Lotus root is a term that is used to describe the root of an aquatic plant that is referred to as the Lotus flower. Lotus flower roots grow by embedding themselves into the bottom of a river, lake, stream, or other apparatus of water. About four feet long, the root or rhizome runs to the top of the water to the floating flower and containing pad.
Origination And Uses of Lotus Root
The root of the Lotus flower has been used historically in Asian countries as a vegetable that is included in Asian inspired cuisines. This vegetable can be prepared by being stir-fried, deep-fried, braised, or sautéed. The root of Lotus is also often mixed in with salad as a topping because it provides a sweet undertone and rich tangy flavor. Root of Lotus flowers are known to be used in soups and stews, as they have a texture that is similar to that of a potato. Some individuals even prepare this vegetable by pickling it and consume it as a healthy power-up snack. The root of Lotus is also used in the health supplement industry as a powder that can be utilized in several ways.
Nutritional Facts And Health Benefits
There are several important nutrients in the root of the Lotus flower that make it a nutritional snack or addition to a dish. Approximately 50 grams of the root of Lotus contains 1.3 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 0.05 grams of fat, and 2.4 grams of dietary fiber. This root of Lotus quantity also contains 22 milligrams of calcium, 0.58 milligrams of iron, 11 milligrams of magnesium, 50 milligrams of phosphorus, 235 milligrams of potassium, 20 milligrams of sodium, and 0.15 milligrams of zinc, and 37 calories.
Roots of the Lotus flower are known to help improve blood circulation because they contain essential minerals such as copper and iron that are required for the production of healthy red blood cells. Higher numbers of healthy red blood cells allow for oxygen to circulate the bloodstream more effectively.
The root of Lotus contains pyridoxine, a critical element of the vitamin B complex that helps maintain the optimal function of the neural receptors in the brain. Neural receptors help manage mental state and mood, including aspects of stress and irritability.
The high concentration of potassium in the root helps to neutralize the effects of high sodium levels on the fluid balance in the body. Potassium also works on the muscle tissues in the lining of the blood vessels, allowing them to dilate easier. This balance and vasodilation result in the proper management of elevated blood pressure levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The rich source of fiber contained in the root helps enhance digestive motility, helping food move through the digestive tract faster and easier. At the same time, gastric juice secretion is stimulated and helps amplify the absorption of nutrients from food.
The root of the Lotus flower is especially beneficial to the skin because it offers a high concentration of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a vital element of a substance in the body that is referred to as collagen. Collagen is a protein that allows the organs, blood vessels, and skin to maintain their strength and durability. Furthermore, vitamin C provides the immune system with a boost and helps protect against damage from free radicals.
While there are no specific elements to the consumption of lotus root and its components that present risks to an individual's health, it should be noted that raw consumption is not recommended. The root should be fully cooked prior to consumption to eliminate the risk of bacterial and or parasitic infection transmission.