Pachyrhizus erosus, also known as Jicama or the Mexican yam, is a delicious,sweet-tasting, and crunchy food similar to a sweet potato, although it is without edible skin. It is also known to be crispy, juicy, and lightly sweet like a pear that contains a lot of water, about 80% to 85%. Jicama is rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, carotene, vitamins A, B, C, and E, and mineral elements such as potassium, iron, copper, selenium, and calcium.
It can be eaten raw, and eating jicama can supplement the vitamins and minerals the body needs, and enhance the body's resistance and immunity for humans. In addition, jicama contains a lot of dietary fiber. Can guinea pigs benefit from eating jicama? Can guinea pigs even eat jicama? Answers to these questions and all other ones will be answered in this article.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Jicama
Yes, guinea pigs can eat Jicama but only in moderation. Jicama is a vine also known as a vegetable that belongs to the bean family. And this vegetable is known to be edible for your guinea pigs, especially their roots, all you need to do is slice and put them into tiny pieces before you can offer them to your little cavies. However, this same vegetable does not contain enough micronutrients which are responsible for keeping your little cavies safe on a regular occasion. Also, it is enriched with a high proportion of sugar making it a tasty food for your pets. Therefore, overfeeding them to your cavies may result in a lot of health risks that can be detrimental to their health. To avoid this you should be aware of the correct proportion it should be served to your pets and continue reading to find out.
The correct proportion of feeding Jicama to Guinea Pigs
Since jicama is considered a tasty food and enriched with a lot of sugar content, then you should be aware of the correct proportion you should feed it to them. Failure to heed instructions or allow your guinea pigs to eat will lead to more sugar rush, and this can eventually lead to more health risks and diseases like diabetes. But in the meantime, do not allow your guinea pigs to eat more than 3-4 slices of jicama at a time 2-3 times a week. To attain the daily right macronutrients your guinea pigs need, you should serve it with other vegetables that contain little amount of sugar to balance out.
However, if you are just feeding it to them for the first time, it is best to feed 2-3 slices to them and also place them under 24-hour observation in other to watch out for any bad signs or allergy reactions. If you notice anything, the best thing to do is cut back or not feed it to them again.
What Are the benefits of feeding Jicama to guinea pigs
Jicama may be a tasty food that should be measured before feeding it to guinea pigs, however, they also provide and contain a lot of nutrients that can help your guinea pigs live a healthy lifestyle. Some of the nutrients found in them are listed below
Rich in vitamins
Jicama is enriched with a lot of nutrients, and among them is vitamin C. Guinea pigs are animals that can not produce their vitamin C therefore, they seek after food substance that contains a decent amount of this nutrient. Vitamin C is known for helping to control inflammatory diseases and also to prevent scurvy (a common vitamin C deficiency). Other vitamins you will find are vitamins B, C, and E and all these vitamins also have the various benefits they offer to guinea pigs
Rich in antioxidants
Jicama also contains a decent amount of antioxidants, these nutrients are useful in preventing several diseases, and this occurs by eliminating the toxic substance that is present in the body system of your guinea pigs. They also work with other nutrients to prevent anti-aging and also improve the immune system of your cavies
Rich in fiber
Another essential nutrient that guinea pigs need is dietary fiber, this is because it aids digestion. Other benefits of dietary fiber are regulating bowel movements, maintaining body weight, reducing the risk of diseases like cancer, and also working with other nutrients to control sugar level
Contain low calories
Jicama is nutrients dense vegetable that can help your little cavies maintain their weight. This is because they contain low calories and also, they will work with other nutrients to regulate their sugar level
Can guinea pigs eat Jicama stem, skin, pods, or seeds?
Guinea pigs should not eat jicama stems, this is because they contain a toxic substance called rotenone and which can not be digested in their body system also, this same toxic substance is present in jicama skin, therefore, it should not be offered to guinea pigs. However, studies also show that the seeds of jicama also contain the same toxic substance as others which is why it should not be fed to them even though it is scarce to come by. Lastly, they can eat the pod but only in moderation because they also contain a decent amount of calcium.
Possible health risks of feeding Jicama to guinea pigs
It has been established above that guinea pigs may be beneficial, but if it is offered in the wrong proportion, they may lead to serious health risks. These are some of the examples of what jicama can lead to
Jicama contains 80% to 85% of water molecules, and overfeeding them to your pets may lead to diarrhea or bloatedness. Also, it contains a high proportion of sugar content and this can lead to other digestive and urinary problems like diabetes, digestive disorder, etc
Almost all the part of Jicama (flower, skin, seed, leaves, stem) contains a toxic substance called retonone, and this substance may lead to health risks because the body system of your cavies can not digest them.
Guinea pigs can indeed eat jicama, but it should only be in moderation. This is because of the high amount of sugar content present in them. It is also essential to peel and cut off the various part of the plants that may be dangerous for your pets. To know everything you need concerning jicama, you can scroll up to read this article.