The Aztecs were the first to cultivate Jicama, also known as the Mexican yam. This plant can grow well in damp and dry climates and can be planted and grown year round. They sprout in late spring and yield particularly healthy tubers by winter time. Those planted during summer produces the sweetest ones, but are smaller. It loves the sun and a little bit of rain but cannot stand extremely cold weather. Jicama grows very fast and require very minimal tending. After nine months, the tubers are pulled out right away. It is best to consume them fresh as they are juicier and crunchier. To make them last longer, be sure to keep them in a dark and dry place. What is pretty unusual about this plant is its ability to protect itself from pests because of their built-in natural insecticide properties in their vines. While the root is completely edible, all other parts of the plant are poisonous.
Let’s see what this superfood is packed with:
- It is high in vitamin C to boost your immune system, protect the cells from oxidation and increase collagen which strengthen blood vessels and gives you a good skin texture. Furthermore, it speeds up healing of skin wounds.
- It has vitamin B6 to help break down protein in our body and produce antibodies to fight bacteria.
- It is high in soluble fiber called inulin which is ideal in lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar level.
- A small root can provide a daily recommended allowance of more than 20%. This makes sure that the blood cells have enough oxygen.
- It helps move the foods you eat past your digestive system easily, thus preventing diarrhea and constipation.
- Its antioxidant property removes free radicals and can prevent certain cancers from recurring.
- This root does not contain fat and is low in sodium
- It gives sufficient amount of essential minerals like manganese, iron, copper and magnesium.
Jicama also has some culinary goodness and you can have it any way you like. Chop it in your stir fries, bake it sliced or simply mix it with other veggies or fruits to highlight its sweet flavor. The tuber of this plant is crunchy and sweet-tasting and looks similar to sweet potato. Aside from having a very unique taste and texture, it can take flavor well when mixed with other cooking ingredients.
Experience this super root in your dining list… jicama might be your latest food pick.
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