7 Amazing Benefits of Lotus Root

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

Lotus root, as the name implies, is the root of the lotus flower and has a wide range of health benefits. This is mostly owing to its rich nutritional composition. Some benefits are considered to be improved digestion, boost the immune system and balancing mood.

What is Lotus Root?

Lotus flowers are aquatic plants of the Nelumbonaceae family. The lotus flower has been a powerful element of numerous Asian countries for thousands of years, representing purity, sexual innocence, and divine beauty. It is an important element in numerous cultural practices and religions. It is also a stunningly beautiful flower that embeds its roots in the bottom of the lake, stream, river, or another body of water. while the pad and the emerging flower float on top of the water. They are aquatic perennials, with seeds that can germinate long after falling dormant. It is said that a lotus flower seed more than 1,300 years old was once brought “back from the dead” and flowered in a laboratory. [1]

The lotus root (or rhizome) is a long, woody object that attaches to the bottom of the pad and can stretch up to four feet. It can be washed, sliced, and then prepared. It is frequently used as a vegetable in Asian cuisines, including within soups; it can also be deep-fried, stir-fried, braised, or cooked in other interesting ways. It is also used in the natural or powdered form in traditional herbal medicine.

It is commonly pickled as a snack and is included in dishes with prawns. Given its tangy and slightly sweet taste, it is often used as a salad topping. It has the texture of a potato and tastes slightly like coconuts before any extra flavoring is added.

A bowl filled with lotus root chips on a wooden background

A plate of lotus root crisps Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Lotus root, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]79.1
Energy 74
Energy [kJ]311
Protein [g]2.6
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.1
Ash [g]0.97
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]17.23
Fiber, total dietary [g]4.9
Calcium, Ca [mg]45
Iron, Fe [mg]1.16
Magnesium, Mg [mg]23
Phosphorus, P [mg]100
Potassium, K [mg]556
Sodium, Na [mg]40
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.39
Copper, Cu [mg]0.26
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.26
Selenium, Se [µg]0.7
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]44
Thiamin [mg]0.16
Riboflavin [mg]0.22
Niacin [mg]0.4
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.38
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.26
Folate, total [µg]13
Folate, food [µg]13
Folate, DFE [µg]13
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.03
16:0 [g]0.03
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.02
16:1 [g]0
18:1 [g]0.01
20:1 [g]0
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.02
18:2 [g]0.01
18:3 [g]0.01
Tryptophan [g]0.02
Threonine [g]0.05
Isoleucine [g]0.05
Leucine [g]0.07
Lysine [g]0.09
Methionine [g]0.02
Cystine [g]0.02
Phenylalanine [g]0.05
Tyrosine [g]0.03
Valine [g]0.06
Arginine [g]0.09
Histidine [g]0.04
Alanine [g]0.05
Aspartic acid [g]0.37
Glutamic acid [g]0.14
Glycine [g]0.16
Proline [g]0.14
Serine [g]0.06
Sources include : USDA [2]

Lotus Root Nutrition Facts

Before we delve into the health benefits of lotus roots, let’s explore the nutritional components that make it such a healthy delicacy.

The boon of lotus root can be attributed to its unique mix of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, including potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, and manganese, as well as thiamin, pantothenic acid, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. It is also a very significant source of dietary fiber and a decent source of protein. [3]

Health Benefits of Lotus Root

Lotus root is rich in nutrients that benefit our body in many ways. Let’s have a look at them in detail.

May Help Improve Blood Circulation

As part of a balanced diet, lotus root can be a wonderful way to stimulate blood circulation and energy levels. The iron and copper content in lotus roots is significant, and they are both integral parts of red blood cell production, helping in reducing the chances of developing anemic symptoms and increasing vitality and blood flow. [4]

Possible Stress Reduction

One of the elements of the vitamin B complex is pyridoxine, which is thought to directly interact with the brain’s neural receptors, which influence mood and mental states. In folk medicine, it is thought to control irritability, headaches, and stress levels. Lotus flowers are often connected with peace and tranquility but it is the lotus root, which delivers the peace people are looking for. [5]

May Help Regulate Blood Pressure

Similarly, with other foods, significant levels of potassium – such as potatoes, tomatoes, and avocado – the content in the lotus root is also high. Adequate amounts of potassium in the diet, in healthy individuals, is vital to ensure a proper balance between the fluids in the body and also counteract the effects of sodium in our bloodstream. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes blood vessels. Thus, by lessening the contraction and rigidity, it can help increase blood flow and reduce the strain on the cardiovascular system. Potassium can also be an essential component of neural activity and the passage of fluid and blood in the brain. [6]

May Help Improve Digestion

The woody, fleshy lotus root has a healthy serving of dietary fiber, which is known to bulk up the stool and expedite bowel movements. Adequate dietary fiber can reduce symptoms of constipation while optimizing nutrient absorption. This is possibly done by increasing the secretion of digestive and gastric juices and stimulating peristaltic motion in the intestinal muscles to facilitate easy and regular bowel movements. [7]

Possibly Rich in Vitamin C

When we talk about the nutrient content of lotus root, vitamin C is one prominent nutrient. One hundred grams of lotus root contains 73 percent of your daily requirement of this powerful antioxidant vitamin. Vitamin C is an important component of collagen, which can hel maintains the integrity and strength of our blood vessels, organs, and skin, and is also a major stimulant for the immune system. Furthermore, vitamin C can neutralize free radicals in the body, which are dangerous by-products of cellular metabolism that may increase the risk of chronic conditions. [8] [9]

May Aid in Managing Weight

Lotus roots are a good option for people trying to manage their weight. By including low-calorie foods that are high in nutrients and fiber, you are able to get all the nutrients you need, and might still feel full, so you reduce the chances of overeating and thereby, manage obesity. [10]

Possibly Rich in Vitamin A

This is another essential vitamin found in lotus roots, which can help improve the health of the skin, hair, and eyes. Vitamin A has antioxidant capabilities and can prevent macular degeneration and other ocular conditions. It also helps to speed up wound healing and treat skin conditions and inflammation. [11]

Word of Caution: There are no inherent risks of lotus root; however some choose to eat lotus roots raw, which can spread parasites or bacterial infections. Therefore, it is recommended to always cook lotus roots before consuming them as a part of your diet.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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