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The Amazing Arrowroot

By Sara Vance, Nutritionist and Author of The Perfect Metabolism Plan

This article kicks off a series profiling some of the premium ingredients found in Healthy Times products. First up, we take a look at arrowroot.

Arrowroot is a starch that is extracted from the tubers of the arrowroot plant, also known as Maranta arundiancea or the maranta plant. Native to South America, arrowroot is cultivated in the West Indies, southeast Asia, Australia, and South Africa.[1] Some other starches may be referred to as “arrowroot,” but the maranta plant is considered “true” or “genuine” arrowroot.[2]

The arrowroot plant has been in use — both culinary and medicinally — for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found evidence of arrowroot cultivation dating back 7,000 years. It is believed that in ancient times the Mayans used it to draw out poison from arrows, which is one theory for how the plant was named.[2]

Today, arrowroot is often used in place of cornstarch as a thickening agent in sauces and puddings, as well as a baking substitute for grain-based flours in the Paleo and grain-free community.[3] Arrowroot flour or starch is extracted from the roots (or rhizomes) of the arrowroot plant without the use of high heat or chemicals — it is washed, peeled, soaked, ground and dried.[4]

Arrowroot is an easily digested starch that is gentle on the digestive system, has a very mild taste, is low in protein, and has a low allergen potential — making it an excellent ingredient choice when baking for babies and young children.[1]

Higher in protein than other starches, arrowroot also contains potassium, iron, calcium, folate and vitamin B6. It is a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which may have prebiotic effects on the digestive system.[4]

Healthy Times offers two products containing arrowroot — Maple Arrowroot Cookies and Vanilla Arrowroot Cookies. The smooth texture, special shape and delicious flavor make them a perfect snack for your child’s first cookie.

About the Author: A nutritionist and the author of The Perfect Metabolism Plan, Sara Vance is a passionate advocate for natural approaches to health. She regularly offers cooking and group classes and has developed a series of online courses to empower people to use foods to balance their metabolism and overall health. As a mom and a specialist in childhood nutrition, Sara loves working with kids, speaking frequently at school assemblies and leading children’s workshops. Sara is a frequent guest on the Fox 5 San Diego show, CBS Los Angeles, KUSI and CW 6. She has contributed to Delicious Living, Mind Body Green and Refinery29. Sara has also filmed videos for eHow and created a Kids Yoga series for GaiamTV.

References and Sources

  1. Arrowroot
  2. Arrowroot
  3. What Flours are Grain Free?
  4. Boost Immunity & Soothe Digestion with Arrowroot


The content provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not recommended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical questions or concerns. See additional information.