Lotus Root Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

soup with lotus root

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You may recognize the lovely lotus flower, but you may not be as familiar with the idea of using lotus roots for cooking. This aquatic plant is almost completely edible, from flowers to seeds to roots. Lotus root is common in Asian cuisine and provides a mild crunch to stir fry dishes and soups.

Lotus root is high in several vitamins and minerals while being a healthy source of carbohydrates and fiber. It's free of fat and cholesterol. When sliced, lotus root creates a snowflake-like presentation, making it perfect for an artful garnish. Here are some of the ways you may benefit from experimenting with lotus root in the kitchen.

Lotus Root Nutrition Facts

A half-cup of boiled lotus root (60g) provides 40 calories, 1g of protein, 9.6g of carbohydrates, and 0g of fat. Lotus root is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin B6. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 40
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 27mg
  • Carbohydrates: 9.6g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugars: 0.3g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Vitamin C: 16.4mg
  • Vitamin B: 0.2mg

Carbs

The majority of the calories in lotus root come from carbohydrates. There are 9.6 grams of carbs in a 1/2 cup serving of cooked lotus roots, with 2 grams of fiber and minimal sugar.

The glycemic index (GI) of lotus root is 33, and the glycemic load is 3, making it a low GI food.

Fats

Lotus root is naturally fat-free.

Protein

A 1/2 cup of boiled lotus root has 1 gram of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Lotus root has several minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and choline. It's also high in vitamin C and folate.

Calories

A half-cup of boiled lotus root (60g) provides 40 calories, 86% of which come from carbs, 13% from protein, and 1% from fat.

Summary

Lotus root is a healthy source of carbohydrates and fiber that is low in fat and sugar. Lotus root contains several essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, calcium, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and iron.

Health Benefits

Although lotus root may be less familiar in Western diets, it's worth adding to your eating pattern. The macronutrients and micronutrients in lotus root can benefit your health.

Supports Heart Health

Many of the nutrients in lotus roots are especially beneficial for heart health. There are 218 milligrams of potassium in 1/2 cup of boiled lotus root, which is 5% to 10% of the daily requirement for most adults.

Getting enough potassium through foods like lotus root helps with high blood pressure. Additionally, the folate and vitamin C in lotus roots are essential for heart disease prevention.

Promotes Regularity

Insoluble fiber softens the stool and increases its bulk, making it easier to pass food through the digestive tract. Getting at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day is crucial to prevent constipation. A 1/2 cup serving of cooked lotus root provides almost 2 grams of fiber to contribute towards your daily total.

Reduces Risk of Birth Defects

Lotus root provides some important nutrients for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, namely folate (vitamin B9). People of childbearing age are advised to be especially mindful of getting sufficient folate to prevent dangerous congenital disabilities, including neural tube defects, which can occur early in pregnancy.

Lotus root also provides choline, iron, and calcium. These micronutrients support a healthy pregnancy as well.

May Treat Hay Fever

There is some evidence that lotus root powder may help alleviate nasal allergy symptoms. Preliminary studies in mice are promising, although more human research is needed to confirm this benefit. A study in sensitized mice showed immediate anti-inflammatory effects in reducing redness and hair loss in response to allergens.

Allergies

Allergies to almost any food are possible, and lotus root is no exception. Although lotus root is not considered a common allergen, food allergies can pop up unexpectedly at various points in life. Symptoms of a lotus root allergy may include hives, wheezing, tongue swelling, or dizziness.

To determine if lotus root is the cause of your symptoms, an allergist will evaluate what you ate and when your symptoms developed. A skin prick test or blood test may also be used for diagnosis. See a doctor if you suspect an allergy to lotus root.

When It's Best

Lotus root is available year-round at Asian grocery stores. Fresh lotus roots should be firm with smooth skin that's free of blemishes.

Storage and Food Safety

Keep lotus roots in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them. Before cutting into lotus roots, wash your hands, and rinse the outer skin under running water. Remove the outer skin and chop the root into cubes or thin slices.

You can also rinse lotus root slices in vinegar or lemon juice before cooking them to prevent browning. Once cooked, keep lotus roots in the refrigerator and consume within a few days.

How to Prepare

Lotus root is used in a variety of Asian dishes, especially Japanese cuisine. Two common methods of cooking include stir-frying and steaming. It's also a popular addition to soups. You can also candy or deep-fry lotus root, but these less healthy preparation methods can take away from some of its beneficial properties.

Recipes

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9 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.
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