Jicama is a perennial vine that bears spherical, fleshy, starchy, edible turnip-like root tubers below the ground surface and grows mainly in tropical and semitropical climates. The vine has thick, brown skin in which there is whitish flesh with a crisp texture and sweet-starchy, succulent fruit, according to nutrition-and-you.com.
Jicama is a low-calorie root vegetable containing about 35 calories per 100 grams, and few essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the plant has a high-quality phyto-nutrition profile composed of anti-oxidants and excellent soluble oligofructose inulin, a dietary fiber. This makes jicama an acceptable sweet snack for diabetics and dieters, due to the inability of inulin to undergo metabolism inside the human body.
Similar to turnips, jicama is rich in vitamin C and provides about 20.2 mg per 100 g. It, therefore, helps in offering protection against inflammation, cancers and viral cough and cold by making the body scavenge harmful free radicals. Besides, jicama contains bits of pyridoxine, folates, pantothenic acid and riboflavin vitamins that are an important B-complex group of vitamins. It also provides healthy amounts of vital minerals such as magnesium, manganese, iron and copper as revealed by USDA.
However, jicama plant has a fat-soluble organic toxin called rote that researchers link to the development of Parkinson’s disease. Careful peeling and washing the root makes it safe for human consumption.