High on antioxidants, boosts heart health, aids in digestion, aids in keeping the blood sugar levels steady and aids in weight loss, improves brain function, boosts your immunity, brightens skin, help in preventing obesity, eases constipation are some of the health benefits of jicama in your child’s diet.
Jicama (pronounced as HEE – kah –ma) is also referred to as yam bean, Mexican potato or Mexican turnip. It is an edible root or vegetable.
The Jicama plant grows in vines of which the leaves and seeds are toxic and the root is the only edible art of the plant. It’s amazement as to how anyone thought to taste this root of a toxic plant which is not so appealing to the eyes either.
Where is Jicama found?
Jicama has two primary varieties native to Mexico and South America. It was later traded to Asia by the Spanish traders in the 17th Century. It has been grown and consumed for centuries all throughout Central America. Now, it is used widely in the South-western restaurants for its crunchy flavour.
What does Jicama taste like?
Jicama has a tough brown skin followed on the inside by white, juicy flesh. On the inside it has is crispy and juicy like a pear but tastes starchy and sweet like an apple. It sort of looks like a potato on the inside.
There are several appetizing recipes that one can follow to make use of jicama or you can just consume it raw or use it in your salads.
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What are the benefits of Jicama for my child?
It’s always a concern for the parents to get their children to eat enough of healthy vegetables. Your child usually turns away from it all as it doesn’t look to appealing or does it taste delicious. It is one such vegetable that children are going to love. Jicama is crunchy, juicy and has got a subtle sweet taste to it, nothing too overpowering so children are going to enjoy it.
Apart from its very delectable taste, Jicama has got several great health benefits some of which are listed below:
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Jicama in your Child’s Diet
High on antioxidants
Antioxidants in a diet are very much essential as they help protect the cell against damage caused by the free radicals. If this were not happening due to the low availability of antioxidants in the body, then the individual can suffer from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, etc.
Jicama is rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium and beta – carotene.
Boosts heart health
Jicama has a significant amount of dietary fibre that reduces cholesterol levels in the body by preventing reabsorption of bile in the intestines and also by preventing formation of cholesterol in the liver.
It contains potassium that helps to lower blood pressure. It also has nitrate and this helps in increasing circulation and better exercise performance.
Jicama also contains iron and copper that is necessary for the red blood cells and thus helps to improve circulation.
Aids in digestion
Jicama is rich in fibre that aids in increasing the bulk of the stool and its easy passage through the digestive tract. Jicama also contains inulin that helps in increasing the frequency of bowel movement.
Jicama contains high amount of water and fibre that eases constipation.
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Good for gut bacteria
Jicama contains inulin that is a probiotic fibre. Probiotic fibre is good for increasing the population of good gut bacteria and decreasing the population of bad bacteria. This in turn affects weight, immune system and even mood.
Aids in weight loss
Jicama is a nutrient-dense food. It is packed with nutrients and low on calories and thus helps in providing the filling satisfaction after a meal.
Aids in keeping the blood sugar levels steady
The fibre in digestion slows digestion and this prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly.
Insulin resistance is a major cause for obesity. According to certain studies carried out in mice suggest that eating jicama helps to increase insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels. This can help in preventing obesity.
Jicama has been used in ancient Chinese traditions since a long time for skin remedies. It is rich in Vitamin C that helps in rejuvenating the skin.
You can either consume it or mix it with turmeric to make a paste and apply it on scars or marks on the body.
Jicama being a rich source of Vitamin C heals body tissues and boosts immunity as well. Strong immunity is very much essential to fight off diseases attacking the body.
Improves brain function
Jicama having Vitamin B6 is linked to increasing brain functions and cognition.
Vitamin B6 is also necessary for breaking down of proteins into amino acids thus increasing efficiency of organs.
Jicama is packed with nutrients. It has a rich nutrient profile and contains calories, carbohydrate, fibre, fat, and protein. It is rich in Vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and also contains small amounts of Vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, zinc, copper, phosphorous and calcium.
Nutrition facts per 100 g
What are the precautions or side effects concerning the use of Jicama?
It is not advisable to eat the toxic outer covering of jicama root as it contains a toxic compound.
How soon can I give jicama to my baby?
You can introduce your baby to the tropical fruits – mango, jicama and pineapple as a baby puree. Being rich in Vitamin C this is a major immunity booster.
Jicama is a root vegetable widely consumed in Mexico and Central America. It has a crunchy, juicy and subtle sweet taste to it thus making it all the more appetizing. Jicama is packed with nutrients and thus has several health benefits. It helps to boost immunity, improve brain function, aids in digestion, aids in keeping blood sugar levels steady, aids in preventing obesity, boosts heart health, is rich in antioxidants and also is low on calorie so aid in weight loss too. It is a good vegetable to be included in diet where you can cook delicious meals with it or just enjoy it raw.