Water Chestnuts is a mouth-watering vegetable that is priced reasonably and is readily available, making it a popular buy. They are grown mostly in Australia, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Southern China. They are crispy and mainly served as stir-fries, curries, and salads.
They are rich in nutrients and have hidden health benefits that make it more popular. The polyphenols and flavonoids provide antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer properties.
Let’s check the other benefits of water chestnuts.
Water chestnut nutrition for a 3.5 ounce serving of water chestnuts.
|Potassium||17 % of the RDI|
|Manganese||17 % of the RDI|
|Copper||16 % of the RDI|
|Vitamin b6||16% of the RDI|
|Riboflavin||12 % of the RDI|
The Health Benefits of Water Chestnuts
1. Rich Source of Potassium
It is an essential mineral of the body that helps to maintain the fluid balance and manage nerve signals of the brain. Potassium also helps to prevent strokes and reduce water retention in the body and helps balance blood pressure.
Approximately five water chestnuts have about 5% of the required daily potassium intake.
2. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants play a vital role in building a body’s immunity. Food sources that are rich in antioxidants help the body to fight against the free radicals that may cause cellular damage in the body.
Oxidative stress has been responsible for a lot of chronic diseases related to the heart, diabetes, and various forms of cancer. They are rich in ferulic acid, gallocatechin gallate, catechin gallate, and epicatechin gallate. These are all vital antioxidants.
Studies show that the antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that accelerate the progression of chronic diseases.
3. Treats Insomnia
As they are rich in Vitamin B-6, it aids sleep routine. It helps in providing uninterrupted sleep while alleviating your mood. Consuming before an hour of sleep produces some neurotransmitters that make the sleep more effective.
[Read: Natural Cures for Insomnia]
4. Renders Better Skin
Eating them regularly will provide you with better and glowing skin. The richness in vitamins and antioxidants improves the oxygen flow in the body that results in healthy-looking skin. It also detoxifies the body and improves the overall appearance.
Many use it to treat eczema by making a paste of water chestnut with lemon juice.
5. Aids Weight Loss
Although they are low in calories, it is considered a high volume of food that curbs hunger. It is made up of a lot of water and is free of calories. It helps to keep you fuller for a longer time and prevents binge eating. It can be a great strategy to lose weight.
They are made up of 74 % of water. Low Calories in water chestnuts make it an ideal vegetable for weight loss.
[Read: Natural Remedies To Lose Weight]
6. May Prevent Cancer
Cancer cells grow due to a large number of free radicals in the body. Water Chestnuts help to grow and spread, thus preventing metastasis of cancer. The antioxidants found in them prevent the growth of the cancer cells.
The ferulic acid found in them is linked to lower the growth of cancer.
A test-tube study revealed that it reduces the growth of breast, thyroid, skin, bone, and lung cancer cells.
7. Helps to Balance Thyroid Levels
Water chestnuts contain iodine. Iodine is required for the smooth functioning of thyroid glands. Consuming it every day can keep your thyroid levels in check.
8. Balances in Water Retention
Consuming them every day helps to balance the water levels in the body. The presence of potassium lowers the amount of sodium and reduces and regulates water retention.
You can eat it raw or grill it, pickle, or boil it.
Precautions to Consider
- Select and store the nuts carefully as they tend to rot easily.
- Buy during the right season. In India, it is mostly available in winters. You may also buy the tinned or packed ones found throughout the year.
- The unpeeled ones can be stored for four to five days.
- The peeled ones require to be stored in water and refrigerated for two weeks.
- Water must be changed every day to maintain the taste.
- Canned water chestnuts must be consumed once in a year. Once opened, it must be consumed immediately.
Water chestnuts can be eaten raw, or you can spice it up into delicious water chestnut recipes like egg rolls, vegetarian cabbage rolls, chestnut salads, chicken stir-fry, and stuffed green peppers. They are delicious and nutritious vegetables being extremely rich in antioxidants. Add them to your diet to extract the health benefits.
[Also Read: Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts ]
1. Can You Eat These Chestnuts Raw?
Yes. It is considered safe to eat it raw. You must Peel the outer skin and wash before consuming it.
2. Is Water Chestnut Safe for Diabetics?
This vegetable provides detoxifying and cooling properties. Water chestnuts are loaded with carbs, minerals, and proteins and are known to balance the blood sugar levels in the body.