There are very few aquatic plants in the human diet, with this stem being one of them. Often confused with water lilies, the lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is native to the warmer climates of Asia. Other names for it include Indian lotus, Egyptian bean, bean of India, and sacred lotus.
You will find the lotus root in Chinese cuisine, in which it's also prized for its purported medicinal effects.
In the United States, you will be lucky if you come across it in stir fry. Why? Because how much antioxidants there are in lotus is fairly high for a root vegetable. 100 grams will contain 73% of your daily value of vitamin C, however the heat of cooking destroys that. Fortunately, the lotus root phenolic profile includes other antioxidants that are less sensitive to heat; gallocatechin and catechin. Mineral content is limited, with copper being the most prevalent.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't: Antioxidant activity and profiles of common vegetables in Singapore. Food Chemistry. Volume 120, Issue 4. ScienceDirect 2010