It is not just our national flower for no reason; lotushas much more to offer than just its beauty. The stunning flower, which is an aquatic plant of the Nelumbonaceae family, has been brought to culinary use in various ways; not just the flower, but its roots, stem and seeds are employed in various delicacies. Coming to lotus roots, it is more commonly known as kamal kakri in India, and is a woody, edible root that can grow as long as four feet.
Edible lotus root is known for its crunchy texture and slightly sweet taste. It is a versatile vegetable and food connoisseurs across the world vouch for this vegetable that can be steamed, deep-fried, braised or stir-fried, making it a relishing ingredient. However, more than its delectable flavour, it is packed with an array of powerful nutrients that promote health.
According to Nutritionist Dr. Simran Saini from Fortis Hospital, “Lotus roots or kamal kakdi is rich in dietary fiber, potassium, iron and vitamins B and C. Considering they have these important nutrients and minerals, lotus roots can be called as one of the healthiest foods.”
Edible lotus root is known for its crunchy texture and slightly sweet taste
Here are some of the benefits of lotus root or kamal kakdi suggested by Dr. Saini that you should know-
1. Boosts Digestion
Kamal kakdi has high amounts of dietary fiber, which helps boost digestion. It aids constipation while ensuring nutrient absorption through the secretion of gastric juices and further stimulates peristaltic (intestinal contraction) motion in the intestinal muscles to facilitate easy and smooth bowel movement.
2. Regulates Blood Pressure
The presence of significant levels of potassium in lotus roots ensures a balance between fluids in the body and prevents excessive sodium from affecting the bloodstream. It relaxes the blood vessels and further prevents contraction and rigidity, increasing blood circulation. The iron present in the lotus roots also helps in smooth blood circulation.
3. Helps Reduce Stress
Lotus roots have vitamin B complex, which has a compound known as pyridoxine. This compound interacts with neural receptors in the brain, which are responsible to reduce stress, irritability and headaches. Basically, lotus flower gets its peace and tranquility power from its roots.
4. Is Good for Your Skin and Hair
The presence of vitamins B and C in lotus roots helps in getting the perfect glow on your skin and smooth hair. Vitamin C stimulates the collagen production in the body that is responsible for the skin’s firmness.
5. Promote Weight Loss
Not only does it have lesser calories, but is power packed with dietary fiber that keeps you full for a longer period. This way you are less hungry through the day and hence, cut down on eating fatty foods. Also, it helps stimulate your digestive system, which also helps in inducing weight loss.
6. Prevents Water Retention
The excessive potassium content in lotus roots absorbs the excess sodium and increases the production of urine. Thus, the roots help in preventing excess water retention.
While there are no hazards or risks in consuming lotus roots or kamal kakdi, it is advisable to eat them cooked, whether it is steamed, fried or boiled. Do not eat raw roots as it may increase the chance of bacterial infections. Therefore, always wash them properly and cook them well before consuming.