Can dogs eat jicama? If you are a dog owner, you are probably worried about anything your little pal puts in his mouth.
And it`s completely normal – his health concerns you now just about the same as you are concerned about your own health.
Despite many people`s beliefs, jicama doesn`t come from Central America. Also known as Pachyrhizus erosus, Mexican turnip, or Mexican yam bean, jicama is the name of a vine native from Mexic, South America.
Now jicama mostly refers to the edible tuberous, fleshy root vegetable. Fortunately, dogs are allowed to eat jicama, regardless of the breed. Even if this plant is raw or uncooked, dogs can eat it. However, the only good part about jicama consumption is its root.
Full of Nutrients
The nutrient profile of this new food in a dog`s diet is impressive. Most of the calories of jicama come from carbohydrates, while the rests represent smaller amounts of fat or protein. The jicama plant also contains lots of essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
Actually, just one cup (130 g) has the following:
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This great nutritional vegetable contains smaller amounts of vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, thiamine, zinc, riboflavin, copper, and pantothenic acid.
Obviously, jicama is low amounts of calories, but high amounts of water and fiber, making it great if you are looking for your dog to lose weight.
The jicama plant is a wonderful vitamin C source, a very important vitamin that will act as an antioxidant in your pooch`s body and is required for many enzyme reactions.
It Might Help with Weight Loss
This is a very nutrient-dense type of food because although it has a low-calorie number, it also has a very high nutrient number. It`s also quite high in fiber and water, making it easy for your dog to feel filled up after consuming it.
In addition, jicama`s fiber might aid keeping your dog`s blood sugar steady. Because fiber helps slow digestion, it prevents your canine friend`s blood sugar levels from rising too fast after consuming it. – Read this!
This occurs when cells are much less sensitive to insulin, making it much more difficult for glucose to get into the cells to be used for fuel (energy).
Alternatively, the glucose will remain in your dog`s bloodstream, increasing his levels of blood sugar.
There aren`t any studies on dogs yet; however, research in mice outlines that consuming jicama might raise insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
This great prebiotic fiber, inulin, has been found to be related to weight reduction and has proven to have some impact on hormones that affect fullness or hunger.
Thus, consuming this wonderful and useful plant might only raise the number of gut bacteria which help with weight reduction, but it might aid your little pal to feel a lot more satisfied after finishing his meal.
High Amount of Antioxidants
Jicama has a few antioxidants that are great compounds that aid in preventing damage to cells. Therefore, the health benefits of this herb would bring nutritional benefits if consumed by dogs.
One single cup has almost half of the NRC recommended allowance for vitamin C in dogs. It also has beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium in its structure.
The way this plant`s antioxidants aid protect when it comes to cell damage is that they counteract free radicals, those dangerous molecules which lead to oxidative stress.
This has been proven to be directly related to various illnesses like diabetes, cognitive decline, cancer, or cardiovascular illnesses, some of which may affect dogs as well.
Luckily, a healthy diet rich in foods with high amounts of antioxidants, such as jicama, is able to aid in combat oxidative stress and might even reduce potential health risks such as chronic illnesses.
Researchers have already proven a direct relation between antioxidants in vegetables or fruits and a reduced risk of Alzheimer`s disease, diabetes, or heart disease. Some of these illnesses can be experienced by dogs as well.
It Helps Digestion
As you might already know, dietary fiber can aid your dog’s stomach in improving stool bulk. In fact, what it does is aid it in moving a bit more easily through your friend`s digestive tube.
One single cup of this herb has 6.5 g of fiber, which is more than enough for your dog`s daily needs.
Research has already proven that this can improve bowel movement frequency by a percentage of over 30% when it comes to constipation.
These studies have been made having human foods in mind, but there`s no reason not to consider things the same when talking about our pets.
Having a high amount of water in its structure, jicama actually aids in easing constipation. Foods with high water content, such as our vegetables, can help your dog meet his daily fluid necessities as well.
It Might Decrease Cancer Risk
Jicama has vitamin C and vitamin E in its structure, as well as beta-carotene and selenium. These antioxidants can do the wonderful thing of neutralizing any free radicals they find that might cause cancer or cell damage.
In addition, this herb is considered a great source of dietary fiber, with 1 single cup containing over 6 g of fiber.
According to one research, dietary fiber is known to protect against colon cancer.
This research has proven that people who consumed over 27 g of fiber daily had a fifty percent smaller risk of colon cancer than those who consumed only 11 g.
It`s true that these studies are performed on humans. However, it`s well known that dogs can experience cancer as well, especially old dogs.
According to Pets.webmd.com, 50% of our canine friends of at least 10 years old experience cancer at a certain point. So, it`s only logical to assume that jicama can only benefit when it comes to this.
Prebiotics might decrease the risk of developing cancer by improving the number of healthy bacteria as well as boosting immunity.
Actually, research in mice has proven that adding products that contain inulin to a certain diet might fight against developing colon cancer.
It Could Offer a Boost to Heart Health
Jicama has lots of essential nutrients, making it a wonderful option for improving your dog`s heart health.
It has an important number of soluble dietary fibers, which might aid in decreasing cholesterol levels by simply not allowing bile to be resorbed in the gut. Also, it doesn`t allow his liver to produce even more cholesterol.
This plant also has potassium in its structure, which in turn aids in reducing the pressure of blood by relaxing the vessels. For instance, there`s research that proves potassium is able to protect against stroke and heart illness by reducing blood pressure.
In addition, jicama might improve blood circulation as it has copper and iron in its structure, both being required for red blood cells. A single cup has 0.68 mg of copper as well as 0.78 mg of iron.
Great for Gut Bacteria
Due to the fact that this type of bacteria aids your little pal in digesting what he eats, the kind of food your pooch consumes will have an effect on which bacteria prosper in his gut.
For example, in a research in which adult dogs were given a low-fat diet with a high amount of protein, the balance of microbiome in dogs with excessive weight changed to a balance linked to a healthy weight.
While your pooch`s digestive system may be unable to absorb such prebiotics, the gut bacteria are able to ferment them quite easily.
If your dog’s diet contains a high amount of probiotics, it will increase the number of “healthy” bacteria while reducing the number of unhealthy ones.
Giving your dog foods with high amounts of probiotics will promote the bacteria types, which might decrease the risk of chronic illnesses like kidney disease, obesity, heart disease, or diabetes. – Read more!
This herb can be eaten raw but also cooked. And if it`s cooked, it can be used in a large range of different kinds of dishes.
After removing the rough peel, you can cut the flesh into small quantities of cubes or slices.
Overall, we established that dogs can eat jicama, and that this actually a nutritious food element for your dog’s diet, and it`s quite safe.
With so many great health benefits and its low content of calories, jicama may just become your little pal`s new favorite treat.
Just be careful how you can safely and naturally add this particular vegetable to your pooch`s diet.