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Lotus Root: The Versatile Rhizome with Many Health Benefits

The lotus flower, a gorgeous pink-hued or white flowering perennial water plant, India’s national flower, is known as “Kamal” or “Padmini.” The lotus plant has the scientific name Nelumbo nucifera and belongs to the Nelumbonaceae family. It is a sacred plant that represents divine beauty and purity.

Lotus plants thrive in the mud of shallow ponds, marshes, lagoons, and flooded fields and are native to Asia, Australia, New Guinea, and portions of the Middle East. Lotus roots get procured from early August to late September. In traditional farming, farmers feel for rhizomes with their toes and dig them out with their hands. The lotus plant is edible in almost every aspect. The leaves, seeds, flowers, fruit, and rhizomes of Lotus are all edible and have medicinal properties.

Dried Lotus flowers have been used in traditional medicine to treat bleeding disorders, particularly significant blood loss during heavy menstruation. It also helps treat diarrhoea by lowering faeces’ frequency with which one passes. In addition, the paste of lotus petals or lotus seed oil, according to Ayurveda, moisturises and rejuvenates the skin.

Lotus Roots

Lotus Roots, also known as Kamal Kakdi, are a versatile food that has long been a staple of Indian and Asian cuisines. These roots are added to various dishes, from pickles to curries to fries. Lotus root is an edible rhizome, a bulb derived from the same-named flower that can be peeled, sliced, and consumed raw or cooked. 

Lotus roots are cylindrical and brown. When sliced crosswise, a lace-like design with pea-sized holes appears. The root is crunchy, mild in flavour, and very delicious. Lotus roots have negligible saturated fat and cholesterol levels. Several nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and fibre provide numerous health advantages, including weight reduction, acid reflux or indigestion, immunity, piles management, inflammation healing, and improvement of blood circulation, heart, brain, and skin health. 

Nutritional Value of Lotus Root

As per USDA, 100 grams of lotus root contains the following nutritional values.

Water: 79.1 gEnergy: 74 kcalProtein: 2.6 gLipid (fat): 0.1 gAsh: 0.97 gCarbohydrate: 17.2 gFibre, total dietary: 4.9 g

Vitamins and Minerals

Various vitamins and minerals are present in Lotus Root.

Calcium, Ca: 45 mgIron, Fe: 1.16 mgMagnesium, Mg: 23 mgPhosphorus, P: 100 mgPotassium, K: 556 mgSodium, Na: 40 mgVitamin C (ascorbic acid): 44 mgFolate: 13 µg

Lotus root contains lots of water (79.1g) and has a low calorie, carbohydrate, and fat content. A 100g lotus root contains 74kcal of calories, most of which come from carbohydrates followed by protein and fat. Therefore, taking 100 g of raw lotus root will get 2.6 g of protein and 17.2 g of carbohydrate with 4.9grams of dietary fibre and minimal sugar.

The lotus root’s glycemic index (GI) is 33, making it a low GI food. So, it’s a good choice for preventing blood sugar increases after meals.

Lotus root contains several essential micronutrients such as potassium (556 mg), phosphorus (100 mg), copper, vitamin B6, and iron. It also contains vitamin C (44mg) and folate (13µg). Vitamin C is a highly water-soluble antioxidant necessary for collagen formation in the body, protecting against scurvy and boosting immunity.

The lotus root includes a tiny amount of calcium, magnesium, numerous B vitamins, and a small quantity of pantothenic acid. Both potassium and magnesium reduce blood pressure, and potassium helps relieve blood vessel tension and counteracts the effects of excessive sodium in the blood through excretion.

The HealthifyMe Note

According to USDA data, Lotus root is naturally cholesterol-free, fat-free, and low in calories. In addition, because of its particular nutrient distribution, lotus root is ideal for weight loss. It also has a high potassium and magnesium content, which helps lower blood pressure.

Health Benefits of Lotus Root

Promotes Blood Circulation

The consumption of lotus root boosts energy by regulating blood circulation. As a result, all body organs are oxygenated, sufficient for good circulation. In addition, studies show that lotus root is high in copper and iron, which helps red blood cell development.

Helps in Weight Management

Lotus root is a rich source of dietary fibre. Dietary fibre regulates energy intake, thus enhancing weight loss or maintaining healthy body weight. Studies show that increasing dietary fibre consumption may decrease energy absorption by diluting a diet’s energy availability while preserving other vital nutrients. Furthermore, a high-fibre diet keeps you full and satisfied for extended periods, which may help you lose weight.

Regulates Blood Pressure

As per research, Lotus root contains potassium, which has antihypertensive benefits. In addition, it widens the arteries, which helps minimise blood vessel tension and improve blood flow. As a result, blood pressure stays controlled, reducing the possibility of hypertension.

Potassium in Lotus Roots makes it an excellent vasodilator, which helps reduce the bad cholesterol in our blood. It also lowers the risk of heart attacks by preventing artery blockage.

Improves Heart Health and Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases

Specific components in the lotus root are pretty suitable for our hearts. It contains potassium, a vasodilator, and dietary fibre, both of which aid in removing cholesterol from the bloodstream. Research shows that lotus root vegetables also contain pyridoxine. It helps keep our hearts healthy by controlling homocysteine levels in the blood.

Potassium aids in the balance of body fluids and even counteracts the effects of salt. Potassium also helps relax blood vessels and promote blood flow by lowering blood vessel stiffness and contraction, relieving the cardiovascular system of stress.

Aids in Digestion

Lotus root is an ideal source of dietary fibre. It helps improve bowel movements by absorbing water in the intestines and softening the stool. Thus, resulting in a smooth pass out of the stool. In addition, research suggests that dietary fibre intake increases stool frequency in patients with constipation.

This dietary fibre provides bulk to the stool and aids in its removal from the body, preventing us from becoming sick from things like diarrhoea and constipation. In addition, the Lotus root’s high fibre content helps in the secretion of gastric juices, aiding digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Lotus Roots Strengthens Immunity

Research suggests that vitamin C aids immune protection by supporting innate and adaptive immune systems’ cellular functioning. It also helps in regulating bowel movements. The antioxidant vitamin C, abundant in lotus root, is quite powerful. By combating free radicals in our cells, vitamin C shields us from illnesses like cancer and heart disease. In addition, vitamin C is a component of collagen, which helps to maintain the stiffness and strength of blood vessels, skin, and organs. 

Studies show that one of the components of the vitamin B complex found in Lotus root is pyridoxine. Pyridoxine interacts with neural receptors in the brain to assist your mood and mental wellness. Lotus root also helps treat other ailments such as headaches, stress, and irritability. In addition, vitamin B3 (Niacin) contributes to energy creation, mental health, and nervous system function.

Lotus root is considered a copper-rich meal. Copper helps raise energy levels, build bones, and support metabolism, but it also helps boost brain health by allowing neuronal connections to operate appropriately.

Lotus Roots Improves Skin Health and Complexion

Lotus root has a high vitamin C content. Studies show that vitamin C promotes your skin’s health in various ways, thanks to its antioxidant component.

Vitamin C is present in abundance in our skin. This vitamin increases collagen production, protects the skin from free radical and ultraviolet damage, and aids in reversing ageing indications. Vitamin C also helps reduce hyperpigmentation symptoms such as dark spots and skin discolouration.

The HealthifyMe Note

The intake of lotus root boosts energy levels by improving blood circulation. It also includes vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity and promotes skin health, thanks to its antioxidant component. It also aids in the control of bowel movements. In addition, niacin (Vitamin B3) is a B vitamin that helps with energy production, mental wellness, and nervous system function.

Homemade Recipes for Lotus Root

Baked Lotus Root Chips

Serves: 2 servings

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients 

Lotus Roots: 200 gBlack Pepper: 1 tspSalt: ½ tspOlive oil: 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation

Preheat the oven to 325 ℉.In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.Drizzle the roots with oil and lay them on a baking sheet.Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.Using a paper towel, absorb excess liquid. Serve with a dip or season with your spices.

Nutrition Facts per Serving size of 15 pieces

Calories: 150 kcalCarbohydrate: 19 gProtein: 1 gFat: 2 gFibre: 0.37 gCalcium: 10 mgSodium: 110 mgPotassium: 159 mg

Lotus Root Sabzi

Serves: 4-6 servings

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Ingredients 

Lotus Root: 12 oz (approx 300 grams), peeled and slicedOil: 1 tbspTurmeric Powder: ¼ tspGinger Garlic Paste: 1 tbspTomatoes: 4 medium, pureedRed Chilli Powder: ½ tsp or to tasteGaram Masala: ½ tspCoriander Powder: 1 tbspSalt to tasteWater: ½ cupCilantro (Coriander): 5 sprigs, chopped for garnishing

Method of Preparation

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.Add turmeric powder and ginger and garlic paste. Then cook for 30 seconds.Add pureed tomatoes, red chilli powder, garam masala, and a little salt. Combine and cook until tomatoes soften and all moisture has evaporated (approx 12 minutes).Add Lotus Root and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.Add 1/2 cup water, cover it with a lid, and continue to cook for 5 minutes.Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with chapati or paratha.

Nutrition Facts per Serving

Calories: 167 kcalCarbohydrate: 6.3 gProtein: 1.2 gFat: 15.2 gCholesterol: 0 gFibre: 2.8 gSodium: 7.3 mg

Storage and Food Safety 

A lotus root that has not been washed should be wrapped in a moist cloth and preserved in the refrigerator for a week or two. Keep the ingredient cool, store it in an airtight container, and use it as soon as possible if it has been peeled and sliced. It’s best to soak the exposed parts in acidulated water, which you can produce by diluting ordinary water with a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice to help keep the colour fresh and remove any bitterness.

Precautionary Measures and Allergies

Diabetes

Lotus root may help people with diabetes lower their blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and use Lotus as a medicine, look for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) indicators and closely check your blood sugar levels.

Pregnant Women

There is insufficient evidence about the safety of ingesting lotus root as a medicine when pregnant or breastfeeding. So, it is advisable to avoid being on the safe side.

Surgery

Lotus root may help to reduce blood sugar levels. However, it’s possible that using lotus root as medicine will affect blood sugar regulation during and after surgical procedures. Therefore, stop taking the lotus root at least two weeks before your procedure.

Allergies

People can be allergic to lotus roots, though this is uncommon. However, a case study shows a 6-year-old girl who developed adverse symptoms after eating fried lotus roots.

The HealthifyMe Note

Lotus root has complex carbs, several nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and fibre, which provide numerous health benefits. As a result, it aids in weight management, digestion, immunity, excretion, and inflammation healing. It also improves stress management by improving blood circulation and heart health.

Summary

Lotus roots, also known as kamal kakdi, are a versatile food that has long been a staple of Indian and Asian cuisines. They are high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, C, thiamin, pantothenic acid, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, and manganese. Lotus root includes compounds that reduce swelling, destroy cancer cells and bacteria, lower blood sugar, aid fat breakdown, and protect the heart and blood arteries, among other things. In addition, lotus root chemicals preserve the skin, liver, and brain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What are the health benefits of lotus root?

A. Lotus root extract is advantageous to your health because it has a lot of beneficial elements. It is high in antioxidants, which help to protect cells from oxidative damage and contribute to its hepatoprotective properties. It also possesses diuretic and astringent properties that may help with weight management. Lotus root extract is also high in alkaloids, which can help with irregular heartbeat, strength, and sexual function. It may also be beneficial in treating diabetes, infertility, and urinary tract infections.

Q. Is eating lotus root good for you?

A. Lotus root contains several nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and fibre, which provide numerous health benefits. It aids in weight loss, acid reflux or indigestion, immunity, pile control, and inflammation healing. It also helps with stress management by improving blood circulation and heart health.

Q. What is the nutritional value of lotus root?

A. As per USDA, a 100 g portion of Lotus root contains 60 calories. It provides 0.1 grams of fat, 2.6 grams of protein, 17.2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 4.9 grams of dietary fibre, with the rest consisting of complex carbohydrates. Lotus root includes no saturated fat and no cholesterol in its natural form. Lotus root contains IU vitamin A, 44 mg vitamin C, 0 mg vitamin D per 100 g, 1.16 mg iron, 45 mg calcium, and 556 mg potassium in raw form.

Q. Is lotus root high in carbs?

A. No. Lotus roots have a moderate level of carbs, and carbohydrates make up most of the calories in lotus roots. According to the USDA, a 100 g meal of cooked lotus roots has 17.2 grams of carbohydrates, 4.9 grams of fibre, and very little sugar. Lotus root has a glycemic index of 33 and a glycemic load of 3, making it a low-GI food. Foods with a low GI value get digested and absorbed slowly, whereas those with a high GI value are swiftly absorbed.

Q. Can diabetics eat lotus root?

A. Yes, people with diabetes can eat lotus root as its high dietary fibre content delays the absorption of sugar in the body via reducing carbohydrate digestion. As a result, lotus root is an excellent diabetic snack. In addition, lotus root extract has also been proven to have anti-diabetic properties and can be used to treat diabetes.

Q. Is lotus root good for weight loss?

A. Yes, lotus root could help you lose weight due to the anti-obesity properties of lotus leaves, rhizomes, and seeds. It reduces fat and carbohydrate absorption, boosts lipid metabolism, and lowers energy expenditure by inhibiting the activity of specific digestive enzymes.

Q. Can lotus root be eaten raw?

A. It’s advisable don’t eat lotus roots uncooked since they are bitter and astringent due to the presence of tannins while cooking decreases the bitterness; thus, it tastes best cooked. It also has a high risk of bacterial infections, so wash them gently and thoroughly cook them before eating.

Q. Does lotus root have protein?

A. Yes, lotus root contains a sufficient amount of protein 2.6 g in 100g, as per USDA data. Therefore, it is helpful for the growth and maintenance of muscle, immune function, and maintaining healthy bones, skin, hair, and nails.

Q. Does the lotus root have an iron?

A. Yes, lotus root contains 1.16 mg of iron in 100g, as per USDA data. Iron levels are raised by eating lotus root, and iron keeps you running by allowing oxygen to get to your cells. When a person is iron deficient, they generally feel weary, sluggish, and have difficulty concentrating.

Q. Is lotus root good for the liver?

A. Yes, it is good for the liver as it contains tannin, an astringent compound with numerous liver-protecting properties. In addition, because they have specific phytoconstituents, they are effective in liver problems such as fatty liver. These phytoconstituents function by keeping a protein hormone (adiponectin) in check. It aids in the digestion of complex fats and sugars.

Q. Does Lotus get you high?

A. No, lotus root doesn’t get you high, but blue lotus flower consumption can make you feel “high.” The blue lotus flower is a psychoactive substance used to treat insomnia and anxiety. But a higher amount of consumption through inhalation may cause mild euphoria and hallucinations. Therefore, the blue lotus flower is officially prohibited for human consumption in the United States.

Q. Is lotus root anti-inflammatory?

A. Lotus can help reduce inflammation since it contains chemical compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. These components alleviate inflammation by soothing irritated tissues, and Lotus is used to treat haemorrhoids because of this feature.

Q. Is lotus root high in fibre?

A. Lotus root contains 4.9 grams of dietary fibre, which can meet up to 27% of your daily fibre requirements, depending on your age and gender. Because lotus roots are high in fibre, you’ll feel fuller after only a few calories. In addition, the lotus root’s high fibre content helps in the secretion of gastric juices, aiding digestion and absorption of nutrients.

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