Jicama is a sweet root vegetable that looks like a potato. This round-shaped starchy vegetable is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
These nutrients are able to provide numerous health benefits. But is jicama keto friendly? Can a keto lover eat this nutritious root vegetable?
Yes, jicama is keto friendly and keto lovers can add this low net carb vegetable to their favorite dishes.
Is Jicama Low in Carbs?
Jicama is moderately high in total carbs but it is perfectly low in net carbs. A 100 gram serving of jicama contains 8.82 grams of carbs which is slightly higher than the topmost low carb vegetables.
However, it also contains a high amount of dietary fiber i.e 4.9 grams. After omitting the dietary fiber the net carbs of jicama becomes 3.92 grams.
This low net carb of jicama is perfect for a ketogenic diet plan. Because of this jicama is keto approved vegetable.
Jicama Net Carbs Per Cup
One cup of jicama weighs 130 grams. This serving size contains 11.5 grams of total carbs and 6.37 grams of dietary fiber.
So, how many net carbs are in 1 cup of jicama? After subtraction of dietary fibers, the net carbs of one cup of jicama come down to 5.13 grams.
Is Jicama Good For You?
Jicama is a power house of healthy nutrients. The low net carb formula of jicama helps to stay in ketosis state without much problem.
This root vegetable is a rich source of fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, A, etc. Moreover, this starchy vegetable also contains magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and vitamin K.
All of these nutrients provide several health benefits which makes jicama good for you. The major benefits of jicama are
Blood Pressure Control
Moreover, jicama is a good source of magnesium. A high intake of magnesium protects our body against hypertension or high blood pressure (3).
Also, jicama is high in potassium. According to studies adequate intake of potassium can reduce blood pressure levels (4).
Promoting Weight Loss
Excess intake of fatty foods is directly related to obesity (5). On the other hand, jicama is very low in fats.
Lower consumption of fat can aid in weight loss (6). Because of this adding low fat jicama with your dishes is a great addition to a weight loss diet.
Moreover, jicama is high in fiber and provides low calories. Both of these two factors are essential for a greater reduction of weight (7).
Furthermore, a little amount of vitamin A is also found in jicama. Studies have shown that vitamin A is able to reduce the risk of obesity (8).
Prevention of Gallstones
A regular intake of nutrient dense jicama can prevent the risk of gallstone formation. The major contributors of gallstone are high fructose, high fat, low fiber, and low vitamin C consumption (9).
However, highly nutrient jicama has the reverse combination of these nutrients, which is beneficial for gallstone prevention.
It is a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Moreover, this green starchy vegetable contains a little number of fats and fructose.
Because of this, a regular intake of jicama is able to prevent gallstones.
Anti Cancer Activity
The rich antioxidant profile of jicama is able to reduce the risk of cancer. It contains anti-cancer antioxidants like vitamin C, niacin, or vitamin B3, vitamin A and E.
Moreover, a high intake of vitamin A can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer (12).
Furthermore, jicama is packed with macronutrients like dietary fiber. According to studies, dietary fiber consumption may aid in colon cancer treatment because of its protective effect(13).
Healthy Gut Function
The useful nutrients of jicama provide healthy gut function. These nutrients prevent constipation and power up absorption capacity.
A high amount of dietary fibers are present in jicama. Fiber creates short chain fatty acids which are essential for absorption (14).
Moreover, fiber aids in increasing and softening the stool bulk. Because of this fiber rich jicama reduces the risk of constipation.
The very low fat component of jicama is another factor behind the healthy gut function. Studies have shown that a diet high in fat forces releasing the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK).
This hormone causes acid reflux by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (15).
Skin Benefits of Jicama
Jicama contains vitamin A, E, C, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and copper. All of these micronutrients are skin friendly.
- Vitamin A, C, and copper act as anti-wrinkle agents. Also, vitamin C has benefits over skin hydration, healing, aging, and oxidative stress.
- Vitamin B2 and E are able to prevent itching and dry skin by maintaining skin hydration levels.
- Iron can promote healthy skin growth.
- Magnesium maintains skin hydration and makes the skin barrier strong.
- Calcium is a skin healing agent and helps with skin barrier formation.
- Zinc is able to treat atopic dermatitis, diaper dermatitis, and acrodermatitis enteropathica.
Additional Benefits of Jicama
Jicama is a rich source of dietary fiber, magnesium, and calcium. Daily consumption of jicama increases provides benefits related to these nutrients.
These nutrients provide health benefits like
- Dietary fiber can aid in boosting heart health. It is able to reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure (23).
- Dietary fiber is able to reduce the HbA1c percentage and fasting glucose concentration for type 2 diabetics (24).
- A high intake of magnesium provides protection against major cardiovascular risk factors. These include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, METs, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems (25).
- Calcium reduces hypertension in pregnancy (26).
Moreover, the low carb formula of jicama has benefits over type 2 diabetics. A diet low in carbs reduces body weight and improves glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes (27).
Is Jicama Bad For You?
Jicama can contribute to a few side effects. Although jicama is a good source of healthy nutrients, a surplus consumption may cause trouble for your health.
The high fiber components of jicama can cause bloating. As excess intake of fiber rich foods is correlated to bloating (23).
Also, jicama contains inulin which is fermentable fiber. A high intake of fermentable fiber can worsen acid reflux by promoting belching (24).
Furthermore, the high vitamin C component of jicama is able to upset your stomach. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid contains very high acidity. Consumption of ascorbic acid rich foods on empty stomach may cause heartburn (25).
Affects Kidney Functions
Jicama is a great source of calcium, and vitamin C. Uncontrolled intake of these two are related to kidney disorders.
High intake of calcium is known for the promotion of Hypercalcemia or high calcium concentration in blood. Hypercalcemia is a well-known factor for kidney stone occurrence (26).
Also, excess calcium consumption causes vascular calcification. This vascular calcification is associated with significant morbidity and mortality for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients (27).
On the other hand, surplus consumption of vitamin C increases the risk of kidney stones. It also elevates uric acid and oxalate by acidifying the urine (28).
Jicama is low in calories, protein, and fat. It contains almost all healthy nutrients. The nutrition value of 100 gram serving of jicama is (29)
- Calories: 38
- Protein: 0.72 g
- Fat: 0.09 g
- Fiber: 4.9 g
- Carbs: 8.82 g
How to Prepare Jicama
Jicama is majorly eaten raw. However, eating cooked jicama is also allowed. Jicama is eaten after removing the outer skin.
Only this single step is to follow to prepare jicama. Some delicious low carb jicama dishes are
- Jicama keto salad prepared by mixing jicama, cucumber, tomato, and spinach
- Cooked broccoli, raw jicama mix with garlic sauce
- Jicama, cabbage, kale fried rice topped with black pepper powder
Is Jicama Good for Diabetics?
The low sugar and high fiber components of jicama make it a good choice for diabetics. As low sugar and high fiber prevent a sudden rise in blood glucose.
Also, jicama is a good source of magnesium. High consumption of magnesium can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes as magnesium is inversely related to insulin resistance (30).
Furthermore, the low net carbs of jicama may improve glycemic control and reduce weight for type 2 diabetics.
Jicama Vs Potato
Is jicama better for you than potato? Absolutely yes. Jicama has more nutrient value than potato which gives jicama an upper hand against the potato.
Jicama contains half the calories compared to potatoes. This helps to maintain nutrient balance. Moreover, potatoes contain a very high amount of carbs which can easily kick you out of ketosis. Carbs rich potatoes can cause weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
Also, potatoes are not a rich source of dietary fiber. That’s why potatoes can cause constipation. On the other hand, jicama is a great source of dietary fiber and prevents constipation.