Water Chestnuts known as Eleocharis Dulcis is an aquatic plant that grows in marshes, bogs, and the margins of other wetland.
It is native to Asia and grown in many countries for its edible corms.
A corm or bulbotuber is a short swollen underground plant stem or base that serves as a storage organ.
It has a crunchy texture and a mild taste that is mouthwatering.
You can eat it raw, cooked, in various dishes, salads or can use it as stir-fries and in curries.
Do not confuse Eleocharis Dulcis with water caltrops (Trapa natans).
Water Caltrops tastes similar to yams and potatoes and looks like bat or buffalo head.
What are Water Chestnuts?
Chestnuts are native to Asia and grow in many countries.
Such as China, Japan, India, the Philippines, Africa, Australia and various islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans.
It is a non-starchy and a low-calorie vegetable and has a sweet and nutty flavor.
It has a texture of Asian pear that grows in underwater for about 1.5 meters.
The vast majority of nuts gets imported from China and Taiwan.
Types of Water Chestnuts
There are mainly three types of chestnuts that are most popular.
1. Chinese Water Chestnuts
It is the turnip-shaped tubers and treated as a vegetable.
Primarily, a root-like plant that grows under fresh water and mud.
Chinese use it as a vegetable and eat it as raw and cooked.
It is rich in fiber and crispy, neutral to taste and it’s every bite is firm.
2. European Water Chestnuts
The Chestnut is a nut and not a vegetable that existed in Europe for a long time.
It is different from others chestnuts and also known as Trapa Natans.
It is known as Water Caltrops in some parts of Europe.
In Asia and Europe, People eat it as raw, boiled and roasted.
3. Indian Water Chestnuts
It is popular among India and South-East Asia.
In India, its name is Singhara (or Singara) nuts that are much tastier than Chinese Chestnuts.
Indian farmers grow them as cash crops.
They partly grow fish in the pond for half a year and chestnuts for the other half.
Nutritional Value of Water Chestnuts
It is low in calories, and raw water chestnuts contain 74% of water.
Nutritional Value per 100 gram
Amt. per serving
% Daily Value*
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Surprising Health Benefits of Water Chestnuts
Rich in Minerals and Nutrients
A half cup of servings contains potassium, manganese, copper and other nutrients.
It plays a vital role in maintaining your total health.
Potassium helps to maintain a stable heartbeat rhythm and lower the blood pressure.
Copper helps in producing the red blood cells.
Manganese helps to build bones and metabolizes carbohydrates and cholesterol.
It also provides an excellent source of fiber that helps to reduce cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.
Chestnuts are low in calories and help to maintain your gut health.
The Chestnut is rich in vitamin C and B6.
Vitamin C is helpful in the formation of teeth, bones and blood vessels.
It also protects from the harmful free radicals.
The 100 gm of nuts provides 6 to 7 per cent of vitamin C.
Whereas the 100 gm of Chestnuts provides 0.2 to 0.3 mg of Vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 helps to maintain your skin, nerves and red blood cells.
It also produces good hormones that help to improve your mood.
Promotes Weight Loss
It is low in calories and fat-free food that contributes to your perfect diet plan.
A half cup of Water Chestnut contains only 0.1 gram fat.
Its low-fat content is helpful in reducing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
You can incorporate it into your meal plan on a daily basis.
You can also read about 11 Quick and Easy Weight Loss Recipes You Should Try.
Its calcium content helps to improve bone health and boost the immune system.
Copper is helpful in absorbing the iron which is necessary for the development of bones.
Magnesium in chestnut helps to enhance mineral bone density.
These minerals are beneficial in maintaining and developing strong bones.
Treat Cough and Flu Infections
It is a natural way to treat common cold and cough infections.
Its vegetable is helpful to treat a sore throat.
Drink its juice to cure the phlegm and common cough problems.
Take its juice two times a day to get relief from these infections.
You can also read about 28 Home Remedies for Cough That Actually Work.
Enhances Fetal Growth
Chestnuts are beneficial in improving the growth of fetal during pregnancy.
It helps to reduce hypertension and supports the development of the fetus.
The dried seed of nuts helps to treat miscarriage issues and stop bleeding.
Secretion of Mother Milk
It helps to stimulate the mammary gland.
It further helps the mother of a newborn in the secretion of milk.
The Chestnut water is useful in treating jaundice and reduce the symptoms of nausea.
Its juice is a natural remedy to cure indigestion and stomach related problems.
It helps to detoxify the body and reduces the impurities.
Maintains Thyroid Gland
Chestnuts contain minerals such as magnesium and iodine.
The presence of these minerals helps to maintain the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Free from Gluten
Chestnuts is a gluten-free food for those who have allergy from gluten.
It is beneficial for the patients with celiac disease.
Celiac is a disease that upsets small intestine with the consumption of gluten.
Gluten may lead to sensitivity or allergy from wheat.
Chestnuts are useful to eat for those suffering from the celiac problem.
Provide Energy Levels
It contains carbohydrates which are necessary for proving energy levels.
It helps to purify the blood and reduce inflammation.
The chestnut juice can provide with the energy flow and proper functioning of the nervous system.
Carbs slow down the digestion process that in turn helps to retain the energy level for a long time.
Rich in Antioxidants
Water Chestnut is a high source of antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative stress.
It also gives protection from free radicals and toxins.
It reduces the symptoms of insomnia, fatigue, sickness, and cancer.
Reduces the Risk of Many Disease
It is a natural remedy that is useful in treating many diseases.
Chestnuts are helpful in managing diabetes, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
A diabetic patient can consume these nuts without any worry.
You can also consult with a doctor before taking it in the diet.
It also maintains heart health and reduces the risk of cancer.
Good for Hair
Chestnuts contain Potassium, Vitamin B & E, and Zinc.
All these nutrients are beneficial for the hair growth and protect from damage.
It maintains hair health and removes toxins from the body.
Beneficial for Skin
Chestnuts are good for the skin if incorporated in your eating habits.
It purifies the blood that makes your skin glowy, young and energetic.
It also helps to treats the conditions of measles.
The boiled water of Chestnuts is the natural solution for measles patients.
Uses of Chestnuts
The Chestnuts is useful in multiple ways that are good for the health.
You can eat it raw, sliced, cooked, drink its juice, or in the powder form.
Else you can try it as grilled, boiled, fried or pickled.
- For a Cough:
You can drink its juice two times a day to get relief from common cold. Grind the chestnuts to make its powder and consume it with water.
- For Eczema: It will help you to treat eczema. Take chestnuts seeds and grind it to make its powder. Mix it with a lemon juice and apply it on the affected areas.
- For Skin: You can make a paste of chestnuts and apply it on the swollen areas. It will help to heal the swelling naturally and give relief.
- You can also drink its juice to control your health issues. Such as diabetes, blood sugar control and to stable heartbeats.
Side Effects of Water Chestnuts
- Its overconsumption may lead to brain or nerve damage.
- It may cause allergies to those who are allergic to nuts.
- Its long-term consumption may lead to health issues such as Anaphylaxis.
- It excessive consumption may also lead to bloating and stomach ache.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Canned Water Chestnuts Healthy?
The fresh chestnuts have a crispy and sweet taste when eaten raw.
You can opt for canned if you want to use it for stir-fries, dumplings fillings, stuffing or grilling.
If you are using canned chestnuts, then store it in a cool and dry place.
Before using canned nuts rinse them with warm water to remove any small tissues.
Use chestnuts within three days if the seal of caned is opened and store it in the refrigerator.
2. Are Water Chestnuts Nuts or Roots?
The chestnuts are neither roots or nuts.
They are corms that are modified stem basis and an underground storage organ.
It is an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes under the water in the mud.
The Chinese water chestnuts are vegetable whereas the European water chestnuts are nuts.
3. Is Eating Too Many Chestnuts Is Bad for Health?
Yes, Consuming it on a large scale may lead to many unpleasant side effects.
It is advisable to eat it in a limited dose if you want to get rid of any ill effects.
Its consumption may lead to indigestion, stomach pain, brain damage or allergies.
No doubt you can eat chestnuts but do not eat it more than necessity.
4. How to Peel Water Chestnuts?
Take a Chestnut and cut it from the top and bottom with a knife.
Now use a peeler to peel it from the other sides.
Cut it into slices and your chestnut it ready to be eaten raw.
5. How Do You Recognize Good Quality Chestnuts?
Well, It is not easy to determine the perfect quality of the chestnuts.
Some chestnuts may look beautiful to the eyes but seem impossible to peel.
You can find it by it soft surface and how hard it is and it has a gloss to them.
The nuts that are not fresh are dried out and may loosen its gloss.
It is better to purchase fresh water chestnuts as clean as possible.
6. Can I Grow Water Chestnuts at Home?
Yes, Surely as it is very much easy to grow it at home. Buy two to four pieces of Chinese Water chestnuts.
Your first step is to sprout them for that put them in a bowl of water.
Change its water daily and put it in the sunspot area.
When they have sprouted some green shoots and roots, you are ready to plant them.
Take a large container and fill it with 3 to 4 inches of dirt or mud.
Now plant them in the mud and add 2 to 3 inches of water to it.
Make sure the green shoots are out of the water.
Watch them grow and make sure to replace the water every week.
It takes 6 to 7 months to grow chestnuts.
7. How Do Water Chestnuts Grow?
It grows in underwater mud in the marshes or bogs.
It further turns muddy corms into smooth and shiny bulbs with dark, purple-brown skin.
Corms are short underground storage organs.
It stays coated into a papery scale that protects it from adverse conditions such as cold or heat.
It also gives protection from insects, digging animals, and from damaging or drying out.
8. Where Do Water Chestnuts Come From?
It is native to Asia and widely grown in many countries for its edible corms.
Greece via Europe was first to introduce chestnuts.
Water Chestnuts are also found in China, Japan, India, Philippines, Australia, tropical Africa, and many islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.