Jicama is a vegetable that is similar to a potato, with its brown peel on the outside and white starchy flesh inside. It is pronounced “hee-kama” and is also commonly called a yam bean, Mexican potato or Chinese turnip.
At first glance, the jicama looks like it is high in carbs, but this isn’t the case. If you’re looking for a great potato alternative for your low carb diet, look no further than the jicama. This root vegetable might just be the perfect fix for your French fry cravings.
What’s more, this veggie contains inulin, a type of fiber that can help you slim down by signaling hormones that increase feelings of fullness. Read on to discover how eating delicious jicama can help you lose weight and feel great.
Is Jicama Keto Friendly?
Because jicama is low in sugar, it makes a great alternative for starchy, higher carbohydrate vegetables like potatoes. This root vegetable has a starchy texture, but it is low in carbs – which makes it a perfect option for your Keto meal plan.
Jicama makes a great side dish and can be prepared a number of ways, which are mentioned later in this article. One popular way to prepare jicama is by slicing it into jicama fries. Keep reading for a delicious recipe for Keto Spicy Spiral Jicama Fries later in this article.
How Many Carbs are in Jicama?
A 100-gram serving of jicama contains 9 grams of total carbs and 4.9 grams of dietary fiber. Once the fiber is accounted for, a 100-gram serving of jicama contains only 4.1 grams of digestible net carbs. Jicama makes a great low-carb substitute for potatoes. By comparison, potatoes contain 15 grams of net carbs per 100-gram serving.
How Many Calories are in Jicama?
There are only 38 calories in a 100-gram serving of jicama. Cooking jicama using butter or oil will significantly increase the calorie count. One tablespoon of butter or oil adds 100 calories.
|Serving: 100 grams of Jicama|
|Total Fat 0.1 grams||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 grams||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 0 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 4 milligrams||0%|
|Potassium 150 milligrams||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 9 grams||3%|
|Dietary fiber 4.9 grams||19%|
|Sugar 1.8 grams|
|Protein 0.7 grams||1%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||33%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||0%|
Types of Jicama
There are 3 popular jicama cultivars including:
- Pachyrhizus erosus (Mexican yam bean)
- Pachyrhizus ahipa (Andean yam bean)
- Pachyrhizus tuberosus (Amazonian yam bean)
Jicama contains a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, folate, potassium and magnesium. This vegetable is low in calories and high in fiber and water. It is also rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
Aids in Digestion
Consuming adequate dietary fiber is vital for proper digestion. Fiber helps food move through your intestines efficiently, helping to prevent digestive disorders.
Jicama is an exceptionally high fiber vegetable. It is an excellent source of a special type of fiber called inulin that has prebiotic benefits on the gut.
Rich in Antioxidants
The inulin fiber in jicama also helps prevent certain cancers. Jicama also contains a number of powerful antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. Antioxidants also help fight chronic disease by preventing oxidative damage to cells.
Eating jicama can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes as this vegetable helps with blood glucose management. Jicama has a low glycemic load so it won’t spike blood sugar.
A 2016 study on mice that were given jicama extract significantly reduced blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity. These results look promising if they can be replicated on humans, although more research is needed. However, in the future, jicama extract could be helpful in the treatment of diabetes.
Promotes Heart Health
Jicama is a great veggie for heart health as it helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The fiber in this root vegetable lowers LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Furthermore, the natural nitrate in jicama can also aid good blood flow and circulation, while reducing inflammation in the body.
Research also suggests that jicama can reduce your risk of developing blood clots. A 2016 study on healthy adults who drank 2 cups of jicama juice daily significantly reduced their risk of developing blood clots.
Builds Strong Bones
The inulin fiber in jicama can strengthen bones as it helps them to retain minerals like calcium to prevent bone loss.
Jicama also contains other minerals like manganese, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium – all of which support healthy bones.
Jicama is exceptionally high in fiber. Consuming too much fiber in one’s diet can interfere with the absorption of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium.
Only the fleshy root portion of the jicama plant is edible. The seeds and stems of the plant are not safe to eat as they contain a natural isoflavone compound, called rotenone. Rotenone is a natural pesticide that is not only toxic to insects but also to humans as it can form free radicals in the body and damage DNA.
Ways to Prepare Jicama on Keto
- Serve sliced jicama on your crudités tray along with other low carb veggies and dip.
- Roast jicama using olive oil along with various spices like garlic and chilli powder.
- Add jicama to soups, stews and stir fry dishes.
- Slice jicama into fries and bake them in the oven with olive oil and seasonings.
- Use jicama to add flavor and creaminess to dips.
- Add jicama to salads, paired with sliced cucumber and bell peppers.
- Sauté cubed jicama in avocado oil until golden brown.
- Mince jicama along with pickled cucumbers in a food processor to make your own low-carb relish.
- Dehydrate thinly sliced jicama, season with salt, and bake into mock potato chips.
- Add julienned jicama together with finely shredded cabbage, sugar-free sweetener and vinegar to make your own homemade low-carb coleslaw.
Keto Spicy Spiral Jicama Fries Recipe
- 2 cups jicama, sliced into spirals using a spiralizer
- 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Peel jicama and cut using a spiralizer into long curly fries.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
- Pre-boil fries for 10 minutes to slightly soften and then drain.
- Place drained curly fries into a large bowl and toss with oil and seasonings.
- Spread fries onto a large, greased baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes until tender-crisp. Turn the fries carefully halfway through cooking time to ensure they’re evenly cooked and crispy on both sides. Serve with sour cream for dipping or a squirt of low-sugar ketchup.
Is Jicama Good for Weight Loss?
Because jicama is so high in fiber, it increases satiety to help you feel satisfied, which is a major factor when trying to lose weight. The inulin in jicama offers prebiotic benefits to increase the type of healthy gut bacteria that assists in weight loss.
Furthermore, studies on mice indicate that consuming jicama regularly can improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Inulin also has an impact on the hormones that control hunger. This fiber shuts off feelings of hunger and sends signals to your brain when you’re full.
What Does Jicama Taste Like?
The jicama might look like a potato, but this starchy vegetable has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. The flavor of jicama can be described as similar to that of an apple or pear, but the taste is more neutral and less sweet.
The texture is crunchy and a bit juicy when eaten raw, but like a potato, yet it softens when cooked. While the peel is completely edible, it can be quite tough, so it is typically discarded.