This plant was growing in low watery areas of northern Hemisphere about 135 million years ago. In ancient Egypt, lotus was a symbol of sun, creation and rebirth. It has a 7,000 years of history in China based on recent archeological studies. Lotus plant has been revered in Japan and China since ancient times.
Lotus is a perennial aquatic plant that belongs to nelumbonaceae family. Its scientific name is nelumbo nucifera. Its rhizomes grow in a swampy underwater environment which are actually altered tubers that stores energy in the form of starch. It develops into three to five sausages like tubes connected together in nodes. The root is white in color and its flesh has a crunchy and mildly sweet flavor similar to that of water chestnut. When sliced, it shows a symmetrically arranged air canals running along the length of the root. Its flower can grow to 8 inches in diameter with petals arranged in several layers exhibiting wonderful odor. It opens in the morning and closes at night.
Lotus root is one superfood with a moderate calorie content of 74 for a 100 g serving. Its health benefit content includes phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
It’s packed with dietary fibers that supplies 13% of the daily recommended values. Working together with the slow digesting complex carbohydrates also found in the root helps in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar level, ease up constipation. Lotus is one good option for individuals trying to manage their body weight. With its low calorie, high fiber and nutrient content reduces your urge to eat more and let you feel full longer.
Lotus root is an excellent source of copper and iron that are both primary parts in the production of red blood cells. This lessens your chances of developing anemic symptoms and at the same time improving the circulation of your blood that increases oxygenation of your organs resulting to increased functionality and energy level.
It also ensures a correct balance between fluids in the body with the right level of potassium which also counteract the effects of sodium in the blood stream. With potassium as a vasolidator, the blood vessels are made to relax and by limiting the contraction and rigidity, the blood flow is increased and at the same time reduces the strain on the cardiovascular system.
Lotus root supplies your body with vitamin B complex containing pyridoxine that controls the levels of homocysteine in your blood, which is the primary cause of heart attacks. Pyridoxine also directly interacts with the neural receptors of your brain, which influences your mood and mental states. This suppresses irritability and stress level. So if you want to find peace and tranquility you know what you need.
A word of caution: Eating lotus raw may cause an inherent risk of spreading parasites or bacterial infections. Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain. It is therefore best to cook lotus roots before eating them.
Lotus root fun fact: Lotus seed can remain viable over a long period of time. One type managed to develop into plant after 1300 years of dormancy.
Stay fit. Enjoy life.
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