Superfood Spotlight: Lotus Root

What you need to know: A classic medicinal food of Asia, the lotus root develops under water in mud, and blooms into the iconic lotus flower. The root is revered for its therapeutic properties, and if consumed regularly, can strengthen the body. Lotus has shown to be effective in treating conditions of the respiratory tract, clearing mucus, improving lung function, and relieving symptoms of a cold or cough.

Why you should try it: According to ayurveda, the lotus root contains rejuvenating properties for the heart as well as the nervous system. It is rich in potassium and B vitamins, which help normalize the heartbeat, nourish the blood and lower inflammation levels and lipids, therefore improving cardiovascular health. It is also commonly used to address gastrointestinal disorders, specifically diarrhea and gastritis, as well as mental instability. Lotus root juice has been effective in easing anxiety, mental instability, and insomnia.

Let’s get together: The roots are crispy, with a slightly sweet taste that’s similar to water chestnuts. They are quite versatile, and are enjoyed in multiple ways in the Asian culture. Some of the most popular are to pickle them, to chop them up into a salad, soup or even to sauté them for a stir-fry. If you are a Los Angeles local, look for Dave’s Korean Food at your local farmers market. He makes a delicious pickled lotus root, sweetened with pear juice and homemade vegetable broth. Another simple solution is to sip on lotus roots as a tea. Either make your own by boiling the root, or pick up a jar of Lotus Root Tea Powder by Eden Foods and add a scoop or two to boiling water.

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