What is Water Chestnut ?
Water chestnuts are synonymous with the bland and crunchy sliced vegetable found in Chinese takeout and ’70s-era “Asian” salads. They are grass-like sedge native to Asia, Australia, tropical Africa, and various islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is grown in many countries for its edible corms.
Health Benefits of Water Chestnuts
If you go out for Chinese food, your meal will often contain Chinese water chestnuts. Water chestnuts belong to the nonstarchy, low-calorie vegetable group that can keep you full longer while supplying your meals with vitamins and minerals. Water chestnuts also contain no cholesterol and are low in sodium and fat. Try adding them to salads, soups, wraps or even pizza toppings and take advantage of the health benefits of water chestnuts.
Mountains of Minerals: Water chestnuts contain 10 percent of the DV of potassium, copper and manganese in a half-cup serving. Each of these minerals plays a role in your overall health. Your heartbeat maintains a steady rhythm with the help of potassium, while copper aids in red blood cell production. Manganese helps build bones and also aids in metabolizing carbohydrates and cholesterol.
Low-Calorie Choice for Diets: Water chestnuts have only 60 calories in one-half cup, so you don’t have to worry about eating a little more of this nutritious vegetable if you are counting calories. You can eat water chestnuts for a low-calorie snack or add them to salads and other dishes, still getting all the health benefits while sticking to your diet.
Essential Vitamins Work Together: Adding water chestnuts to your salads or vegetable side dishes is a way to add essential vitamins to your daily diet. Just one-half cup water chestnuts provide 10 percent of the daily value of B-6, 7 percent of the DV of riboflavin and 6 percent of the DV of thiamin. Vitamin B-6 supports healthy brain and immune system function, while thiamin and riboflavin help your body convert food into energy.
Zero Cholesterol and Fat: When looking for cholesterol-free and fat-free foods to add to your meal plans, water chestnuts fill the bill. You can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke by maintaining your blood cholesterol level, and adding water chestnuts to your meals can help you do this. Water chestnuts’ zero fat content may help you prevent weight gain when adding them to your diet.
Uses of Water Chestnut
A quick scrub under running water transforms the muddy corms into smooth and shiny bulbs with dark, purple-brown skin. Once you’ve tasted a fresh water chestnut, though, you probably won’t have to worry about storing them for too long. That’s because they make an exceptional snack. “
- The corms can even be turned into a starch or flour for sweet cakes
- Fresh water chestnuts are often used in China as a key ingredient in sweets
- Variations on a dessert called “rubies in coconut milk” find them stained red with food colouring, fruit juice, or alcohol and floating in a sweetened coconut milk broth mostly in Thailand and Vietnam