Today’s Health-e-Recipe pairs crunchy and sweet jicama with a fruity salsa. Jicama is a root vegetable, also know as a Mexican turnip. You can find it in the produce section usually near other root veggies like turnips and beets. It packs 6 grams of cancer-fighting fiber for less than 50 calories. Jicama makes a great addition to your vegetable platter raw, but can also be cooked.
Here’s more information about jicama from our nutrition advisor, Karen Collins, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND.
Q: How do you prepare jicama?
A: Jicama (hee-kah-mah) is a root vegetable that looks like a cross between a turnip and a potato. You can peel it, slice it into strips and serve it raw in salads or with a low fat dip. You can also cook it by steaming, stir-frying, or oven roasting. Jicamas have a mild flavor and crunchy texture.
You should choose smaller ones because they’re less woody. They should be free of bruises. A whole cup of raw jicama contains only about 50 calories. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber.
A fiber-rich bean-based meal can be just as satisfying as a protein-rich beef-based meal, according to a recent short-term study, published in the Journal of Food Science. The findings are good news if you want to cut back on red meat and up your fiber intake – both recommendations for cancer prevention.
This early study included 28 healthy adults (50% women) who consumed 2 “meatloaf” test meals on separate visits matched for portion size, calorie, and total fat content.
Meal one was a high protein beef meatloaf, about one-half the daily value of protein (26 grams), and one-eighth the daily value fiber (3 grams).
Meal two was a high fiber, moderate protein bean-based “meatloaf” – about one-third the daily value protein (17grams ), and half the daily value fiber (12 grams).
Researchers compared the effect of both meals on reported hunger, satiety, and fullness, as well as calorie intake at later meals.
What you eat can play a big role in preventing colorectal cancer, with research showing that fiber-filled foods lower risk; red and processed meats increase it. Now a study hones in on how diet can affect risk, showing that swapping a high-fiber healthy diet for a low-fiber western-style diet alters gut bacteria and signs of inflammation that may play a role in colon cancer.
The study is published in Nature Communicationsand it adds to a growing body of research on how our bacteria – our microbiota – play a role in cancer risk.
For the study, researchers flipped the diets of 20 African Americans and 20 South Africans for two weeks. All the participants had colonoscopy exams before and after the diet swap.
The Americans were served African-style foods, almost quadrupling their fiber intake to an amount equal to over 3.5 cups of beans. At the same time, they cut their calories from fat in half. Africans went the opposite direction, dramatically cutting their fiber and upping their fat intake.
After two weeks on the African diet, the Americans had less markers of inflammation in the colon while those same markers increased among the Africans eating the less healthy diet. There were also opposing increases and decreases of the compound butyrate, which forms from digesting fiber and is linked to lowering colon cancer risk. The American group was producing more butyrate; the Africans on the American diet less. Read more… “Diet Swap Alters Gut Bacteria, Signs of Colon Cancer Risk”
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