Root crops have proven their quality and beneficial properties throughout the years. Onions, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, celery, you name it. These crops, or root vegetables, do not only provide health benefits to those who eat them; they are also loved as ingredients because of how good they taste in different dishes.
Just like how they are found and harvested underneath the soil, there are some more root vegetables that are considered to be hidden gems. So, do you know what arrowroot is?
Introduction to Arrowroot
Maybe not everyone is familiar with arrowroot. But did you know that arrowroot, when made into powder, can be used in a lot of dishes? To be exact, it is commonly used as a gluten-free alternative for other flours.
Even since the time of 5,000 B.C. the consumption of arrowroot was already quite popular among people. It was people from the Caribbean islands who discovered this amazing root vegetable, fortunately, they were also able to make use of the benefits of arrowroot. The people also first named the vegetable as aru-aru which means the meal of meals. Also surprisingly, early Caribbean people developed the root crop as a handy treatment for many health conditions.
When the widespread use of natural war paraphernalia like arrows and spears were used in the Central American region, they made use of the root vegetable for the treatment of people who got shot by poisonous arrows. This is also how they got the name arrowroot.
These days, the root crop is normally processed into powder which is called arrowroot flour. Most of the time, this flour is used as a healthier replacement for cornstarch. Since the vegetable is rich in starch, specialists discovered it’s capability to work as an alternative for cornstarch. Both are used as food thickeners but when compared, the arrowroot flour is much healthier. One proof is the characteristic of cornstarch as a GMO product, this means that most of the content of the cornstarch is laboratory-made and not all-natural; giving the arrowroot flour an advantage.
The root vegetable is also known to contain starch that can easily be digested by the body, making it a good choice for those who get digestive issues when consuming starch products. The vegetables also contain a lot of other health benefits which will be discussed later on.
Health Benefits of Arrowroot
According to a lot of studies, the arrowroot is composed of around 10 vitamins and minerals. Some of them even stated that it exceeds the number ten, so we can say that the vegetable actually has more than 10 vitamins and minerals that it contains.
Since the most common process they do to the root crop for it to be available for consumption is by making it into powder, let’s try and analyze the amount of nutrition a single cup of arrowroot powder can provide. The following are the nutritional facts of one cup of arrowroot:
- It contains 78 counts of calories.
- The fat present in one cup is 0.2 grams; wherein half of it is composed of the healthy fat known as polyunsaturated fat.
- It has 16 grams of carbohydrates.
- The root crop can provide 5 grams of protein.
- And a few milligrams of the essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 among others.
As for the health benefits of arrowroot, there are considered to be a lot of them. However, here are some of the well known benefits of the amazing root vegetable.
The root crop is good for the digestive system.
The starch content of the vegetable is known to be one of the best kinds of starch that the body can digest without problems. Therefore, almost any person’s digestive system can tolerate the vegetable.
Also, it was famous as a treatment for certain digestive issues even before the 20th century began. The root vegetable was hailed as one of the main foods that can offer health benefits to people who are vitamin deficient. Also, it had the reputation of being one of the safest ingredients that can be given to even the most seriously ill person during that time.
When the year 2000 arrived, a certain study was conducted regarding the vegetable’s effect for the digestive system. The study ended with a positive result that the arrowroot may be used for the treatment of diarrhea cases.
Arrowroot has the capability to treat urinary tract infection.
Many times over the years, a lot of women have been affected with the urinary tract infection. Fortunately, there are a lot of well known and effective ways to treat this condition; one of them is the consumption of arrowroot.
The anti-inflammatory property of the vegetable may even aid other inflammatory-related health conditions, plus it is said to contain antimicrobial and antiseptic properties at the same time. The combination of the characteristics of this root crop is effective in treating UTI.
It can kill off dangerous foodborne pathogens.
One of the worst ways to get an illness is from eating your favorite food. It is somehow hard to avoid the growth of most foodborne pathogens especially in places where good sanitation is slowly becoming an issue. So in case someone gets sick from foodborne pathogens like the salmonella virus, try giving them anything that contains arrowroot extracts; such as tea.
The vegetable may help in relieving pain in the mouth and gums.
The anti-inflammatory attribute of the root crop is said to be effective against painful sores in the mouth and gums. All you need to do is apply a decent amount of the vegetable on the affected areas.
Ways to Use Arrowroot
As previously mentioned, the most common and perfect way to consume arrowroot is by its powdered form. The powder of the vegetable can also be made into more specific products.
- The arrowroot powder can be added to your juices or water.
- It can also be made into tea.
- The powdered form can be directly applied to causes of mouth and gum pains.
- It is a good alternative for cornstarch in almost all dishes.
- Baked goods will look even better with the use of arrowroot flour.