What is jicama?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Jicama is a white colored flesh tuber that can weigh anywhere from a half of pound to five pounds or more. Jicama is shaped like a turnip, has a thin brown skin. It is crisp and juicy like an apple and its flavor is rather bland. This makes jicama able to be used in a variety of ways. It can be served sliced with fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Dip it in salsa or sliver it into salads with grapefruit and avocado. Jicama is a good source of Vitamin C and contains potassium, iron, and calcium. Once cut store in a container of cold water.
Marisa Moore
Nutrition & Dietetics
Jicama (also uncommonly known as the yam bean) is a root vegetable that resembles a turnip in appearance. It’s crunchy and has a slightly sweet flavor.

High in vitamin C and virtually fat-free, one cup sliced jicama delivers an amazing 6g fiber and just 46 calories.  Because it’s so low in carbohydrate, it’s a very diabetes-friendly food.

There are lots of ways to enjoy jicama.  
  • Snack on it plain.  
  • Cut it into matchsticks, toss with a lime vinaigrette and cilantro for a refreshing low calorie salad. 
  • Slice it to make jicama chips which are perfect for dipping into your favorite salsa. 
  • Use it as a substitute for water chestnuts in stir-fry recipes.
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Jicama, pronounced "HEE-ka-ma," is a turnip-shaped root vegetable native to Mexico and Central America. A member of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), the jicama plant is a vine that grows to a length of 20 feet or more and produces beautiful sprays of mauve flowers that resemble butterflies, but these are rarely seen in the United States because the vines are usually killed by frost before they bloom. The roots are light brown and can reach weights of up to 50 pounds, although those in the markets usually weigh from 1 to 3 pounds. Jicama is related to the sweet potato but resembles the water chestnut in color, texture, and flavor, with a thin brown skin that encloses crisp, juicy, white flesh. In fact, many Oriental restaurants substitute jicama for the more expensive water chestnut.
Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

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Health Value Of Foods

Health Value Of Foods

A healthy diet is rich in foods with high nutritional value, providing your body with the vitamins, minerals and other food nutrients it needs to protect against disease and maintain a healthy weight. To identify healthy foods, it...

's important to read nutrition labels and know the source of your food. Products advertised as whole-grain, organic or fortified may not necessarily be healthy for you. Find out how to get the most health value from various fruits, nuts, spices, oils and vegetables -- and learn which types of red meat and processed foods to avoid -- with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.