You might come across different tuberous plants commonly called arrowroot. The University of Florida Extension, however, says the true arrowroot is the Maranta arundinacea species. Manufacturers of gluten-free products use arrowroot flour in cookie recipes, and the starch serves as a thickener. The root is also edible raw, roasted, stewed or fried. The raw tuber is arrowroot in its most nutritious state. Much of the root’s nutritional value declines after it is processed into flour.
Eight ounces of raw arrowroot offer 1 percent of the recommended daily intake -- RDI -- for vitamin A. Concerning the B-complex vitamins, it contains 22 percent of the RDI for thiamine, 8 percent for riboflavin and 19 percent for niacin. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that protects your cells from damage by molecules known as free radicals. The B vitamins, in general, help your body break foods down into energy. Those four nutrients are reduced to nothing when the arrowroot becomes flour. Fresh arrowroot also has 30 percent of the RDI for vitamin B-6, 7 percent for pantothenic acid and 192 percent for folate. The flour is left with 1 percent of the RDI for B-6, 3 percent for pantothenic acid and just 4 percent for folate.
In the mineral group, two instances exist in which the flour offers a higher nutritional value than the raw arrowroot. Calcium is 1 percent of the RDI and manganese 20 percent in 8 ounces of the fresh product. A similar amount of flour has 9 percent of the RDI for calcium and 53 percent for manganese. All the other minerals have lower values in the flour. Minerals perform different functions to keep your body thriving. Potassium, for example, sends electrical signals throughout your body to power its cells, tissues and organs. The mineral makes it possible for your heart to beat and bowels to move.
Proteins are components of every part of your body. They are also broken down continuously. Thus, it is essential to include protein-rich foods in your meals regularly to replace the discarded ones. Eight ounces of raw arrowroot provides 19 percent of the recommended daily intake for protein. The same weight of arrowroot flour gives you 1 percent of protein's RDI.
Eight ounces of the raw root provides 148 calories. A similar weight of flour has 810 calories. The carbohydrates, including dietary fiber, also show an increase in the flour. The values jump from 10 percent of the RDI to 67 percent for carbohydrates as a group. The amount of fiber, in particular, rises from 12 percent to 31 percent of the RDI.
- SkipThePie.org: Nutritional Info for Arrowroot Flour vs. Arrowroot (Raw)
- Herbs Are Special: Arrowroot
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin A
- American Cancer Society: Vitamin B Complex
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes