Health benefits of water chestnuts

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Health benefits of water chestnuts

Health benefits of water chestnuts


Water chestnuts and Chinese water chestnuts are the same grass-like plant native to Asian countries such as China, India, the Philippines, and Japan. Their plants also grow in Australia, tropical Africa, and some islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Despite their name, water chestnuts are not nuts. It is an aquatic vegetable that usually grows underwater in wetlands and marshy areas.

Health benefits of water chestnuts
Health benefits of water chestnuts

Where does water chestnut grow?

Water chestnut technically refers to the whole plant, but most people refer to the small round tubers that are harvested from the plant and eaten cooked or raw. They are commonly used to feed cattle throughout Asia and produce wood for pulp and food.

Water chestnut is popular in many Chinese dishes, such as stir-fries and chop suey.

Health benefits

Water chestnuts contain many antioxidants that can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases and conditions. Eating water chestnuts provides additional health benefits, e.g.,

Improve blood pressure

The potassium in chestnut water can reduce the risk of stroke and high blood pressure associated with heart disease. Studies have shown that people who consume more potassium have a much lower risk of stroke and high blood pressure.

Cancer preventive

The antioxidants in water chestnuts can reduce the risk of certain cancers. Research shows that antioxidants can significantly slow the growth of cancer cells.

Weight loss

People who are on a weight loss plan benefit from the low-calorie content of water. Water chestnut is a prolific food that can curb hunger without adding too many calories to your diet.

Digestive Health

Water chestnuts are rich in nutrients, which help your body digest. Fiber has a digestive function that allows food to pass through the large intestine. As the fibers absorb water, they make the stool soft and easier to pass.

Water chestnut nutrition

Water chestnut is high in fiber and low in fat, making it a rich source of fiber. It is rich in vitamins and powerful antioxidants.

Water chestnut is a good source of

  • Riboflavin
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Copper

Nutrients per serving

A sliced half cup of water chestnuts contains:

  • Calories: 45
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 10 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 2 grams

Things to note

Eating raw chestnut plants can transmit an infectious parasite called fascioloidiasis. There is little risk with canned water chestnuts, but if you buy raw water chestnuts, you should always wash them thoroughly.

How to Make Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts can be eaten raw, cooked, grilled, pickled, or canned.

It is unusual in that they retain a crunchy texture even after cooking or canning, due to their high ferulic acid content. This property makes water chestnut a popular topping for stir-fries and many Chinese dishes. In the United States, American Chinese Chop Suey is one of the most common dishes using water chestnuts.

Health benefits of chestnuts,chestnuts cake
Health benefits of  water chestnuts

Freshwater chestnuts are sweeter than canned ones. To enjoy fresh water chestnuts, we recommend washing them thoroughly, peeling them, and eating them raw. Or steam and add to stir-fries, soups,  salads, and cakes. Many people enjoy water chestnuts as a snack, especially when pickled or candied. Water chestnuts can also be dried and ground into thickeners and flours that can be used in baked goods.

Water chestnut recipes

  • Add water chestnuts to stir-fries with spicy meats and aromatic vegetables.
  • Use water chestnuts as stuffing for lettuce wraps.
  • Vegetarian spring rolls stuffed with water chestnuts
  • Sautéed water chestnuts, green beans, and ginger
  • Wrap water chestnuts in bacon and fry until crispy.
  • Add water chestnuts to chicken and tuna salad recipes for extra crunch.

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