Water Chestnuts Nutritional Value and 12 Health Benefits

Water chestnuts are vegetables, which are quite commonly found in Chinese households. Although these are seasonal vegetables, canned water chestnuts can be purchased throughout the year in South East Asia. This explains why water chestnuts have always been an important ingredient in Asian cuisine.

Water chestnuts are a root vegetable. Unlike their name, they have no relationship to the common chestnut. Water chestnuts are perennial plants that grow and purify the water in swampy garden settings or shallow ponds. The edible corms grow underwater attached to rhizomes. Water chestnuts are very hardy and require little care.

Water chestnuts also possess a singular nutritional composition, which makes them an excellent food source worth being a dietary staple. For this reason, they are set apart from all the other nuts. Moreover, the most significant fact is that they are free from any cholesterol and are almost fat-free. They are also gluten-free.

They have white and crispy flesh and small, rounded corms that can be eaten raw. Water chestnuts are a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine.

Water Chestnuts Nutritional Value and Facts

Amount of Water Chestnuts: 1 cup
Total Weight of Water Chestnuts: 120 g

 Potassium  497 mg
Phosphorus 90 mg
Calcium    24 mg
Magnesium   28 mg
Iron 0.76 mg
Zinc  0.48 mg
copper0.426 mg
Selenium      1 mcg
Vitamin C21.8 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) –0.204 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)0.147 mg
Niacin1.127 mg
Pantothenic Acid0.465 mg
Vitamin B60.417 mg
Folate59 mcg
Vitamin A20 IU
Vitamin E0.42 mg
Vitamin K6.6 mcg
Protein2.66 grams
Carbohydrates32.1 grams 
Fat0.2 gram
Dietary fiber14.9 grams 
Water48.2 grams
Water Chestnuts Nutritional Value
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Health Benefits of Eating Water Chestnuts

  1. Water chestnuts have a very low-fat content and are, therefore, a great food option for highly health-conscious people. Half a cup of water chestnuts contains only 0.1 g of fat.
  2. Water chestnuts are an excellent source of potassium, which is an extremely beneficial mineral for human beings. Half a cup of water chestnuts contains 350 to 360 mg of potassium.
  3. Water chestnuts are known to have cooling properties; they are just perfect during the scorching summers. Therefore, they are extremely popular in tropical countries. They are also known to have numerous curative and supplementary properties.
  4. Drinking water chestnut juice can help alleviate the problem of nausea and bad appetite in kids.
  5. Water chestnuts are also known to contain detoxifying properties. They are extremely advantageous for those who are suffering from jaundice.
  6. Water chestnut powder is useful for relieving cough. Grind water chestnuts to make a powder. Consume this powder with water twice a day. It will surely be immensely beneficial towards alleviating cough.
  7. Water chestnuts are also good for treating conditions like measles. Boiling them in water makes the best drink for measles patients, which can be given from the third day till the ninth day of the cycle.
  8. If the paste made from powdered skins of water chestnut is applied to the swelling, it gives relief.
  9. If the porridge made from the flour of water chestnut is given to a pregnant woman after delivery, the hemorrhage can be checked.
  10. Water chestnuts eliminate inflammations and blood impurities.
  11. They supply energy, drive away tiredness, and check the flow of blood from the wounds.
  12. Generally consumed raw, water chestnuts can also be sautéed or steamed. They can be served as a handy and great snack for the evening. 

Selection and Storage Tips

  • While you are choosing water chestnuts, make sure you pick the ones, which are firm and have unwrinkled skin. Also, make sure 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 them within three days. 

Water chestnuts work as taste enhancers and are great appetizers. They are extremely popular in salads in certain parts of the world. Even though their nutritional value is not as great as green leafy vegetables, they are great sources of vitamin B and fiber. They also hold good amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, which make them especially consumable. So, if you want to enjoy the health benefits that water chestnuts provide, then make sure to include them in your daily diet.

Water chestnuts, despite their name, are not nuts at all but rather versatile root vegetables cherished in Asian cuisine for their crisp texture and unique nutritional benefits. Packed with an array of essential minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber, they stand out as a low-fat, gluten-free, and cholesterol-free dietary option.

Their nutritional profile boasts potassium, aiding in various bodily functions, and an array of vitamins like Vitamin C, essential for immunity. Beyond their nutritional value, water chestnuts have been celebrated for their therapeutic properties, from easing nausea to aiding in conditions like jaundice and cough.

Their culinary adaptability allows for diverse preparations, whether raw in salads or cooked in stir-fries. Their shelf life, whether fresh or canned, offers convenience while preserving their goodness.

Incorporating water chestnuts into your daily meals not only introduces a unique flavor but also serves as a smart dietary choice, complementing a healthy lifestyle. Whether for their taste, nutritional content, or medicinal properties, these root vegetables stand as a testament to both culinary diversity and holistic well-being.

Water chestnuts, beyond their culinary appeal, symbolize a harmonious blend of taste and health benefits. Their impressive nutrient composition and medicinal attributes elevate them to a status beyond mere ingredients, positioning them as a dietary cornerstone.

These root vegetables boast a bounty of minerals and vitamins, catering to various bodily needs while offering a low-fat, gluten-free alternative. From their potassium-rich profile to their vitamin-packed content, they serve as a nutritional powerhouse, contributing to overall well-being.

Their therapeutic properties, from alleviating nausea to aiding in postnatal care, underscore their significance in traditional medicine. Coupled with their versatility in dishes, whether as palate-refreshing additives or substantial ingredients, water chestnuts emerge as a holistic choice for health-conscious individuals.

Embracing water chestnuts in your diet not only introduces a unique flavor but also aligns with a wellness-focused lifestyle. Their rich history in Asian cuisine, coupled with their nutritional density and medicinal heritage, solidifies their status as a valuable addition to a balanced and healthful diet.