Lotus Root Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Lotus Root

soup with lotus root

 Jupiterimages/Getty Images

Lotus root is the rhizome or underground stem of the lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera). The sacred flower is common throughout Asia but can also be found in water gardens throughout the world. Various parts of the plant, including the roots, are used for cooking and baking. The flowers, seeds, leaves, and roots are used to make medicine.

Lotus root has a mild, crunchy taste and is known for its distinctive appearance. The root is generally sliced horizontally to reveal a snowflake-like pattern of holes. Lotus root makes a delicious and healthy addition to soups, salads, and other dishes.

Other names for lotus and lotus root include:

  • Bean of India
  • Blue lotus
  • Chinese water lily
  • East Indian lotus
  • He ye
  • Indian lotus
  • Kamal
  • Lian fang

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1/2 cup (60g) of cooked lotus root

  • Calories: 40
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 27mg
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 0.3g
  • Protein: 1g

Carbs in Lotus Root

Lotus root is a low-calorie food. Calories in lotus root come primarily from carbohydrates. A typical 1/2 cup serving provides 10 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. There is just a small amount (less than 1 gram) of naturally-occurring sugar in this vegetable, but most of the carbohydrate is starch.

The estimated glycemic load of lotus root is three if your serving size is 1/2 cup. Even a larger 90-gram serving has a glycemic load of only five, making it a low glycemic food.

Fats in Lotus Root

There is no fat in lotus root, making this a healthy food for your diet if you are watching your fat and calorie intake.

Protein in Lotus Root

There is a small amount of protein (about 1 gram) in a 1/2-cup serving of lotus root, but this is not a high-protein food.

Micronutrients in Lotus Root

Even though lotus root provides very few calories and no fat, the food is packed with nutrients.

Vitamins in lotus root include vitamin B6 (0.2mg or 10% of your recommended daily intake), thiamin (8% of your daily needs), pantothenic acid (3%), and folate (2%). Lotus root is also a good source of vitamin C, providing over 24mg or about 41% of your daily needs.

Minerals in lotus root include copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Health Benefits

A serving of lotus root provides 3.6mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids boost the health of cell membranes in the body and may provide protective benefits against chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer,  dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, age-related macular degeneration, and dry eyes, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The fiber in lotus root also provides health benefits. Fiber helps you to feel full and satisfied after eating which can be helpful if you are trying to reach or maintain a healthy weight. Eating enough fiber also helps you to maintain a healthy digestive system. The USDA recommends that adults consume between 22 and 33 grams of fiber per day depending on age and gender.

There is some evidence that lotus root powder may be helpful in the treatment of nasal allergy symptoms. But so far the only studies have been performed on mice. More high-quality human studies are needed to see if there is a similar benefit in humans.

Some people take lotus root medicinally to treat conditions including:

  • Anxiety
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestion problems
  • Fever
  • Liver health
  • Skin conditions
  • Sore throat
  • Cough

There is not clinical enough to support the use of lotus root for the treatment of any of these conditions.

Common Questions

What does lotus root taste like?

Many people compare the crunchy texture of lotus root to the texture of celery and sometimes to celery root. But lotus root has a milder, sweeter taste more similar to a coconut. If you cook lotus root, the texture softens and becomes similar to that of cooked potato.

Where can I buy lotus root?

Not all grocery stores carry this vegetable. You may have to visit an Asian market to find fresh lotus roots. You can also buy it dried in some stores and online.

How do I buy the best fresh lotus root?

Each root is shaped like a tube and two "tubes" may be joined together. Look for a bulb that seems fat and heavy for its size. It should be light brown and free from cracks or blemishes.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

If you buy fresh whole lotus root, store it uncut and wrapped in damp paper towels in the refrigerator. Try to use it within one week but it may stay fresh for up to two weeks. Be sure to peel lotus root before using it as the skin has an unappealing taste and texture.

Lotus root is usually sliced thin to take advantage of its ornamental, snowflake-like appearance. Slices can be fried, boiled, braised, or pickled. Some people add it to soups or stir fry dishes. You can also use it as a garnish. Some people even candy lotus root to use on top of desserts.

Consider adding lotus root to any of these Asian dishes:

Allergies and Interventions

There are published reports of lotus root allergy. In a case study, researchers reported that a 6-year-old girl reported skin rashes after consuming the vegetable. While the scientists could not confirm lotus root as the cause with complete certainty, it was suspected to be the offending allergen.  There are also some limited anecdotal reports of lotus root allergies.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.


  2. Kaneyasu, M., Nagata, M., Ikeda, H., Ohnuki, K., & Shimizu, K. (2019). Anti-allergic activity of lotus root (Nelumbo nucifera) powder in TDI-sensitized nasal allergy model mice. Food and Agricultural Immunology, 30(1), 968–978. doi:10.1080/09540105.2019.1651255


  3. Hiraguchi, Y., Tokuda, R., Gen, M., Shingaki, T., Yoshino, S., Kumagai, Y., … Fujisawa, T. Identification of a novel food allergen in lotus root. Allergology International, (2018) 67(1), 141–143. doi:10.1016/j.alit.2017.05.006


Additional Reading