Jicama, also known as the Mexican yam is a white turnip-like starchy root vegetable that is abundantly available in the spring and summer. It's described as a cross between a pear and a potato, slightly sweet and deliciously crunchy. Jicama has a thick brown inedible skin which contains a poisonous compound, so be sure to peel before eating. This crunchy character boasts only 49 calories per cup in addition to its high quality phyto-nutrients: dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Jicama packs a one, two punch with its dietary fiber content. It is one of the finest sources of inulin, a soluble fiber that gives jicama its sweetness and has zero calories because your body doesn't metabolize it. Inulin promotes bone health and protects against osteoporosis by enhancing the absorption of calcium from other foods. Inulin also promotes "good" bacteria growth in the digestive tract, which protects against colon cancer and strengthens your immunity.
In addition jicama is rich in vitamin C, providing you with about 40% of your daily recommended allowance. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps destroy harmful free radicals inside the body. By adding jicama to your produce rotation you can help protect against cancers, inflammation, coughs and the cold. It also contains small levels of some of valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and thiamin. Further, the root provides healthy amounts of some of important minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese.
Jicama is very versatile, whether you eat it raw or cooked its crispy, refreshing, sweet white tuber blends well in all types of dishes from around the world. Whether you slice, dice or sauté it, jicama will add a satisfying, nutritious crunch to any meal.