If you’re like the majority, you’re a creature of dependency when it comes to a journey via the grocery store produce aisles. Broccoli, spinach, and carrots are all familiar alternatives—if now not relatively boring. But for the sake of aspect-stepping food burnout and to ramp up the nutrition of your weight-reduction plan, it’s precise to occasionally throw a warning to the wind and drop something new and interesting into your cart — one alternative: the oft-neglected vegetable, jicama.
What Is Jicama?
Jicama (reported HEE-Kah-ma) is now called yam bean and is a fit to be eaten globe-fashioned root vegetable that is a part of the legume own family and local to Central America. There, it’s far regularly sold through street vendors and pro with lime juice and chili powder as a clean snack. In North America, the tuber is less popular and can go away many scratching their heads at what to make of it. After all, it seems like a deflated seaside ball with bark-like pores and skin. But for each flavor and nutrition, jicama has lots going for it.
What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Jicama?
OK, so jicama won’t win any veggie splendor pageants or have the same cache of nutrients as kale, but it simply has a few nutritional highlights. Namely, it’s a brilliant source of diet C. “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that works to restriction oxidative stress, beef up the immune machine, and promote collagen production that assists with joint and ligament fitness,” says sports activities dietitian and aggressive cyclist Lori Nedescu, founding the father of Hungry for Results.
Research additionally suggests that better intakes of diet C should assist hold blood stress numbers from boiling over. What’s more, whilst researchers in Greece screened male athletes, they found that people with the lowest blood concentrations of vitamin C achieved the worst at some point of bodily exercising take a look at and had higher signs of oxidative stress, a tip-off for weakened antioxidant defenses. On the opposite hand, the athletes with greater vitamin C of their systems had higher VO2 max values that could translate into higher exercising performance.
And we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the staggering quantities of dietary fiber that jicama brings to the table—about 6 grams in a one-cup serving. This is an important perk considering that ingesting greater fiber is a key element to an extended, healthy lifestyle. According to a latest analysis of studies performed over the past forty years, high-fiber eaters—those pushing past the 30 grams an afternoon mark—have a 15 to 30 percent decrease chance for several nowadays’s biggest killers such as coronary heart assault, stroke, kind 2 diabetes, and colorectal most cancers as compared to individuals who eat a lot much less fiber.
“The bulkiness created via fiber slows digestion, which means the fee at which sugar is launched into the blood circulate is slowed, which limits insulin spikes,” Nedescu explains. “Controlling insulin and blood glucose ranges is a huge a part of lengthy-time period fitness and better aging in many components which include decreasing the probabilities of growing diseases like diabetes.” And consuming carbohydrate ingredients that can be specifically wealthy in fiber like jicama may be a good manner to get down to race weight: Research suggests that excessive-fiber carbs can aid in the pursuit of weight reduction. “Fiber helps us sense full, which could assist manage urge for food and assist with long-time weight manipulate,” notes Nedescu.
A special form of fiber in jicama known as inulin acts as a prebiotic, which means that the useful critters to your digestive tract view it like candy, something they love to nosh on and, in doing so, can flourish to assist bolster your digestive and immune fitness. If you spend loads of time driving in the summer season heat, it’s also well worth noting that jicama is made of about 85 percent water. “Fruits and greens like jicama with an excessive water content material permit us to higher hydrate at each meal even as selling improved digestion,” Tedesco says. Lastly, jicama is certainly low in energy, making it a smart alternative for starchier, higher-calorie carbs like potatoes for looking at their weight.
Yeah, but How Does Jicama Taste?
Rest confident that jicama’s difficult brown skin offers a way to a softer white flesh at the interior that manages to be juicy and crispy at once. It might be truthful to mention that its taste is like a pass between an apple and a water chestnut. Taste is subjective, but we think some bites will depart you thinking out loud: “Why haven’t I been ingesting this all alongside?”
How to Eat Jicama
Look for jicama yr-round inside the produce section of some supermarkets and in reality in Latin meals markets. Many Asian grocers additionally inventory jicama. You want to shop for firm, dry roots. The pores and skin need to seem now not to get smaller, bruised, or blemished. Healthful-Searching jicama should keep in your fridge for a minimum of two weeks. It’s satisfactory to peel away the hard and fibrous skin with a pointy chef’s knife before consuming.
Jicama’s slight taste and ultra-satisfying crunch lend it to a myriad of uses within the kitchen. Slices of uncooked jicama take any dip up a notch in a way that different crudités can’t. But don’t stop at a crudité platter. Slice raw jicama into batons for use in sandwich wraps, salads, spring rolls, and stir-fries—its flesh remains crispy when cooked in brief. Shredded, it can wake up slaws, tacos, and burgers. Dice it to add it to salsas, guacamole, hashes, and even fruit salads. And for the last snacking delight, Google “jicama chips.”