Jicama: The superfood missing from your diet

If you’ve never heard of jicama, you’re not alone. This largely underrated vegetable hasn’t fallen into the buzzword health food category just yet. However Jicama is one of those superfoods,…

If you’ve never heard of jicama, you’re not alone. This largely underrated vegetable hasn’t fallen into the buzzword health food category just yet. However Jicama is one of those superfoods, which will spark a where have you been all my life reaction once you uncover all its health benefits.

What is Jicama?

Jicama is a round root vegetable with a coarse brown skin and a bright starchy white interior. Originally from Mexico, it is also known as the ‘mexican yam’, ‘yam bean’ and ‘mexican potato/turnip’. At first glance, it might even look like a bulous potato or turnip.

Brain booster:

Charged with vitamin B6, Jicama improves brain function and cognitive activity. The B vitamin compounds in jicama helps carry oxygenated blood to your brain which increases alertness and concentration levels.

Good for your gut:

Jicama is rich in prebiotic fibre. Prebiotic foods increase the number of good bacteria in your gut, which will reduce your chances of developing diseases that start from the gut, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease, to name a few.

Vitamin C superhero:

Vitamin C is one of those common vitamins that people associate with preventing and fighting colds, but there is much more to this vitamin than meets the eye. Vitamin C is vital to the development and growth of cell tissue, for absorbing iron, the healing of wounds and so much more – wonderfully, jicama is full of it!

Nutrient powerhouse:

Bursting with high amounts of folate, iron, potassium, vitamin B6, and magnesium, jicama is completely on your side when it comes to your health. It is also packed with calcium, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, zinc and copper.

Free radical fighting:

This root vegetable is super high in antioxidants which prevent and repair cell damage. Great for skin elasticity and fighting off toxicities in the body, antioxidants are essential to your wellbeing.

Weight loss friendly:

Jicama is a low calorie, high fibre food which means it can actually aid weight loss. It is filling, slows your digestion and won’t give you that blood sugar spike. It’lll keep you fuller for longer, so you won’t feel like snacking and grazing in between meals.

But how do I eat it?

Jicama is so versatile, you can eat it raw or cooked but an important thing to keep in mind is that everything besides the white inside is toxic, so be sure to discard the skin, leaves, roots, pods and seeds before eating.

We love this superfood so much that we’ve incorporated it into many of the meals in our new menu. There are no limits to your jicama creations but here are a few that we can’t get enough of:

  • Adding it to salads or coleslaw: Slice it into tiny cubes or thin twigs and add to all your salads.
  • Jicama dip sticks: Replace your carrot sticks with jicama sticks and let it be a heavenly scoop for all your dips
  •  Salsa: Jicama makes a great addition to any salsa, it adds crunch and flavour – cut into tiny cubes and add it in raw!
  • Chippies: Jicama chips will be your new best friend. Cut into long rectangles, place onto baking paper covered tray, drizzle with olive oil and celtic salt and pop into a 180℃ oven, turning every 15-20 minutes until crisp.

Once you try this wellness all-rounder, you’ll want to throw it into every meal. Jicama is mostly found in South American and Asian grocers but keep your eyes peeled because once popularity grows, our supermarkets and grocers will catch up too.

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Published: 07/11/18

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