15 Extraordinary Health Benefits of Arrowroot
Arrowroot benefits include no gluten, B-vitamin powerhouse, supports healthy digestion, good for your little munchkins, boosts metabolic rate, promotes healthy sleep, has high potassium to sodium ratio, good for your heart, promotes good circulation, aids in weight loss, may lower cholesterol levels, improves kidney health, heals your skin, and an antidote for poison.
If you have been keeping up with natural living trends, you might have heard a thing or two about arrowroot. Wondering if arrowroot is actually good for you? The shortest answer is yes, a thousand times yes!
For close to 70,000 years, people in many regions have been using it to harness various benefits – reducing birth defects, fighting off bacteria, for skin protection, an antidote for poison and to boost immunity to name a few. Nowadays it is touted as a gluten-free alternative to corn starch.
Arrowroot, scientifically known as Maranta arundinacea, isn’t actually a plant but a starch extracted from the rhizomes of Marantaceae family of plants.
One cup, or about 120 g arrowroot slices, contains only 78 calories and 0.24 g fat. Arrowroot is a rich source of carbs, vitamin B9, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus. Besides fluid, fiber and protein, it has negligible amounts of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids as well.
Here’s arrowroot’s nutrient profile (1 cup, sliced 120 g) in detail:
- Energy: 78 kcal
- Protein: 5 g
- Carbohydrate: 16.07 g
- Fiber: 1.6 g
- Lipid: 0.24 g
- Calcium: 7 mg
- Iron: 2.66 mg
- Magnesium: 30 mg
- Phosphorus: 118 mg
- Potassium: 545 mg
- Sodium: 31 mg
- Folate: 406 µg
- Niacin: 2.03 µg
- Thiamin: 0.172 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.071 mg
15 Extraordinary Health Benefits of Arrowroot
1. It has no gluten
Allergic to gluten and corn? Meet your new best friend – arrowroot! You could even use arrowroot flour as a substitute for wheat flour. Arrowroot is incredibly versatile in replacing corn starch and has great mixability with almond flour, coconut flour, or tapioca flour for bread or cookie recipes. Puddings, sauces, and gravy can also be thickened with arrowroot powder.
Need more reasons to add it to baking mixes? It is grain-free, vegan and paleo-friendly as well.
2. Arrowroot is a B-vitamin powerhouse
Arrowroot is loaded with B-vitamins, especially riboflavin and niacin. Niacin has long been known for its ability to boost HDL cholesterol aka “good” cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Niacin deficiency leads to Pellagra, a disease characterized by diarrhea, dementia, dermatitis, and death – the famous four ‘Ds’.
Also, arrowroot has folate (338 microgram per 100 g of raw tuber), which aids in red blood cell formation. Folate is also essential for preventing anemia and increasing cell division and growth. It is equally important for fetal development and to prevent neural tube defects in infants.
3. Arrowroot supports healthy digestion
That’s because it is rich in starch that acts as a mild laxative in regulating bowel movement and digestion. For this reason, it is suitable for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In traditional medicine, arrowroot starch is also used for treating diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems.
Being naturally gluten-free, it can reduce the discomforts associated with celiac disease. Also, arrowroot flour comes handy in reducing stomach pain and bloating.
4. It’s good for your little munchkins
Loaded with magnesium, zinc, and iron that promote growth and development, arrowroot powder is one of the best substitutes for breast milk. It is effective in curing diarrhea, bronchitis, cough in infants. When milk tooth erupts, it may cause irritation and pain in the gums. It is said that chewing or biting on arrowroot biscuit provides relief from the pain.
5. Boosts metabolic rate
Arrowroot is a potent source of B-complex vitamins that are essential for regulating metabolism. Folate in arrowroot also helps with controlling hormonal activity. However, there isn’t scientific proof to claim that it can restore disrupted hormonal levels.
To add to this, Vitamin B complex is important for regulating circadian rhythm. For these reasons, arrowroot drinks are popular with workaholic professionals.
6. They promote healthy sleep
Can’t sleep? Struggling with sleep disorders or insomnia? Make sure you meet your recommended magnesium levels. And, arrowroot can help you achieve that quite easily. Arrowroot, in particular, is one of the many foods with the high magnesium content. According to United States Department of Agriculture, a 100 g serving of arrowroot contains approximately 25 mg magnesium. As this mineral has direct links with improving the duration, quality, and tranquility of sleep, adding arrowroot in your diet is beneficial.
7. Has high potassium to sodium ratio
In other words, arrowroot can make hypertension in control. 100-gram arrowroot contains about 454 milligrams of potassium, compared to only 26 milligrams of sodium. That means, it is incredibly good for dilating the blood vessels and bringing back the pressure to normal levels. This translates into improved cardiovascular health.
Arrowroot is a boon for individuals suffering from hypertension. That’s the takeaway!
8. Good for your heart
Several studies have suggested that potassium consumption is beneficial for your heart. Being a vasodilator, potassium in arrowroot softens the blood vessels and arteries. This, in turn, reduces blood pressure and reduces the risk for stroke, heart attack and atherosclerosis. If you experience inflammation or irritation in the chest, don’t go after herbal remedies – consult your cardiologist immediately.
Potassium also promotes oxygen flow to your brain; thus, it enhances cognitive function, too. Regularly incorporating arrowroot into your snack routine or meals may help lessen incidences of cardiac diseases.
9. Promotes good circulation
Arrowroot doesn’t just have a good amount of starch and B-complex vitamins. They are also rich in copper and iron – the minerals that are important for red blood cell corpuscles. Additionally, they are also required for proper blood flow to and from vital organs. When muscles and vital organs receive oxygenated blood, they’ll prevent fatigue, weakness, and occurrence of anemia. Also, increased circulation to the nervous system enhances cognition and memory.
Arrowroot health drinks are great as the post and pre-workout energy boosters to improve your energy levels and stamina.
10. Aids in weight loss
Arrowroot tops the list of cholesterol-free and low-calorie tubers. It is one of the lowest fat veggies, with just 0.20 g per 100 g raw arrowroot. So, it is incredibly beneficial if you want to reduce weight. Additionally, it has fiber (1.3 g per 100 grams of raw tuber) and a variety of minerals to keep you fuller for longer. Besides filling you up, it also gives all nutrients to keep the energy levels high.
Including arrowroot powder in your daily diet doesn’t elicit any allergic reactions or side effects when you start shedding those extra pounds.
11. Arrowroot may lower cholesterol levels
When consumed daily, arrowroot lowers blood cholesterol levels. This is achieved by promoting bile production in the liver. Since cholesterol is imperative for bile synthesis, the bile uptake by the gall bladder increases during the process. The result – low blood cholesterol levels!
Additionally, the bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, phenolic compounds, flavones, and saponins also assist in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. In this way, arrowroot can help maintain cholesterol levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia.
12. Treats athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the feet. It may arise if the foot is exposed to dirt water for a long time or because of wearing covered shoes throughout the day. Arrowroot is both antibacterial and antifungal in nature. And, topical application of arrowroot can effectively treat athlete’s foot.
Arrowroot powder quickly absorbs moisture and sweat, which makes it difficult for the microbes to grow and worsen the infection.
13. Improves kidney health
The substantial amount of potassium present in arrowroot helps in removing toxins and stressors from the circulation and kidney. By clearing the toxins, you could keep blood pressure in check, improve urinary system functioning, and boost immunity.
Keep in mind that delaying or avoiding proper medical care can result in serious consequences.
14. Heals your skin
Arrowroot has skin healing properties. Enriched with vitamins, antioxidants, and protein, arrowroot can treat blemishes, acne scars, rashes, and dark spots. Incorporating arrowroot powder in the face mask is also beneficial to rejuvenate the dead skin cells and to bring back the natural glow.
In fact, arrowroot starch is used in baby powders and in cosmetic products. When applied topically, the active ingredients seep into the skin and locks in the moisture. It is a natural sweat-absorbent, too.
15. Antidote for poison
Arrowroot is used as an antidote for poison in many parts of the world. In fact, the plant got its name because its powder was used to treat an injury from poisoned arrows. In some regions, arrowroot paste is applied over wounds or insect bites. It is also found to be effective against scorpion venom and a spider bite.
Arrowroot is regarded as safe for both internal and external purposes. There are no known adverse reactions with prescription medications or health supplements. But as with any natural remedy, strictly follow the recommended serving sizes. If you consider using arrowroot in baby foods, consult a pediatrician first to verify the allergic profile of your child.
How to Use Arrowroot Powder?
- Arrowroot is easy to incorporate into your diet.
- Add a scoop of arrowroot powder to shakes, juices or smoothies and drink it down straight
- It adds a nutritious oomph to cake or cookie batter. When used as cornstarch alternative, add arrowroot powder towards the end as it breaks down easily.
- Mix a teaspoon of arrowroot powder in water or milk and then add it to sauces, soups or curry to thicken it.