Jicama, also known as yambean, is a bulbous root vegetable. Some have compared its consistency to a mixture of an apple and a turnip. Its origins are the Mexican peninsula—and jicama has played an important part in traditional Central and South American cuisines. Furthermore, this crunchy, juicy vegetable boasts some impressive health benefits. For example, jicama health benefits include boosting immunity as well as supporting weight loss. Learn more about jicama benefits by reading the list below!
Here are 7 jicama benefits:
1. Great Source of Prebiotic Fibers
For a root vegetable, jicama is pretty low in starch, sugar, and carbohydrates. This is in comparison to other veggies like potatoes, turnips, beets and rutabaga. But jicama health benefits really shine when it comes to the high amount of fiber this veggie boasts. This is because the fiber contains a prebiotic called oligofructose inulin. Inulin helps the probiotics in your gut thrive. (1)
Furthermore, research suggests that these inulin-type fructans have both anticarcingogenic and anticancer properties. They can also stimulate the immune system, balance hormones, and support metabolism. (2)
2. Supports Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Control
As jicama is low in fiber, you can add weight loss to the list of jicama benefits. Studies show jicama extract can help maintain blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for diabetics as well as for those trying to lose weight. (3)
To reap jicama health benefits regarding this area, consider adding it to your weight loss plan.
3. Helps Increase Immune Function
Jicama benefits continue with the ability to boost your immune system. The fiber molecules in jicama help balance the bacteria within your GI tract, which is where most of your immune system is stored.
Furthermore, according to a 2005 study published by the British Journal of Nutrition, jicama benefits include the ability to fight cancer. Specifically, the inulin-type fructans within jicama can help lower risk of colon cancer.
4. Benefits Heart Health
Jicama benefits extend to your heart, as well. This is because of the oligofructose inulin, which is linked to improved cardiovascular health. And oligofructose inulin makes up a good percentage of the fiber found in jicama. A high-fiber diet fights inflammation, which then helps unclog arteries and fights high blood pressure as well as diabetes and insulin resistance. (4)
5. Great for Digestion
The water content and high amount of fiber also lend themselves to jicama health benefits. These two traits, for example, are great for treating digestive issues. The water amount and the fiber make jicama very easy to digest. This can naturally relieve constipation as well as treat diarrhea. (5)
Furthermore, jicama health benefits include the ability to reduce IBS flare-ups, as well as prevent ulcers and treat leaky gut syndrome.
6. High in Antioxidant Vitamin C
Jicama benefits continue with the ability to fight free radical damage. This credit goes to the vitamin C in jicama. In fact, just one cup of raw jicama proves you with more than 40 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.
7. Supports Bone Health
As the oligofructose inulin in this veggie can enhance mineral retention, jicama benefits include the ability to help keep bones strong. Furthermore, jicama benefits your bones with other nutrients, as well. For example, it provides potassium, magnesium, and manganese, all of which are needed to help protect against bone loss and osteoporosis. (6)
This veggie is not only chock-full of health benefits, it also makes for a great lightweight snack. You can add it to a veggie tray, or put slices in a zip-lock bag for a snack on-the-go. Reap jicama benefits by adding it to your diet today.