Pork cooked in Sichuan sauce with pineapple, peppers and water chestnut. Photograph by ulterior epicure/Flickr
Water chestnuts are in season at the moment and there are a number of reasons why you should be eating them. Popular in Chinese and Thai dishes, this crunchy, juicy vegetable is packed with health benefits. Indian cuisine also uses water chestnut flour or singhare ka aata, especially during the time of shravan and Navratri, when wheat and refined flours are avoided. The flour is also free of gluten and has a low glycemic index. Some like to eat fresh water chestnuts straight from the market. Ensure that they are thoroughly washed, free of all dirt and that the skin has been peeled well.
Here are some of the benefits of water chestnuts
Water chestnuts control water retention since it contains potassium, a mineral which helps alleviate the condition.
The vegetable, which grows in marsh land, is also a great source of anti-oxidants and helps fight viral, fungal and bacterial infections by boosting the immunity system.
Since water chestnuts also contain iodine, they control and regulate the function of the thyroid gland.
The vegetable also lowers the risk of CVD (Cardio Vascular Disease) since it helps lower the blood cholesterol levels.
A handful of water chestnuts every day increase the potassium levels and decrease hypertension.
Water chestnuts flush out toxins from the system and are also improve skin health. The paste of water chestnuts and lemon juices helps alleviate skin conditions such as eczema.
The juice of water chestnuts is recommended for those suffering from nausea.
Since the vegetable is low in calories, it also helps promote weight loss. This is also why singhare ka aata or water chestnut flour is more beneficial to those on a weight loss diet.
Water chestnuts are also recommended to fight urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The vegetable also includes anti-inflammatory properties and is known to purify blood.