Superb Health Benefits of Water Chestnuts

water chestnuts or singharaWater Chestnuts are a type of sedge that grows in damp mushy ponds, lakes and marshes. Scientifically called the Eleocharis dulcis, they are commonly known as the Water Caltrop or Chinese Water Chestnuts. A tuber vegetable these are widely used in Chinese cuisine. With a distinct starchy taste and crisp fleshy texture, they appear firm and are often used in combination with other vegetables to prepare a variety of dishes. These are also available in India and are known as Singhara or Paniphal.

Nutritional Profile of Water Chestnuts

Calcium 11.000 mg
Magnesium 22.000 mg
Water 73.460 g
Total Folate 16.000 mcg
Folate (food) 16.000 mcg
Energy 406.000 kj
Total lipid (fat) 0.100 g
Carbohydrate 23.940 g
Dietary Fibre 3.000 g
Total sugar 4.800 g
Sodium 14.000 mg
Vitamin C 4.000 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.328 mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1.200 mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.300 mcg
Total Choline 36.200 mg
Saturated fatty acids 16:0 0.016 g
Saturated fatty acids 18:0 0.004 g
Saturated fatty acids 14:0 0.001 g
Saturated fatty acids 12:0 0.003 g
Saturated fatty acids 10:0 0.001 g
Iron 0.060 mg
Selenium 0.700 mcg
Polyunsaturated fatty acids 18:3 undifferentiated 0.010 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.043 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids 18:2 undifferentiated 0.032 g
Ash 0.100 g
Zinc 0.500 mg
Copper 0.326 mg
Riboflavin 0.200 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.479 mg
Niacin 1.000 mg
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.026 g
Folate, DFE 16.000 mcg
Potassium 584.000 mg
Phosphorus 63.000 mg
Manganese 0.326 mg
Thiamine 0.140 mg
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.002 g
Energy 97.000 kcal
Monounsaturated fatty acids 18:1 undifferentiated 0.001 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids 16:1 undifferentiated 0.001 g
Health Benefits of Water Chestnuts or Singhara

The most remarkable aspect of this aquatic vegetable is their unique nutritional composition that is free of fat, cholesterol and gluten which makes them a healthy option.

1. Promote Thyroid Secretion
Owing to the presence of essential minerals like iodine and manganese, water chestnuts improve secretion of thyroid glands and promote effective functioning.

2. Relieves Digestive Disorders
The insoluble fibres that exist in water chestnuts regulate bowel movements and relieve constipation. It also encourages the friendly flora in the gut, enabling healthy absorption of nutrients. Besides this, these keep the intestines healthy, alleviating diarrhea and dysentery.

3. Helps Manage Diabetes
Water chestnuts containing just zero fat, cholesterol and gluten help manage diabetes effectively. Owing to these factors water chestnuts make an ideal snack option for people with increased blood sugar levels. The low GI index imparts satiation and improves insulin secretion and slow glucose absorption.

4. Good for the Heart
Since water chestnuts contain profuse amounts of soluble and insoluble fibres they help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. Moreover, these consist of good amounts of potassium, that stabilise blood pressure levels by balancing sodium content in the body, easing water retention, thus reducing risk of cardiac related ailments.

5. Cuts Risk of Cancer
Possessing loads of flavonoid and polyphenolic compounds, offering potent antioxidant and anticancer properties, these reduce risk of cancer, by scavenging and destroying free radical elements in the body and reducing the possibility of oxidative stress and cellular damage.

6. Natural Blood Purifier
Since water chestnuts have the ability to remove toxins from the body they purify blood.

7. Effective Cure for Jaundice
Water chestnuts with powerful detoxifying substances make an effective cure for jaundice.

8. Treats Measles Naturally
Boiling water chestnuts in water and consuming the liquid from the third to the ninth day of the infection treats measles naturally.

9. Skin and Hair Benefits
Water chestnuts with essential minerals and vitamins like zinc and B complex promote hair growth and keep the hair follicles strong. Furthermore, due to their potent antioxidant and antibacterial properties, they prevent skin breakouts keeping the skin supple and radiant. These also offer anti ageing benefits as they are capable of eliminating free radicals from the body.


Individual Concerns

Although water chestnuts are safe and do not produce any side effects, in some rare cases they may cause allergic reactions like breathlessness, skin irritation and queasiness. Under such circumstances it is advisable to seek medical attention.

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