Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Got Jicama?

Jicama (prounounced HIH-ka-ma) (sometimes called “yam bean” or the Mexican potato) is a large root vegetable with a thin brown skin and a white crunchy flesh. The texture is somewhere between an apple and a raw potato. But, Jicama is not at all starchy.

Jicama is rich in various nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. The highest vitamin in Jicama is vitamin C. But it also contains the minerals phosphorus, iron, and calcium.

It provides one-quarter of what’s needed daily in fiber per serving. But not just any fiber – jicama’s fiber is infused with oligofructose inulin, which has zero calories and doesn’t metabolize in the body. Inulin promotes bone health by enhancing absorption of calcium from other foods, protecting against osteoporosis. Inulin also has a probiotic role in the intestine – it promotes “good” bacteria growth that maintains both a healthy colon and balanced immunity. Because it has a very low glycemic index, jicama is a great food for diabetics, and low in calories for those interested in weight reduction.

Jicama is also an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C – 44% of the daily value per serving – and a powerful antioxidant that zaps free radicals to protect against cancer, inflammation, viral cough, cold, and infections.

Besides healthy amounts of potassium, this little powerhouse can help promote heart health, since high-potassium vegetables and fruit are linked to lower risks of heart disease. Jicama contains important vitamins like folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and thiamin, and the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.

Some of the health benefits of eating Jicama Include:

1. Lowering Cholesterol Levels
2. Boosting the Immune System
3. Controlling diabetes
4. Improving digestive health
5. Promoting bone health

As you can see, Jicama is a highly nutritious vegetable, and can provide you with many health benefits. So why don’t you give it a try? ~ Jicama is just what the doctor ordered!

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