Arrowroot: 12 Benefits, Side Effects and How to Use It
Have you ever heard about Arrowroot? Maranta arundinacea or Arrowroot is a tropical tuber native to Indonesia which is usually processed into a powder. Arrowroot powder is also called as Koovapodi. Arrowroot is easy to digest aside from being high in protein and several nutrients. This vegetable has medicinal properties and is mainly employed in the kitchen because it works well in savoury and sweet dishes. The Arrowroot benefits are attributed to the nutrients present in the vegetable. Let us go through the article to learn more about the benefits and uses of Arrowroot. Read on!
What is Arrowroot?
Obtained from the tropical plant Maranta arundinacea’s rhizomes, Arrowroot is a starchy vegetable. Therefore, all the benefits of Arrowroot are attributed to nutrients such as protein, folate, iron, potassium and phosphorus. Therefore, arrowroot flour is an ideal food choice for people who need milder food, such as children and older adults, while meeting their nutritional needs. This is because it is easy to digest and gluten-free.
Arrowroot powder is a healthy alternative for baking foods like bread, pasta and cake because it is a nutrient-dense starch. It is also a key component in infant formulas and confectioneries because Arrowroot flour blends well with many ingredients.
Arrowroot Nutrition Facts:
Like yam, cassava, sweet potato and taro, Arrowroot is a starchy root vegetable. It is high in carbs but offers several nutrients like many starches. One cup of sliced and raw Arrowroot contains the following nutrients:
- 78 calories.
- 16 grams of carbohydrates.
- 2 grams of fibre.
- 5 grams of protein.
- 0 grams of fat.
- 102% DV of Folate.
- 17% DV of Phosphorous.
- 15% DV of Iron.
- 11% DV of Potassium.
Arrowroot Health Benefits:
Native to America and West Indies, Arrowroot is a root vegetable and an edible rhizome. Arrowroot has several medicinal properties, most of which are attributed to its composition and starch content. We have listed all the health benefits of Arrowroot.
1. May Help with Digestion:
Per preliminary studies, patients with irritable bowel syndrome have seen positive results in treating diarrhoea with arrowroot powder (1). In addition, the Arrowroot powder might aid in the fermentation of intestinal bacteria because of its starch. This results in efficient bowel action by increasing faecal bulk (2). This might mean lesser abdominal pain in the long run in specific individuals.
Consumption of starch present in the Arrowroot stimulates and proliferates the colonic bacteria by acting as fodder to them. This, in turn, promotes digestive health.
2. May Stimulate Your Immune System:
Arrowroot helps boost your immune system with the help of its resistant starch content. In fact, this tuber feeds your gut bacteria because it is a potential source of prebiotics, a type of fibre (3)(4). In addition, the Arrowroot powder produces multiple vitamins. It absorbs critical minerals with the help of beneficial gut bacteria that your immune system needs for proper functioning (5).
According to mice studies, Arrowroot powder’s resistant starch stimulates the immune system (6).
Read: Health Benefits of Beets
3. Can Increase Metabolism:
Arrowroot powder benefits include regulating metabolism, which is attributed to the high amounts of B-complex vitamins. Arrowroot also helps control hormonal activity because it is a good source of folate. However, there is no evidence to prove the claim. In addition, the Vitamin B complex might also regulate the circadian rhythm; therefore, workaholic professionals usually prefer arrowroot drinks.
4. Arrowroot May Promote Weight Loss:
Our bodies cannot digest the resistant starch in the Arrowroot powder because it behaves like soluble fibre in your gut, forming a viscous gel when mixed with water (7). Therefore, arrowroot powder gives you a prolonged feeling of fullness by slowing your rate of digestion because of the high fibre and resistant starch content. This, in turn, leads to weight loss by regulating your appetite (8)(9).
5. A powerhouse of Vitamin B:
Arrowroot is loaded with riboflavin and, Niacin, B-vitamins. Niacin is known for its ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by boosting good cholesterol. Deficiency in Niacin can lead to a condition called Pellagra.
Furthermore, Arrowroot has a considerable amount of folate, which helps form red blood cells. It also helps increase cell division and growth and prevents anaemia. Folate also helps prevent infant neural tube defects and is essential for fetal development.
6. Naturally Gluten-Free Food:
Arrowroot starch is naturally gluten-free and is a perfect option for people who are allergic to gluten or suffering from celiac disease, as per some reports (10). This is because the starch in gluten-free products plays an essential role in stabilizing, texturizing, adhesion, gelling and thickening processes (11). Therefore, arrowroot powder can be a perfect replacement for eggs in baked goods, baking or sweet pie fillings, or to thicken puddings.
7. May Improve Heart Health:
The consumption of potassium can benefit your heart health, per several studies. Potassium in Arrowroot softens the arteries and blood vessels because it is a vasodilator. This property can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke (12). Therefore, you might be able to lessen the incidences of cardiac diseases by incorporating Arrowroot into your snack routine or meals regularly.
But make sure to consult your cardiologist if you experience inflammation or irritation in the chest instead of going after herbal remedies.
8. May Help Improve Blood Circulation:
Iron and copper are the minerals that play an essential role in the red blood corpuscles, and Arrowroot is a rich source of these minerals along with starch and B-complex vitamins. Arrowroot health drink is a perfect way to incorporate these minerals into our bodies before and after workouts because that can improve proper blood flow to and from vital organs and prevent fatigue and weakness anaemia while enhancing memory and cognition.
Read: Taro Root Benefits and Side Effects
9. May Lower Cholesterol Levels:
Arrowroot powder’s health benefits include lowering blood cholesterol levels when consumed daily by promoting bile production in the liver. In addition, since bile synthesis requires cholesterol, the gall bladder takes up more bile, lowering cholesterol levels.
Additionally, the arrowroot powder can also assist in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels with the help of bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, cardiac glycosides etc.
10. May Treat Athlete’s Foot:
The fungal infection of the feet is often referred to as an Athlete’s foot. This condition is caused when a person is wearing covered shoes throughout the day or if the foot is exposed to dirty water. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of Arrowroot can help treat athlete’s foot when applied topically. However, arrowroot powder also makes it difficult for the microbes to grow and worsen the infection by quickly absorbing moisture and sweat.
11. Good for Babies:
Arrowroot powder is a healthy alternative for babies because of its gluten-free properties. Also, some believe it can soothe your stomach because of its high digestibility (13). Koovapodi might also be safe for infants because of its easy digestibility. However, there is no direct research to support the same.
Arrowroot powder is one of the best substitutes for breast milk because it is loaded with magnesium, zinc and iron, which promote growth and development. The pain caused due to the milk tooth eruption can also be dealt with by chewing or biting on an arrowroot biscuit.
12. Arrowroot May Benefit Your Skin:
Arrowroot can help treat blemishes, acne scars, rashes and dark spots with its skin healing properties because they are enriched with vitamins, antioxidants and protein. In addition, you can rejuvenate the dead skin cells and brings back the natural glow by incorporating arrowroot powder in the face mask.
In fact, many cosmetic products and baby powders use arrowroot starch which locks in the moisture by seeping into the skin when applied topically.
How to Use Arrowroot:
Using Arrowroot is pretty simple and is very healthy. The following are some tips that can help you incorporate the delicious and nutritious vegetable into your diet:
- Arrowroot powder can be used to thicken gravies, stews and soups.
- It can also help make fried food crunchier.
- You can add Arrowroot powder into juices and drink them straight.
- You can use Arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch in high-heat cooking.
- You can use powder in baking and desserts to add structure to baked products.
- You can use Arrowroot powder instead of eggs in baking dishes.
Arrowroot Side Effects:
Arrowroot is considered safe to consume for external and internal purposes. In addition, Arrowroot has no known side effects when taken with health supplements or medications. But if you are unsure or have any pre-existing health conditions, consult a doctor. Also, consult a paediatrician to verify the allergic profile of your child if you consider using Arrowroot in baby foods.
Read: Benefits of Eating Carrots
The impressive and essential nutrient profile and bioactive compounds of the Arrowroot offer several benefits. It is a perfect cereal to combat celiac disease, enhance overall health and gluten intolerance because it is a gluten-free starch. The Arrowroot benefits and natural healing properties have been used since times immemorial. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based purely on research and is not a replacement for professional advice. You can always consult your doctor or health care professional before adding anything to your diet. Furthermore, the website is not responsible for the authenticity and accuracy of the information.
Q1. What are the substitutes for Arrowroot powder?
Ans: Here is the list of some of the viable substitutes if you run out of Arrowroot powder¬, all of which are gluten-free:
- Potato starch.
- Tapioca flour.
- Rice flour.
Q2. What are the different forms of Arrowroot available?
Ans: Arrowroot is commonly available in the form of Arrowroot starch or Arrowroot flour.