Water Chestnut – A Healthy Aquatic Fruit

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Water Chestnut

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The water caltrop, water chestnut, buffalo nut, bat nut, devil pod, Singhara or Pani-fol refer to any of three, extant species of the genus Trapa: Trapa natansWater caltrop

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Floating Rosette of Water Chestnuts

Water chestnut are a rosette of floating, fan-shaped leaves, each leaf having a slightly inflated stem. The roots are fine, long, profuse; the small 4-petalled flower is white The fruit is a large nut produced under the rosette having four sharp spines, or two depending on the species. The “chestnut” usually weights about six grams. They don’t float.

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The Water Chestnut seed is well armed

Seeds overwinter at the bottom of water bodies and germinate during warmer months producing stems that reach the water surface and produce rosettes. Fruits ripen in about a month and can remain viable for up to five years some report twelve years. Each seed can produce ten to fifteen rosettes and each rosette may produce as many as twenty seeds.

It is found is ponds, lakes, and slow portions of rivers.

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Shelled seeds (nuts) are eaten raw, roasted, boiled, or fried. They are also preserved in honey and sugar, candied, or ground into flour for bread and confections.

Singhare Ka Atta or Water Chestnut Flour is also prepared from water Chestnut.  The nuts are boiled, peeled, dried then ground into flour. The flour is bright white fine powder; it is actually a starch rather than flour.

The flour is primarily use as a thickener. It is also used in Asian recipes to make batters for deep-frying.

Singhare ka atta is used in many religious rituals and is beenconsumed as a phalahar diet on the Hindu fasting days.

Water chestnuts are known to posses a remarkable nutritional composition, which makes them an excellent food source that can be a dietary staple. For this reason, they are set apart from all the other nuts. The best part is that they are free of any cholesterol and are almost fat-free. They are also gluten-free. They have a white and crispy flesh and small, rounded corms that can also be eaten raw. Water chestnuts are a popular ingredient in the Chinese cuisine. This article comes up with some amazing health benefits of water chestnuts. Read on to know their nutritional value as well.

Nutritional Value Of Water Chestnut

Amount of Water Chestnut:100g

Nutrient                                Amount
Water                                     48.2 g
Protein                                  3.4 g
Fat                                          0.2 g
Carbohydrates                  32.1 g
Sugars                                   3.3 g
Energy                                  730
Dietary Fiber                    14.9 g
Calcium                              17.6 mg
Zinc                                     0.4 mg
Iron                                    0.7 mg
Sodium                             0.8 mg
Potassium                       468 mg
Nutrition & Health Benefits of Eating Water Chestnuts

  • Water chestnuts are just the perfect food for those who want to lead a healthy life. They are almost fatless and are therefore, a healthy food option. Half a cup of water chestnuts contains only 0.1 g fat.
  • Water chestnuts are an excellent source of potassium, which is a very important mineral for human health. Half a cup of water chestnuts contains 350 to 360 mg of potassium.
  • Water chestnuts are known to have cooling properties and as such, they are just perfect to beat the summer heat. They are also known to have numerous curative and supplementary properties.
  • Drinking water chestnut juice can help alleviate the problem of nausea and bad appetite in kids.
  • Water chestnuts are also known to contain detoxifying properties and are considered to be good for people suffering from jaundice.
  • Water chestnut powder helps to relieve cough. Grind water chestnuts to make a powder. Consume this powder with water twice a day. This dosage will bring quick relief in cough.
  • Water chestnuts are also good in treating conditions like measles. Boiling them in water makes the best drink for the measles patients, which can be given from the third day till the ninth day of the cycle.

Selection & Storage Tips

  • When selecting water chestnuts, look for the ones that are firm and have unwrinkled skin. Also, check that there are no soft spots. You can buy a few more chestnuts than required, just in case some have spoiled.
  • Fresh and unpeeled water chestnuts can be kept for two weeks, in a plastic bag, inside a refrigerator.
  • Peel off the skin and cut off the top of water chestnuts, before you start cooking them.
  • Canned water chestnuts can be stored for a year in a cool and dry place. Once the can has been opened, store the chestnuts in a sealed container and use within three days.
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