Jicama, the Root of Digestive Health

We all know that fiber, in general, is an essential part of a healthy diet, helping with weight management by making you feel full and maintaining a healthy digestive system. Regardless, though, of what we might know, an astounding 90% of us don’t get the recommended amount of fiber per day (25 grams for women/38 grams for men), with most Americans averaging 15g/day.

Up your fiber by eating more veggies, such as Jicama and peas, berries, such as raspberries, beans, and whole grains, like barley and amaranth. 1 cup of raw jicama diced and added to your salad for a yummy crunch will add 6g of fiber (as will 1 bag of JicaChips). In fact, Jicama has as much fiber per cup as brussels sprouts, and more fiber per cup than kale or broccoli

But the fiber in jicama is not just any fiber.

Jicama is a natural source of a soluble fiber called inulin, which acts as a prebiotic.  Other natural sources of inulin include chicory root, burdock root, dandelion root, raw onion, raw garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, and yacon.  

Prebiotics (not to be confused with probiotics) are fibers that pass through the upper part of the GI tract undigested and act as food for the “healthy” bacteria of your colon, stimulating their growth. Probiotics, on the other hand, are the actual “good” bacteria (including bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) that normally colonize your colon and can be found in yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi.

So why is it so important to consume prebiotics, in addition to probiotics?

These healthy bacteria in our colon are constantly being depleted by stress in our lives, poor diet, and antibiotics. It is thought to be important not only to continually introduce these beneficial bacteria (probiotics) into the gut, but also feed them the proper diet (prebiotics) to help them flourish. Think about the arduous journey these “good” bacteria take through the gastric juices of the stomach. Prebiotics provide the nourishment needed when these “healthy” bacteria arrive at their destination in the colon.

These “healthy” bacteria, in turn, reward us by producing substances that decrease the pH of the gut, making it less hospitable for “bad” bacteria.  These substances may also play a role in moderating glucose levels, reducing inflammation in the gut, helping us to absorb more calcium & magnesium from our food, and boosting our immunity. In fact, breast milk, which is primarily prebiotics, is thought to be an important factor in the development of the infant immune system.  

 

These statements herein have not been reviewed by the FDA.

Orto Foods products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.


melissa colella
Orto Harvest Team

Author



1 Comment

Jan Busman
Jan Busman

March 30, 2015

Thank you for the information about Jicama
We live in Chiangmai – Thailand and there is plenty of it in the market. Reason to eat it more often.

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