Jicama, a root vegetable that is traditionally a common addition to salsas and salads, is now fast becoming a favored ingredient in smoothies and juices due to the variety of key nutrients it offers. While it looks somewhat like a turnip, in reality it is a member of the legume family. Most of the vital nutrients are near the skin, so it is advisable to remove only a very thin layer of the skin before juicing. Jicama juice is mild in flavor but thick and creamy in appearance.
Nutty Jicama Juice
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 small Jicama (without the brown skin)
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 Chinese pear
- 2 sprigs mint, plus some leaves for garnish
A single cup of jicama houses 0.78 milligrams of iron. This satisfies nearly 4% of the daily iron requirements for women. It additionally supplies magnesium, potassium and manganese. It also contains additional minerals like zinc, calcium and selenium in minor quantities. The same quantity also delivers 35% of vitamin C needed by women daily, along with small quantities of folate, and vitamins A and E.
Jicama is also a good source of phytonutrients, the plant-based compounds with strong antioxidant abilities. This includes inhibiting free radicals from damaging DNA and cell tissue as well as offering other health benefits. Jicama is also a good source of soluble fiber, with a 100 gram serving fulfilling 13% of the daily requirements.
Health Benefits of Jicama
The elevated amounts of vitamin C in jicama offer potent anti-inflammatory properties, which help to eliminate asthma symptoms like wheezing, particularly in children. Additionally it helps to keep colds and flu at bay. Being a good source of fiber, jicama helps to maintain low cholesterol and stable sugar levels. Raw jicama is a low calorie food containing only 35 calories in a 100 gram serving; this makes it good for people wishing to lose weight.
The amino acid homocysteine is one of the factors for heart disease and linked with renal disease. Jicama is known to cut down on the levels of this amino acid and in turn reduce the risks of heart and renal disease.