Have you heard of jicama before? I hadn’t as of a few years ago and when I discovered it I got really excited.
A crunchy, delicious, healthy new “fruit” for me to add to my diet? Um, yes PLEASE!
Jicama, scientifically known as Pachyrhizus erosus, originated in Central and South America and bears a close resemblance to sweet potato in terms of its crunchiness and delicious taste.
It’s mainly cultivated as a tuber food crop and has a white crispy flesh inside an inedible brownish skin. The roots of this plant can grow as long as 2 meters and weigh up to 44 pounds!!! Say wut.
Jicama is ideally grown in warm climates like China, Mexico, and a few other South American regions.
Let’s discuss 3 ways jicama can help support happy skin AND is great for your bod on the inside, as well!
Reason #1: Jicama is chock full of vitamins and it’s also rich in essential minerals like phosphorus, sodium, iron and magnesium. These, along with the high moisture content, supports maximum hydration, helping to cut down on fat deposits; which also helps lower the blood cholesterol levels.
Reason #2: Jicama contains a vitamin E, which, when combined with vitamin C helps to decrease inflammation, both on the skin and inside the body.
Reason #3: Jicama functions as a natural phytoestrogen for older women, when the estrogen production stops post menopause. The loss of estrogen leads to fragile bones, wrinkled skin, and other annoying problems.
How to buy the right jicama:
- When choosing jicamas in a grocery store, make sure to choose the ones with firm roots.
- Check for any outside blemishes, wet spots indicate jicama is rotting inside, so please don’t buy those.
- If stored in an open place, Jicama can last up to 2 weeks but if kept in a cold and dry place it retains its freshness for 4 weeks.
- Once you’ve peeled and cut it, wrap it in a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator.
How to prepare jicama:
Make sure to clean the jicama skin thoroughly to remove any pesticide residues and peel the skin completely before cutting it; it’s inedible.
There are multiple ways to consume a jicama: you can either cook it as a salad or can simply eat it raw. This can also be baked, stir-fried, and stewed.
Another way of enjoying jicama’s taste is to preserve it as a pickle, in a mix of vegetables like cucumber.
My favorite way to eat jicama is to peel it raw, and then cover with lime juice. It’s SO refreshing this way!
As I mentioned earlier, Jicama has some benefits when applied topically so I wanted to share a jicama and honey mask with you.
(More on the benefits of manuka honey here.)
To make this jicama and honey mask:
- Cut 1 jicama into small pieces and mix with 2 tbsp honey.
- Apply properly on the face and leave it on for 2 hours.
- Rinse off the face and pat dry.
Like every other fruit and vegetable we need to make note of some precautions in the case of jicama too. Keep the following things in mind when you eat/buy jicama:
- The leaves, flowers, and vines of Jicama are inedible as they contain a very toxic compound rotenone, a naturally occuring insecticide in plants to defend themselves from predators. Consuming Jicama seeds can cause respiratory system failure in human beings (and death within two hours in the worst cases) (BE CAREFUL.)
- It is advisable to steam Jicama before consuming in order to soften the dietary fiber and make it easily digestible. If you don’t do this, you may experience digestion problems like stomach-ache and constipation.
- If you are eating a raw Jicama, always remove the outer peel. Only the white inside is edible as the outer peel is not only fibrous, but toxic as well.