Jicama - Calories, Carbs and Health Benefits

Nutritional Information for Jicama

Jicama
Jicama, whole and chopped. Jamie Grill/Tetra Images/Getty Images

Jicama (pronounced HIH-ka-ma) is a root vegetable which is not at all starchy. The texture is somewhere between an apple and a raw potato. It is mostly water and has a mild, refreshing flavor. It is usually eaten raw, but can also be used in cooked dishes.

Jicama has a tough brown skin that is not edible, but is fairly easy to remove.  Once you get the process started with a knife you can often peel it with your fingers.

  Then it can be sliced, cubed, or cut into strips.  It is great for dipping into dips or as a vehicle for spreads instead of crackers.  Examples of low-carb spreads and dips that work well with jicama:

Guacamole

Low-Carb Bean Dip

Pimento Cheese Spread

Homemade Cheese Spread

Jicama has lots of different names, mostly depending on where in the world you are.  It can be called yambean or yam bean (although this is technically a family of different plants), Mexican water chestnut, Mexican potato, Mexican turnip, sengkwang, Chinese potato, ahipa, and saa got.  To make it more confusing, in some areas of Central America, the words yacon and jicama are both used for an unrelated plant.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Jicama

  • 1 oz. of raw jicama: 1 gram of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram of fiber and 11 calories
  • 1 cup of raw jicama slices: 4.5 grams of effective (net) carb plus 6 grams of fiber and 46 calories
  • 4 oz. (¼ lb.) of jicama: 4 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 6 grams of fiber and 42 calories

Glycemic Index for Jicama

As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of jicama.

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Estimated Glycemic Load of Jicama

  • 1 oz. of jicama: 0
  • 1 cup of raw jicama slices: 2
  • 4 oz. (¼ lb.) of jicama: 2

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Jicama

Jicama is a very good source of vitamin C and fiber.  In addition, some of its carbs are in the form of inulin, an oligosaccharide that is a prebiotic, feeding the friendly bacteria in our colons.  There is also evidence that a purified extract of jicama could help control blood sugar in diabetic mice, which, although interesting, doesn't mean much for a typical serving of jicama.

Low-Carb Recipe with Jicama

More Information About Jicama at Calorie Count.

More Carb Profiles:

Sources:

Park, CJ and Han, JS. Hypoglycemic Effect of Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) Extract on Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice. Preventative Nutrition and Food Science. 20(2):88=93 (2015)

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28

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