Lotus root: nutritional composition, benefits and preparation

Lotus root has health benefits. Its consumption is good for you. See how to include it in your kitchen and get the most out of it.

Last update: 23 April, 2022

lotus root (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn) is a aquatic rhizome that is used as a staple food in many Asian countries. Its plant is recognized for the famous flower and is cultivated in China, Japan and India. The beauty of its flower has given it ornamental purposes, but the root has highlighted it as a food for medicinal purposes.

This root is also called renkon and has been revered as an ingredient by various cultures. In China, its country of origin, it is frequently used for its supposed inexhaustible vital energy.

in gastronomy, Its sensory characteristics allow it to be used in different dishes: soups, salads, sandwiches and even mains. Do you dare to learn more about this interesting root?

What is lotus root?

lotus root it is the rhizome of the aquatic flower Nelumbo nucifera It is cultivated in China, Indonesia and Japan, where it is considered a sacred plant and a legendary food. These civilizations used it because, according to them, it promoted and attracted health.

As a vegetable it has a certain appeal. It has an elongated shape that is 15 centimeters long. The rhizomes are attached to each other like a chain of rigid roots. When you cut it, in the central part you can see many air chambers that draw a delicate pattern.

Currently, science studies it for its extensive benefits and its nutritional properties that we will develop below.

Nutritional composition

According to Xu Wang, the lotus root It is rich in starch, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.. On the other hand, it also contains flavonoids, alkaloids and other bioactive substances related to good health.

The main nutrients contained in 100 grams of raw lotus root are the following:

  • Protein: 2.34 grams.
  • Fat: 0.14 grams.
  • Total carbohydrates: 8.81 grams.
  • Fiber: 0.80 grams.
  • Calories: 46.
  • Vitamin C: 15 milligrams.
  • Potassium: 2400 milligrams.
  • Calcium: 150 milligrams.
  • Iron: 13.50 milligrams.
  • Match: 804 milligrams.
  • Zinc: 5.08 milligrams.

The caloric value of this root makes it recommended for low-energy diets. A 100-gram raw serving gives us only 46 calories, which come from the moderate content of starch and its proteins.

On the other hand, the speed with which its carbohydrates are absorbed is 33. The glycemic load is 3, which makes it a low glycemic index root.

The lotus root also stands out for its high mineral values. Potassium, iron, phosphorus and zinc distinguish it from other common roots.

Recent research found that the best method for preserving the minerals and vitamin C in lotus root is steaming. Frying and boiling significantly decrease the content of both nutrients.

The air chambers within the lotus root follow a delicate pattern.

Lotus Root Benefits

Lotus root contains a good amount of powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids, alkaloids, and other bioactive substances. Hence can be used with healthy sense.

source of antioxidants

In the magazine molecules explain that, of 36 selected vegetables, lotus root exhibited the highest antioxidant activity. The most frequent phenolics in it are gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, catechol and gallocatechin.

The parts that contain them the most are the shell and the root knots.. Therefore, they are recommended for consumption purposes and as nutraceuticals. The presence of these compounds manages to reduce cellular oxidative stress and stop the progress of some chronic diseases.

Astringent and diuretic effect

An aqueous extract of lotus root demonstrated diuretic effect and astringent properties during the treatment of obesity. In experiments with animals it was observed that the loss of water reached with the root resulted in a significant decrease in body weight gain.


A group of experts evaluated the lotus rhizome for the treatment of Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, A. fumigatus Y Trichophytum mentagopyhtes. It was found that is able to prevent the growth of these fungi and yeasts. In addition, it was more effective than classical drugs.

Antidiabetic and glycemic regulating effect

In the magazine Journal of Ethnopharmacology Was published the stimulating effect of insulin secretion from nuciferin. This substance is found in high concentrations in the lotus root and acts on the beta cells of the pancreas. Hence, it is considered for its antidiabetic effect.

Other studies have also reported that lotus rhizomes contain alkaloids, tannins, glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, and steroids that inhibit pancreatic alpha amylase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the starch molecule in food to sugars.

The inhibitory effect of phytochemicals offers an effective strategy to lower high blood glucose levels after meals.

antithrombotic property

Zhou and other researchers found that nepherin, a substance found in lotus root, prevents thrombus formation. The mechanism involves inhibition of platelet activation, adhesion, and aggregation.


In a laboratory test, the liver-protective effect of a hot water extract of lotus root supplemented with taurine was determined. The findings revealed that the administration of the extract significantly increased the activity of hepatic antioxidant enzymesprotecting the liver of obese rats.

Benefits heart health

One of the most important nutrients in lotus root is potassium. Half a cup of boiled root can cover 10% of the requirement for adults. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure. Together with vitamin C it can prevent heart disease.

This food would be cardioprotective. At the same time, it would work as a liver health preserver.

Can help treat nasal allergy

Studies carried out on mice show that lotus root powder would reduce the symptoms of nasal allergy. sensitized mice showed more anti-inflammatory effects in response to allergens.

If you are thinking of a soup, then you must be careful to add it almost at the end of cooking. If you leave it for a long time in the broth, the starch gels and it becomes sticky.

Is lotus root recommended for a healthy diet?

Despite the findings found in experiments with laboratory animals, further studies with humans are required. This will allow accurate conclusions about the dosages and effects of the product.

Nevertheless, what is confirmed is the varied amount of antioxidants that it presents. So add lotus root to your diet with confidence.

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