Arrowroot Flour Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Arrowroot flour nutrition facts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

For baking and cooking, gone are the days of having only one flour to choose from. These days, with the rise in gluten-free lifestyles, multiple alternative flours can be building blocks for baked goods, sauces, gravies, and more. If if you enjoy experimenting with an assortment of flours or cannot eat wheat or gluten, different flours can contribute different flavors and textures to recipes. One such alternative is arrowroot flour.

As its name suggests, arrowroot flour is made from the arrowroot plant, a tuber native to Indonesia. Rather than deriving from the tuber itself, however, arrowroot flour is made by powdering the rhizome of this plant or its root and stem.

For this reason, arrowroot flour does not pack all the same nutritional benefits as the arrowroot vegetable. It is fairly versatile in the kitchen, however, with a texture that can often lend chewiness to baked goods that many gluten-free flours cannot.

Arrowroot Flour Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information for 1 cup (127 grams) of arrowroot flour comes from the USDA.

  • Calories: 457
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 2.6mg
  • Carbohydrates: 113g
  • Fiber: 4.4g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0.4g


Carbs 

Essentially, all of the calories in arrowroot flour come from carbohydrates. A 1-cup serving supplies 113 grams. One gram of these carbs comes from fiber, while the rest are from starches that naturally occur in the arrowroot rhizome.

Fats

Arrowroot flour contains only a trace amount of fat.

Protein

Only a small amount of protein is present in appreciable amounts in arrowroot flour.

Vitamins and Minerals

Although the arrowroot vegetable contains plenty of folate, plus smaller amounts of potassium, phosphorus, and iron, these nutrients barely make it into the tuber’s flour. Only small traces of vitamins and minerals can be found in each serving.

Calories

Arrowroot flour contains 457 calories per cup. Again, these come almost entirely from carbohydrates.

Health Benefits

As a plant-based flour, arrowroot flour does provide a few benefits. Here is an overview of how incorporating arrowroot flour into your eating plan may benefit you.

Serves as a Gluten-Free Alternative

If celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy has taken wheat flour off your menu, arrowroot flour offers a gluten-free substitute in cooking and baking. Although it is not always a one-to-one replacement for wheat flour in baking, plenty of recipes will walk you through exactly how to use it. 

While opting for gluten free flours is absolutely necessary for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, there is little research to support opting for gluten free flours for people who do not have celiac or gluten intolerance.

Provides a Low FODMAP Option

Many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) find symptom relief by incorporating more foods low in short-chain carbohydrates known as FODMAPs. If you follow a low-FODMAP eating plan, you are in luck with arrowroot flour. It is extremely low in these types of carbs.

May Support Immune Function

One small animal study found that supplementing the diet of mice with the powder led to increased blood antibodies against harmful pathogens. More research is certainly needed to determine its effects on humans and how much they would need to consume.

May Relieve Diarrhea

Arrowroot flour shows some potential as a home remedy for treating diarrhea. In a very small older study from 2000, people who had IBS-D (irritable bowel syndrome that presents primarily with diarrhea) ingested 10 milliliters of arrowroot flour three times a day. After 1 month of this treatment, they had less diarrhea and experienced less abdominal pain.

Allergies

Arrowroot flour is not known for being an allergenic food. In fact, many people with allergies to wheat choose this powder as a non-allergenic alternative. That said, allergies are possible with any food.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to arrowroot flour may include upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea, wheezing or coughing, or a skin rash after eating. Talk to a healthcare provider if you suspect arrowroot flour is the source of any allergic symptoms.

Adverse Effects

Because arrowroot flour is free of the top eight food allergens and is low in most nutrients, it is not a common cause of adverse effects.

Varieties

You are not likely to find many variations of arrowroot flour, but be aware that some products may be called “arrowroot starch” or “arrowroot powder.” These are simply different names for the same food. There may also be some differences in how finely each manufacturer powders their product.

When purchasing arrowroot flour, be a diligent label reader. A high-quality product will list only one ingredient—arrowroot flour. Extra fillers and additives can affect how the product responds in recipes and may lead to unwanted results (unless your recipe specifically calls for a brand that contains ingredients other than arrowroot starch).

Storage and Food Safety

Properly storing arrowroot flour is quite simple. Keep the flour in a sealed container in a cool, dry, dark place such as a cabinet or pantry. When kept away from light and heat, this flour has a surprisingly extensive shelf life of 3 to 4 years.

How to Prepare

Once you have purchased arrowroot flour, the question, of course, is how to use it. If using arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch, you can use a one-to-one conversion. Try dusting it on the outside of meat or tofu for added crisp and crunch, or use it as a thickener in sauce, pudding, or gravy. 

Some chefs advise adding arrowroot flour toward the end of cooking, when possible, as it can cause recipes to become too gelatinous if heated for too long. On the other hand, this jelly-like quality can be an advantage for binding. Try adding arrowroot powder to meats or veggie patties to help them hold together.

In baking, using arrowroot flour can be a bit more tricky. Substituting it for wheat flour in baked goods at a 1:1 ratio will not usually yield a texture similar to the original recipe, so most recipes call for a blend of arrowroot flour with other flours.

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3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. USDA, FoodData Central. Arrowroot flour.

  2. Kumalasari ID, Harmayani E, Lestari LA, et al. Evaluation of immunostimulatory effect of the arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea. L) in vitro and in vivoCytotechnology. 2012;64(2):131-137. doi:10.1007/s10616-011-9403-4

  3. Cooke C, Carr I, Abrams K, Mayberry J. Arrowroot as a treatment for diarrhoea in irritable bowel syndrome patients: a pilot study. Arq Gastroentero 2000 Jan-Mar;37(1):20-4. doi:10.1590/s0004-28032000000100005