Rich in minerals and vitamin C, jicama deserves a place on your table | Photo: Jiang Hongyan/Shutterstock.com
This slightly sweet and crunchy root vegetable may not be marketed as much as acai, coconut juice or kale, but it certainly deserves to be. It is full of benefits, acting as a prebiotic to promote friendly bacteria in the gut, and may boost collagen and fight wrinkles.
Rich in vitamin C and minerals, jicama, also known as Mexican yam or water chestnut, can be cooked, mashed, or baked, or served raw in slaws, salads, and stir-fries, after you peel its thick skin. In Singapore, jicama is also known as 'bengkoang', and it can be found in local hawker dishes like popiah, rojak and kueh pie tee.
Predictions are swirling that jicama will soon take an honorary place alongside carrots and kale.
Jicama, like Jerusalem artichokes, is a source of inulin, a prebiotic that can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Munching on jicama might also boost the look of your skin, thanks to its vitamin C content (one cup of raw jicama slices provides more than 24mg of vitamin C). Eating vitamin C-rich foods can increase collagen production, which can help improve skin texture, speed wound healing, and give you a healthy glow.
Still, The Livestrong Foundation, a US non-profit organisation that provides support for people affected by cancer, warns that while jicama root is healthy and completely edible, the rest of the plant is toxic, including the seeds, leaves, and pods.
Use this superfood in an easy, Peranakan-Hokkien recipe.