Water Chestnuts… Heart Disease Treatment?

Water chestnut has been an important food for worship as prayer offerings since the Chinese Zhou Dynasty. The Rites of Zhou (2nd century BC) mentioned that a worshipper “should use a bamboobasket containing dried water caltrops, the seeds of Euryale ferox and chestnuts” The Chinese Herbal Medicine Summary (published in 1694, written by Wang Ang) indicates that water caltrop can help fever and drunkenness.

The name “water chestnut” comes from the fact that it resembles a chestnut in shape and coloring. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, it has been cultivated in China since ancient times. Water chestnuts are often used in Chinese cooking.  The knobby vegetable with the papery brown skin is a staple in Chinese cooking. The water chestnut is actually not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes. This is why the ones that you purchase in the store may have a muddy coating.

Singara (pani ka phal) is widely cultivated in fresh water lakes. The fruits are eaten raw or boiled. When the fruit has been dried, it is ground to a flour called singhare ki ata. Singhare ki atta is used in many religious rituals and can be consumed as a phalahar diet on the Hindu fasting days, the Navratasas the fruit is rich in carbohydrates.
The halwa from Singade ki ata is eaten in very moderate quantities for the strengthening of the uterus during pregnancy. The flour is used in making rotis and this cures the excessive discharge in women.The flour is boiled in water and this decoction is taken to reduce symptoms of burning during urination and it also tackles other urinary disorders.

Increadible Health benefits of this fruit:

Besides their crunchy texture and sweet mild flavour, water chestnuts possess remarkable nutritional composition, making them an excellent food source. Their medicinal properties have rendered them usable in Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicines. Their numerous health benefits are as follows:

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:

  • 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. 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.
  • Just one-half cup water chestnuts provides 10 percent of the daily value of vitamins B6, B7.Vitamin B6 supports healthy brain and immune system function, while thiamin and riboflavin help your body convert food into energy.
  • Water chestnuts contain 10 percent of the DV of potassium, copper, manganese and iodine 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.
  • Water chestnut acts as an excellent coolant for the body. It promotes salivation and quenches thirst, being cool and light sweet.
  • Due to their detoxifying properties, water chestnuts are beneficial for people suffering from jaundice. Jaundice patients can eat it in raw form or in juice form. It acts as an excellent tonic for removing toxins from the body.
  • Since water chestnut contains useful minerals like iodine and manganese, it helps in maintaining proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
  • Being rich in polyphenolic and flavonoid antioxidants, water chestnuts possess anti-bacterial, antiviral, anticancer and antioxidant properties. They help in strengthening the stomach and the spleen and remove symptoms of weak spleen such as bad taste, insomnia, feeling sick, fatigue and cancer.
  • Water chestnut is effective in treating different urine infections.
  • The usage of water chestnut either in raw form or in juice form helps to alleviate the problem of bad appetite in children as well as in adults.
  • The juice of water chestnut is used to control diarrhea and dysentery and the fruits are used in treating sore throat, anemia, fractures, bronchitis and in leprosy.
  • Water chestnuts are effective in treating conditions like measles. Water chestnuts boiled in water makes an excellent solution for measles patients. Having this drink on a regular basis for at least 6-9 days of the cycle provides great results.

For women’s Health & Beauty:

Usual consumption of water chestnuts helps in treating hypertension during pregnancy and improves fetal growth. Porridge made from the flour of water chestnut is given to a pregnant woman after delivery to check hemorrhage. The dried seeds stop bleeding and treat miscarriage issues in women. Italso promotes mammary gland secretion of milk. The juice extracted from water chestnuts eliminates the humor of bile and phlegm and cures plethora. It also increases virility.

As stated earlier, water chestnuts purify the blood by removing toxins from the body. This results in theappearance of glowing and youthful skin.

Water chestnuts are beneficial for the hair in general as they contain certain essential nutrients such as potassium, zinc, B vitamins and vitamin E. Moreover, they remove toxins from the body that can damage your hair as well. Thus, their nutritional value has a lot to contribute to healthy hair.

The flour of the Indian water chestnut (singara) is beneficial even for men’s health.

5 gm of the flour is mixed with a glass of lukewarm milk. The milk can be sweetened. Drinking this mixture is improves men’s health.

Which one to choose:

When choosing fresh water chestnuts, look for firm ones with an unwrinkled skin and no soft spots – otherwise when you peel the water chestnut you may find it has softened and turned mushy brown. Generally, it’s best to buy a few more chestnuts than needed, just in case a few have spoiled.  Also avoid any chestnuts that look moldy as this taste will permeate the chestnut flesh.

Unpeeled, fresh water chestnuts will keep for up to two weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. It is possible to buy them and cook in boiling water right away.

Prior to cooking, you’ll need to cut off the top and peel the skin. If you want to peel them ahead of time, that’s fine, but be sure to store them in cold water in the refrigerator, with the water changed daily. I very much prefer to use only fresh water chestnuts.