The most impressive health benefits of arrowroot include its ability to promote growth and development, help with weight loss goals, ease stomach issues, prevent birth defects, boost the metabolism, increase circulation, reduce blood pressure, and promote a healthy digestive system.
What is Arrowroot?
Arrowroot is not technically a plant in itself, but rather a type of starch that can be readily obtained from the roots of numerous different plants and rhizomes. This high nutrient density starch has been very valuable to a number of indigenous cultures dating back more than 7,000 years, but despite the fact that so many herbal remedies have been disproven or have gone out of use, arrowroot remains an important and effective remedy for many health conditions. It can be used as a replacement for many foods, rather than flour or corn. Essentially arrowroot powder can be a healthier alternative to the common cooking ingredients for bread, pasta, and cakes. Arrowroot is also gluten-free, which makes it all the more valuable today with the rising incidence of celiac disease in many countries.
One of the most common uses of arrowroot is as a food thickener, but it can also be eaten on its own, even for infants in their formula rather than other less nutritious forms of starch. You can eat the root of these various tubers raw, roasted, boiled or stewed without losing the potency and nutrients.
Health Benefits of Arrowroot
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the many health benefits of arrowroot.
Increased Blood Circulation
The rich nutrient mixture found in arrowroot includes significant levels of copper and iron. These two essential minerals are important parts of red blood cells and hence make arrowroot very good for preventing anemia, which is characterized by weakness, fatigue, and cognitive disorders. Furthermore, by increasing circulation, you encourage oxygenation of your body’s organ systems and extremities, which can boost your energy levels.
The high concentration of vitamin B within arrowroot makes it an important enzymatic and metabolic substance. The B-vitamin family is very important in regulating processes throughout your body, from hormonal release to circadian rhythms, meaning that you never want a deficiency in that department!
Lower Birth Defects
One particular member of the B family of vitamins is folate, and it is found in high levels within arrowroot. Studies have shown that folate is important for expecting mothers, as it can help to prevent neural tube defects in their unborn child. Folate is also an important factor in DNA synthesis and healthy cell division, thereby promoting rapid healing and healthy growth.
Reduced Stomach Concerns
Celiac disease seems to be the new global pandemic, and as the numbers continue to climb around the world, people are seeking a gluten-free alternative to traditional starches and wheat. Arrowroot is a gluten-free substance, making it very popular in recent years, as it can prevent the gastrointestinal discomfort, pain, and danger that those handling a gluten intolerance must face every day.
Growth and Development
As compared to other root vegetables and starches acquires from tubers, arrowroot has a higher concentration of protein, an essential component of any diet. By increasing our dietary intake of plant proteins, which are easier to process than animal proteins, we can guarantee healthy growth and development.
Arrowroot is extremely low in calories as compared to other starches like yams, potatoes or cassava. For this reason, people trying to remain on a diet can get complex carbohydrates and a wealth of nutrients, as well as a healthy dose of dietary fiber, which can eliminate the desire to snack between meals. Arrowroot fills you up and gives you the minerals and vitamins your body needs.
Dietary fiber is one of the most important parts of our digestive process, as it helps move food through the bowels in an efficient manner, while also stimulating the uptake of nutrients. It can eliminate issues of constipation and diarrhea, and manage blood sugar levels to prevent the onset of diabetes. Finally, dietary fiber can help to clear out excess cholesterol, further promoting cardiovascular health.
Improved Heart Health
The significant levels of potassium found in arrowroot mean that it can be a definite line of defense against heart-related issues. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes the tension in the blood vessels and arteries, thereby lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Potassium is also known as a cognitive enhancer, promoting the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain.
Arrowroot Flour: Buy & Store
Buying: Arrowroot is available as a powder in its standard form, and is commercially known as arrowroot flour. It turns translucent, odorless, and jelly-like when added to boiled water. When purchasing it from supermarkets ensure to check its authenticity as cheaper brands may adulterate it with substances like corn-starch, tapioca, potato powder, etc.
Storing: Do not refrigerate it. Store it in cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Arrowroot has been used traditionally for medicinal, agricultural, and manufacturing reasons as follows:
- Topical application of arrowroot powder heals wounds from black spider and scorpion bites
- The powder was used to treat the injury from poisoned arrows, hence, the name
- Apply the powder in the affected area to seize gangrene
- Directly apply arrowroot powder to the gums or mix it in juice or other beverages and drink it to get relief from mouth and gum pain
- The rhizome can be fertilized to form compost
- Shoot tip and leaves are used as feed for chicken, pigs, and goats
- Sauce thickener
- Thickener in infants’ formula
- Leaves can be used as biodegradable plates
- Natural deodorant
- Replaces wheat in various gluten-free products
Word of Caution: There is no known dangers or toxicity to arrowroot. It can even be used in baby’s formulas with no adverse side effects.