%) Iron (7.13%) Carbohydrate (6.78%) Copper (5.11%) High Blood Pressure, Iron deficiency anemia, Cardiovascular health, Proper Growth, Can Improve Your Mood, Helps heal wounds, Repairs Damaged Skin|
|More facts about Jicama|
Jicama is a vigorous climbing herb sized 4–5 m long can be found growing in semitropical and tropical climates that has rich, moist well drained, sandy-loamy, alluvial or volcanic soils. Leaves are normally pinnately trifoliate, coarse, stipules lanceolate or falcate, 0.5-1 cm long, petiole 10-15 cm long along with shortly stalked obliquely ovate or rhomboid, base cuneate, apex acute, green 6.5-13 cm long by 5-15 cm wide leaflets. Flowers are shortly pedicelled bluish-violet. Pods are subsessile, linear, acuminate, compressed, finely pubescent 5-10 seeded 7.5-15 cm long and 1.2-1.6 cm wide.
Jicama plants bears pods similar to lima beans and are produced on fully developed plants. Seed pods and seeds are poisonous and dangerous to eat. The pods contain rotenone, a toxic substance frequently used as an organic insecticide.
Jicama is actually a large, sub-globose; large turnip-like shaped tuberous roots 10-20 cm or more across which weights 3 kg or even more. Roots are yellowish-brown, coarse, and membranous. The inner flesh is creamy succulent white, crisp starchy flesh which reminds you of raw potato or pear which is covered by thick dust-brown colored inedible skin. Its flavor is slightly sweet, little nutty, starchy, crispy and pleasant, reminiscent of apples or raw green beans and has taste which can be best described as a cross between a water chestnut and an apple, which is almost suitable for many food dishes. Seeds are flat rounded to squarish, olive-green to brown or reddish brown.
Jicama is native to Central America – from South Mexico to Hicaragm as well as Costa Rica and has naturalized elsewhere after introduction. It is mainly grown as a tuber food crop in the west Indies, southeast Asia, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, oman, Philippines, Asutralia, south America, Africa and Pacific Island.
Jicama is a very versatile vegetable that contains essential Nutrients, vitamins and Minerals. Consuming 100 gram of Jicama offers 14.1 mg of Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid), 4.9 g of Total dietary fiber, 8.82 g of carbohydrate, 0.046 mg of Copper, 0.04 mg of Vitamin B6 and 0.46 mg of Vitamin E. Moreover many Amino acids like 0.019 g of Histidine, 0.022 g of Valine, 0.018 g of Threonine, 0.016 g of Isoleucine and 0.026 g of Lysine are also found in 100 gram of the fruit.
Health benefits of Jicama
1. High Blood Pressure
Research suggest that people who consume foods that are rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C have got lower chances of high blood pressure when compared with people with poorer diets. Consuming foods like Jicama which are rich in vitamin C is important for overall health particularly if you are at the risk of high blood pressure. Jicama consists of 14.1mg of Vitamin C which is 15.67% of the daily recommended value. Doctors frequently recommend treatment and prevention of high blood pressure by including lots of fruits and vegetables which are loaded with antioxidant like Vitamin C. Consuming Jicama on a regular basis can also help to fulfill the daily requirement of Vitamin C for the body to remain healthy and free from High blood pressure level.
2. Iron deficiency anemia
Iron is crucial for the proper growth and development of the human body. Iron deficiency may result in disorders like iron deficiency anemia, chronic anemia, cough, and pre-dialysis anemia. As soon as the body’s iron level becomes rigorously exhausted, you may get anemia. Consuming Jicama is one of the easiest ways to fulfill the iron requirement of the body as it consists of 0.57 mg of iron which is 7.13% of the recommended value. Therefore Jicama intake helps in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia as well as cures several general symptoms of anemia like body weakness, headache, fatigue and enhanced sensitivity to cold temperatures. Apart from that several other chronic disorders like predialysis anemia and renal failure anemia are also cured by sufficient iron intake.
3. Cardiovascular health
Consuming high level of fiber has health-protective effects and disease-reversal benefits. People who consume plentiful amounts of dietary fiber, compared to those who have least fiber intake, are at the risk of developing stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), hypertension, obesity, diabetes and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing the consumption of fiber rich foods or even fiber supplements can improve different function of the body like lowers blood pressure level, improve blood glucose control in diabetic people, helps in weight loss as well as increases regularity.
Apart from that research also recommend consumption of inulin as well as particular soluble fibers which enhances immune functions of the body too. Consuming dietary fiber is also equally beneficial for children as well. Jicama contains 4.9 gram of dietary fiber which is 12.89% of the daily recommended value. Therefore consuming jicama regularly helps to fulfill the dietary fiber requirement of the body.(1)
4. Proper Growth
Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for survival. Copper helps with the formation of collagen, increases the absorption of iron and plays a role in energy production. It is important for the proper growth and development of the body and a better health. Therefore it is extremely important to include this mineral in well balances level in one regular diet. One of the best sources of Copper is Jicama intake as it contains 0.046 mg of Copper which is 5.11% of the daily recommended value. Consuming Jicama regularly is helpful in the protection of nervous, cardiovascular and skeletal system of the body. Copper deficiency may affect the normal and healthy growth of organs and tissues. Birth and growth defects in children are seen because of Copper deficiency in many third world countries. Therefore consume Jicama frequently to recover the Copper deficiency.
5. Can Improve Your Mood
Research has shown that Vitamin B6 has significant effect on the central production of both serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters in the brain. It is essential for the mood control and required to prevent fatigue, depression, pain and anxiety therefore Vitamin B6 is regarded important for increasing mood and preventing mood disorders.
Since Vitamin B6 is involved in hormone production within brain and is considered to be effective for treating mood disorders and certain brain diseases. Research suggest Jicama intake fulfill Vitamin B6 requirement and help to lift their mood, experience less pain and reduces lack of energy and concentration. Jicama contains 0.04 mg of Vitamin B6 which is 3.08% of the recommended value so include Jicama in regular diet to remain healthy and improves mood.
6. Helps heal wounds
Jicama consists of adequate amount of vitamin c which is essential for the manufacture of collagen, a protein that is present in connective tissue of the body. To recover the wounds of all types, vitamin C rich jicama must be included in the normal diet on a regular basis. From slight cuts to deep wounds, broken bones as well as burns, vitamin C speeds up the healing process and assists you to recover very soon.
7. Repairs Damaged Skin
Vitamin E is essential to strengthen the capillary walls in your skin as well as to recover moisture and elasticity, acting as a natural anti-aging nutrient in the body. Research has shown that Vitamin E helps to decrease inflammation both inside your body as well as on the skin, help to maintain healthy, young-looking skin. Jicama contain minimal amount of Vitamin E and can be included in our regular diet. Taking vitamin E along with vitamin C helps to fights skin inflammation right after contact to UV radiation and may also be beneficial in lessening signs of acne and eczema. Vitamin E present in Jicama helps the healing process in the skin. It is absorbed by the epidermis layer of skin and may be used to treat sunburn, one of the prominent reasons of skin cancer. Jicama intake helps to speeds up cell regeneration, and is used to treat wrinkles, acne and scars making your skin look healthier and younger.
How to Eat
- In Southeast Asia Root tubers and immature pods (substitute for French beans) are eaten as vegetables.
- Crisp white flesh can be sliced, diced or cut into strips for use as a garnish, in salads, or with dips. It is often served as a snack, sprinkled with lime or lemon juice and a dash of chili powder.
- Crispy Jicama after boiling and serves as a textural substitute for water chestnuts.
- Young tubers are consumed raw in salads, or cooked as vegetable or chutney and in pickles.
- Tubers are sliced and consumed fresh whole or in vegetable salads and chop suey.
- They are eaten cooked, roasted, braised or simmered in soups, or even cooked in stir-fried dishes with seafood and meat like shrimps and dried squid or cuttlefish or conserved in vinegar.
- It is cut into cubes and used as an ingredient for a mixed fruit cocktail.
- Slivers of the peeled tubers are combined with other vegetables and fruit in a vegetarian dish called `rujak’ which is consumed along with a spicy peanut sauce as well as prawn paste in Malaysia and Indonesia.
- It is a main ingredient in the Malaysian specialty called ‘popish’ and the Chinese salad, `yusheng’.
- Jicama is also a source of a starch used in custards and puddings in Latin America.
- Consuming jicama seeds encountered respiratory system failure as well as loss of life in Two hours of consumption.
- Avoid consuming seeds, leaves and pods of the jicama plant since they are extremely poisonous.