Can You Eat Jicama Raw?

Fozia Sherazi, Dr of Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences

Written by Fozia Sherazi, Dr of Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences. Updated on March 12, 2023.

Jicama is a member of the bean family and is commonly known as “yam bean” due to its spherical, fleshy root vegetable.

The jicama plant is a large vine that can grow up to 25 feet in length and produces yellow flowers pollinated by insects.

Its underground starchy root is a popular edible tuber that grows in many parts of Central America, Asia, the Caribbean, and some parts of the Andes in South America.

After severe droughts in 1982 and 1983 reduced potato yields, jicama cultivation increased in the region.

The growing conditions for jicama were favorable despite the dry weather.

Jicama was able to resist droughts, retain water, and still produce a high yield due to its deep root system and the ability of its leaves to store moisture.

Additionally, the jicama’s thick outer skin and crispy flesh remain unspoiled even without refrigeration, making it an ideal crop for areas without access to modern storage methods.

Since then, jicama has become a staple crop in Mexico, Peru, and Central America.

The yacón, arboloco, leafcup, yacuma, and Mexican potato are all names for this tuber.

Jicama is a delicious root vegetable and has also been utilized as a medicinal plant.

For thousands of years, indigenous cultures have used jicama as a natural remedy for various ailments, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and digestive issues.

Jicama is an incredibly versatile plant that can be eaten raw or cooked and enjoyed in various dishes.

Jicama is renowned for its crisp texture and sweet, nutty flavor, making it a popular ingredient in salads and many dishes.

Can You Eat Jicama Raw?

Jicama can be eaten raw or cooked. The skin of jicama is peeled before eating it raw. Jicama skin is thick and fibrous and should be removed before consuming the vegetable.

Once the skin is removed, jicama can be sliced or diced and added to salads, eaten as a snack with a dip or dressing, or used in other recipes.

Raw jicama is crunchy, with a sweet and nutty flavor that adds a fresh touch to salads and other dishes.

The flavor of jicama is similar to that of apples but with a texture more like that of a potato.

It also does not change color quickly when left out in the open air.

Raw jicama is a popular addition to raw vegetable platters for this reason. As an appetizer, it is served with a bit of chili powder and lime juice.

Jicama is also a great addition to sandwiches and tacos, adding flavor and crunch. In Mexico, it is often served with lime juice, chili powder, and salt.

To prepare it for raw consumption, jicama can be cut into thin strips or diced into cubes and served as a salad or dip.

Benefits of Eating Jicama Raw

Eating jicama raw offers a variety of health benefits.

Not only is it a low-calorie, fiber-filled snack that can help keep you full for longer, but it is also rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium.

The phytonutrients in jicama are associated with several health benefits, including improved digestion and immune system function.

Additionally, the raw form of jicama contains resistant starch, a dietary fiber that can help support digestive health.

Some health benefits of jicama are given below:

Blood Sugar Regulation

Consuming jicama can help regulate blood sugar levels. Jicama’s high content of resistant starch also helps slow digestion, which can benefit those with blood sugar issues.

Additionally, the high fiber content of jicama helps slow glucose absorption from food, further contributing to better blood sugar regulation.

By reducing glucose absorption into the bloodstream, jicama can help reduce spikes in blood sugar that can harm one’s health.

Digestive Health

Jicama can also benefit digestive health due to its high fiber content.

Eating jicama regularly can help support a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, reducing the risk of gastrointestinal issues and improving overall digestive health.

Furthermore, the fiber in jicama can help increase regularity and reduce constipation.

It can also help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by regulating digestion.

Anticancer Properties

Jicama also has antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage, reducing the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Many studies have indicated that jicama has potent anticancer properties.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that jicama extract could help reduce the size and number of tumors in mice with stomach cancer.

Additionally, a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences showed that jicama extract might reduce the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the spread of cancer to other body parts.

Respiratory Protection

Jicama may also have benefits for those suffering from respiratory problems.

A study published in the journal Nutrients found that jicama juice may help improve lung function and reduce respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing.

Moreover, the journal Phytotherapy Research revealed that jicama extract might effectively treat asthma, reducing inflammation and improving lung function.

Based on these results, jicama may be a good supplement for people with breathing problems.

Side Effects of Eating Jicama Raw

Eating jicama raw can cause some mild digestive side effects in some people, including bloating, gas, and indigestion.

While it may be beneficial for asthma patients, people who are sensitive to the effects of raw jicama should consult with their doctor before adding the extract to their raw food diets. Other than that, consuming raw jicama is generally safe and healthy.


Jicama is a member of the Fabaceae family and a root vegetable.

It is known for its sweet and crunchy texture and is a popular addition to salads, tacos, salsas, and other dishes.

It originated in Mexico and Central America but is now grown worldwide. Jicama is a tuberous root vegetable known as Mexican yam or turnip.

Jicama has various health benefits, such as its high fiber content and low calories and carbohydrates.

Additionally, jicama is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.

The health benefits include improved digestive health, weight loss support, reduced inflammation, and better regulation of blood sugar levels. Jicama is also a rich source of antioxidants, which help protect against oxidative damage and chronic diseases.

In conclusion, jicama is a highly nutritious root vegetable with many health benefits.

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