Arrowroot powder is a popular root extract from the roots of the arrowroot plant. Its scientific name is Maranta arundinaceae. This plant is native to South America. The root is small cream/light red tuber with thin surface scales. Arrowroot has all the essential vitamins, minerals and proteins. The powder is odourless, low in calories and it has one of the nature’s finest carbohydrates. It is suggested to buy pure, good quality or only branded arrowroot powder. If you go for loose powder, it may be adulterated with cheap varieties of corn starch or potato powder.
- Arrowroot powder has high nutritional value than the raw arrowroot. It contains calcium, manganese and is an excellent source of potassium. There are also traces of minerals like copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.
- Proteins are the main components of our body where they are broken down continuously. Regular consumption of arrowroot powder provides the daily recommended intake of protein. It contains more protein than yam, potato or plantain.
- Arrowroot powder is a good source of vitamin A and contains good levels of B-complex vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid.
- It can be easily digested as compared to other starches and can be given to infants and small children. Consumption of fresh roots by pregnant women during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in the new born.
- It is an excellent source of potassium which is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
- It has great remedial properties to treat various skin problems. Skin infections and itchiness caused by Small pox and gangrene can be treated by arrowroot powder.
- In certain places it is used as baby powder as it is light in weight and gives a soft, smooth feel to the skin.
- Arrowroot starch is used in moisturisers as a thickening agent. When used in cosmetics, it enables active ingredients to penetrate the upper levels of your skin as it has great moisture absorbing qualities.
- Arrowroot is often used in body powders to make your skin silkier and smoother. It softens your skin by enabling it to absorb moisture. Arrowroot is used to control moisture while dealing with foot problems such as athlete’s foot. Since it does not possess antifungal properties, it is used for moisture control only.
- Arrowroot starch is mostly used as a thickener in foods such as puddings and sauces. Its thickening power is twice as that of regular flour. It should be mixed with cold water before being added to a hot liquid to prevent formation of lumps. It is also used in cookies and crackers as a substitute for regular flour and hence, is a great option for those who are gluten intolerant. Arrowroot biscuits are available in stores and are believed to soothe the stomach.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna