What are water chestnuts?
Water chestnut also called the Eleocharis dulcis is not a nut but an aquatic, starchy root vegetable that grows underwater. The stem-like leaves in these aquatic vegetables grow to about 1.5 meters. It is the most used common ingredient in Chinese cooking. Water chestnuts are enriched in fiber, potassium, and some antioxidants, which help in fighting with free radicals that are harmful to us. The taste of this vegetable is slightly sweet and mild, and are crunchy when raw and cooked.
Origin of water chestnuts:-
The water chestnuts originate from Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, and many Pacific islands. In the United States, canned ones are easily available.
Benefits of water chestnuts:-
Water chestnuts are full of nutrition, enriched in Protein, copper, potassium, magnesium, Riboflavin, vitamin B-6, having a lot of benefits, here are some of the other benefits:
Water chestnuts are a good source of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help the immune system to fight with free radicals which are harmful to your body.
- Low calorie
These aquatic vegetables have low calories. That is why it can be consumed as a healthy meal for dieters. Half a cup of water chestnuts contains only 60 calories.
- Filling fiber
They are high in fiber, which helps in good and healthy digestion which leads to controlled cholesterol and sugar level.
- Lowers Blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common health issue that contributes to heart disease and stroke. Water chestnut helps in lowering high blood pressure because of its nutrient potassium.
- Good source of vitamin
Water chestnuts are a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 aids in maintaining a healthy brain and it also helps the body to turn food into energy.
- Helps to fight with cancer
Water chestnuts also help in slowing the growth of cancer cells as it contains an antioxidant called ferulic acid.
- Reduces nausea
The juice of this healthy vegetable helps in reducing nausea and is beneficial for skin too.
- Effective for thyroid gland
It contains iodine and for this reason, it is very effective in the functioning of thyroid glands properly.
- Healthy hair growth
Water chestnuts are enriched in vitamin B and E and potassium which are all very good for the growth of healthy hair.
- Cure from eye diseases
Vitamin B6 helps in the prevention of eye disorders. Water chestnut is a good source of vitamin B6, which helps to prevent eye diseases.
- Relief from migraine
For migraines and headaches, vitamin B2 or riboflavin rich food like water chestnut is suggested.
- Helps in the healing of wound
Vitamin B5, present in this vegetable, helps in healing the wounds and cuts.
- Treatment for urine infection
The enzymes present in the water chestnut helps in the cleansing of the urinary bladder which prevents many other infections like urinary tract infection.
- Relieve from cough
It is very effective for sore throat and cough. It can be used in powder form added into juice or tea to relieve from cough.
Which is better; Fresh water chestnuts or canned water chestnuts?
Water chestnuts are available both fresh and canned. The canned ones are really easier to find. Fresh water chestnuts have a sweet taste with a juicy finish whereas the canned ones are void of any flavor. When it comes to price, the canned ones are comparatively cheaper than the fresh ones. Canned water chestnuts are easily available in every supermarket, however, the fresh ones are worth searching for.
3 Amazing recipes of water chestnuts
The healthy aquatic vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked. We have some amazing recipes for cooking water chestnut. Have a look.
1: Bacon water chestnut wraps
- 1 pound bacon strips
- 2 cans whole water chestnuts, drained
- Cut bacon strips in half.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp.
- Then drain it.
- Wrap each bacon piece around a water chestnut and secure with a toothpick.
- Place in an ungreased 13×9-in. baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mayonnaise and chili sauce.
- Then pour over water chestnuts.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Enjoy your wraps!
2: Tuna wraps:
- 1 pouch (6.4 ounces) light tuna in water
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup sliced water chestnuts, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped sweet red pepper
- 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 2 spinach tortillas (8 inches), room temperature
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- Mix light tuna, chopped celery, chopped green onions, sliced water chestnuts, chopped sweet red pepper, low-fat mayonnaise, and mustard in a bowl.
- Spread the mixture over tortillas.
- Sprinkle with lettuce.
- Roll up to make a wrap.
- Serve with garlic sauce or ketchup.
3: Baked chicken stir fry
- 2 cups uncooked instant rice
- 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Place rice in a greased 11×7-in. baking dish.
- Layer with the water chestnuts, chicken, and frozen vegetables.
- Add chicken broth, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Cover and bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Enjoy baked chicken stir fry.
The water chestnut is full of healthy nutrients. It has some unbelievable and uncountable benefits for the reason that it is enriched in vitamins and potassium. From curing diseases to glowing skin and healthy hair, it covers all the benefits! Every individual should try to make it a common ingredient in his everyday meal to gain all the advantages.