It’s Autumn, and prime season for the delicious jicama – a fiber-rich, gently sweet, very hydrating, and generally overlooked tuber. As many of you are aware, I am a big fan of starchy tubers and humble roots. They literally pulled me up out of a severely compromised state of inflammation, brain fog, and chronic migraine headaches and into my new life now where I can think clearly, be more available and energetic with my young son and husband, eat a wide variety of foods without severe consequences, and help others to heal themselves with these antihistamine roots.
The recipe I share below is fantastic for a number of reasons: 1) It includes a variety of foods that contain both arabinogalactan and inulin prebiotics, essential for good digestion and lowering histamine in the colon 2) the recipe mutes the strong taste of radish, which some people want to ingest for its insane health benefits, but whose flavor they don’t prefer, and 3) it is hydrating, cooling, anti-inflammatory and downright refreshing – not to mention delicious.
I personally don’t mind the taste of radishes one iota. I love the combination of crisp crunch, sweet white meat, and pungent, invigorating red rind. I snack on radishes a few times a day (ever heard the Chinese saying, “A radish a day keeps the doctor poor?”). But once in awhile it is fun to mix radishes up in a creative way and see how their character can mesh with other unique flavors such as mint and jicama.
Antihistamine properties of this salad
Technically speaking, the only foods featured here that are truly antihistamines are the watercress and blackseeds – these foods directly block the cellular receptors for histamine. Prebiotic soluble fibers present in the roots of this salad are actually very potent antihistamines in their own right as well. They reduce histamine indirectly (but very profoundly) by feeding friendly flora that crowd out histamine-producing flora.
Let’s start with a little primer on jicama and then explore some of the other ingredients in this salad. Like most foods made so exquisitely well for us by our sweetest Mother Nature, jicama has many benefits not to be overlooked! But here I want to just highlight two of its nutrtitional properties – it is a very good source of vitamin C and also contains B6. As we know here at Simplywell, Vitamin C is a mast cell stabilizer (ie, it reduces histamine). While vitamin C is usually known as a potent anti-oxidant, it is actually a pro-oxidant because it turns into hydrogen peroxide further down the line. Our bodies, unlike other mammals, don’t produce vitamin C, so we really need it in our diet. Vitamin B6 is also important because it is needed by the body to assimilate B12, increases serotonin in the brain and gut, and is needed to convert excessive inflammatory glutamate into calming GABA.
But I digress away from our friend the jicama. Back in the late 1800’s Gen. Rivera and his Mexican army listened to a wise woman and used it to cure thousands of soldiers of typhus fever and pneumonia. Jicama is full of inulin prebiotic fiber which binds to pathogenic viruses and bacteria. The wise woman who shared this wonderful root with Gen. Rivera didn’t know what inulin was. But she knew jicama’s effects and shared it freely.
If you’ve read my Simplywell Migraine Protocol e-book, you’ll know already that carrots are incredible not only because they contain arabinogalactans (another kind of prebiotic), but because they lower excessive estrogen, which also contributes to histamine. So carrots are antihistamine as well – however indirectly.
Watercress is a wonferful antihistamine green that should be used if you can get ahold of it – replace with arugula or other greens if it’s not available.
I decided to throw a few roasted blackseeds on this salad because the contrast of the blackseeds with the red and orange colors was pretty – but also because blackseeds (aka nigella sativa or kalonji) are antihistamine as well (not to mention, they increase glutathione production by 500%).
But best of all, the arabinogalactan and inulin prebiotics in this salad will feed the friendly bacteria in your colon and, as I mentioned, crowd out the unfriendly histamin-producing bacteria. In so doing, they will also raise GABA levels, thereby putting the brakes on excessive glutamate, which we know also contributes to migraine headaches and inflammation. Once these friendly bacteria are proliferating thanks to ingestion of foods like this salad and implementation of other lifestyle choices as outlined in the SImplywell Migraine Relief Protocol, the histamine-producing bacteria in the gut won’t have such a stronghold, and your overall histamine load or “bucket” will be considerably reduced.
Again, THANK YOU Mother Nature. She trumps the corporate pharmaceuticals yet again. Gratitude.
Here’s the Recipe:
1/2 c thinly sliced jicama
1/2 cup grated carrots
3-4 thinly sliced radishes
3 Tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
juice of 1/2 orange or tangerine
juice of 1/2 lime
dash of salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkling of roasted blackseeds (aka, kalonji, nigella sativa)
1 handful of watercress (or arugula)
Note: If you live in a place where jicama is not available or in season, this salad is delicious made with apple or cucumber. You’ll still get some prebiotic and antihistamine benefit from the radishes and carrots. If you’d like to download the Simplywell Migraine Protocol e-book and learn how to banish migraines and histamine intolerance symptoms, go to the homepage and subscribe to get it!