Water Chestnut: Singhara Health Benefits, Calories, Nutrition Facts

Water chestnuts, scientifically known as Eleocharis dulcis, belong to the sedge family and are aquatic vegetables. Despite their name, they are not nuts but rather corms, which are underground plant stems that store energy for the plant. The corms have a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet taste. They possess a bulbous shape with a dark brown outer skin and a white, crisp, and juicy interior. The white part inside the Chinese water chestnut is indeed edible. People peel away the outer brown skin to reveal the white, crunchy interior, which is the part most commonly useful. This white, crisp flesh features in various culinary dishes, such as stir-fries, salads, soups, and desserts.

Water Chestnut Nutrition Facts and Calories Chart

Water chestnut is a nutritious food with many health benefits. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help to maintain good health. Also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps to improve digestion and reduce cholesterol levels. It is also high in antioxidants and helps to reduce inflammation. Additionally, water chestnut is low in calories and fat, making it a great addition to a healthy diet. It can also help to regulate blood sugar levels, improve heart health, and protect against certain types of cancer. The nutrition facts for chestnuts vary depending on the type. Water chestnuts, which are the white, tuberous roots of a water plant, are low in calories and fat, but they are a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5-ounce) cooked water chestnuts:

  • Biotin: 0 µg
  • Calcium: 30 mg
  • Carbohydrates (Carbs): 21 g
  • Chloride: 0 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Choline: 10 mg
  • Chromium: 0 µg
  • Copper: 0.1 mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Energy (Calories): 76 kcal
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Iodine: 0 µg
  • Iron: 0.7 mg
  • Magnesium: 32 mg
  • Manganese: 0.2 mg
  • Molybdenum: 0 µg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.3 mg
  • Phosphorus: 70 mg
  • Potassium: 236 mg
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Selenium: 0 µg
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Sugars: 7.3 g
  • Vitamin A: 0 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.03 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.4 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.3 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 0 µg
  • Vitamin B12: 0 µg
  • Vitamin C: 0 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Vitamin E: 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin K: 0 µg
  • Water: 81.2 g
  • Zinc: 0.2 mg

Different Types

  1. Chinese Water Chestnut: People have cultivated this type of water chestnut in China for centuries, where it is native. It has a crunchy texture and a sweet nutty flavor.
  2. Indian Water Chestnut: This type of water chestnut is native to India and is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. It has a crunchy texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.
  3. Red / White Water Chestnut: Many Asian dishes use this type of water chestnut, which is native to Southeast Asia. It has a crunchy texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.
  4. Jicama Water Chestnut: Many Mexican dishes use this type of water chestnut, which is native to Mexico. It has a crunchy texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.

Water Chestnut In India

Water chestnuts (conker) are native to Asia, particularly found in China, India, Japan, and various other parts of Southeast Asia. Farmers commonly cultivate them in marshy or flooded areas, where they thrive in muddy or sandy soils. They process the shiny brown seeds, which are poisonous if eaten, to create an effective medicine for the veins. Aesculin, found in horse chestnut seed, which is often have blood-thinning or antispasmodic properties.

  • Scientific Binomial: Aesculus hippocastanum / Trapa bispinosa (Indian Water Chestnut) / Chinese Water Chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis)
  • Common English: Water Chestnut
  • Ayurvedic: Shrngaataka / Shrngaata / Shrngamuula / Trikota / Jalaphala / Trikonaphala / Paaniyaphala / Jalkanda / Trikona / Trika
  • Unani: Singhaaraa
  • Sanskrit
  • Hindi / Urdu: Singhara
  • Bengali: Pani phol
  • Marathi: Shingada
  • Telugu
  • Tamil
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi / Sindhi
  • Assamese
  • Kashmiri
  • Konkani
  • Manipuri
  • Dogri
  • Bhojpuri

Chestnut vs Water Chestnut

The main difference between chestnuts and water chestnuts lies in their botanical classification, taste, and usage. Chestnuts, such as the ones commonly associated with holiday recipes, are nuts that grow on trees belonging to the genus Castanea. Their starchy texture often leads to roasting or inclusion in soups and desserts. Water chestnuts, on the other hand, grow in marshes or flooded fields as aquatic vegetables. They are part of the genus Eleocharis and are popular for their crunchy texture and mild, slightly sweet taste. People primarily use water chestnuts in Asian cuisine, incorporating them into stir-fries, salads, and various other dishes.

Side Effects and Precautions

The seeds, leaves, flowers, and bark are somewhat toxic unless processed. Use in one fourth the dosages of other herbs. May interfere with the action of other drugs, especially blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin). May irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Rare cases of digestive upset, headaches, and skin itching. Avoid horse chestnut if you have liver or kidney disease or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Q. Can water chestnuts help with weight management?

Water chestnuts can potentially aid in weight management due to their low calorie and low-fat content. They are also rich in dietary fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake. Additionally, their crunchy texture adds satisfying mouthfeel to dishes without significantly increasing calorie consumption. However, it’s important to note that while water chestnuts can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet, weight management is influenced by various factors including overall dietary habits, physical activity levels, and individual metabolism.

Q. Is water chestnut flour gluten-free?

Yes, water chestnut flour is gluten-free. Since water chestnuts are not grains, their flour does not contain gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Water chestnut flour is often used as a gluten-free alternative in baking and cooking for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It can be used to make gluten-free baked goods such as cakes, cookies, and bread. Additionally, water chestnut flour can also be used as a thickening agent in soups, sauces, and gravies.

Q. Where can I find water chestnuts in the grocery store?

Water chestnuts are typically found in the international or Asian foods section of grocery stores. They are available in various forms including canned, fresh, and sometimes frozen. Canned water chestnuts are the most common and convenient option, often packed in water to maintain freshness. Fresh water chestnuts may be available seasonally in some specialty markets or Asian grocery stores. If you cannot find them in the produce section, try checking the canned vegetables aisle.

Q. How should water chestnuts be stored to maintain freshness?

Fresh water chestnuts should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you purchase them with the stems attached, remove the stems before storing. They can be stored in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they will stay fresh for up to a couple of weeks. Canned water chestnuts should be stored in a cool, dry place such as a pantry. Once opened, transfer any unused portions to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Q. What are the best ways to cook water chestnuts?

Water chestnuts are versatile and can be cooked in various ways. They can be sliced or diced and added to stir-fries, salads, soups, and noodle dishes to add crunch and texture. They can also be used in spring rolls, dumplings, and other appetizers. Water chestnuts can be briefly blanched, sautéed, or stir-fried to retain their crispness and natural flavor. They can also be canned and used directly in recipes without further cooking.

Q. What can you use as an alternative for water chestnuts in a recipe?

If you’re looking for alternatives to water chestnuts, consider using jicama, bamboo shoots, or celery. These vegetables provide a similar crunchy texture and can substitute water chestnuts in recipes where they are required. However, keep in mind that the flavor profile may vary slightly, so you may need to adjust seasonings accordingly. Additionally, you can also use diced or sliced water chestnut alternatives such as radishes or turnips in certain recipes to achieve a similar texture and crunchiness. Experiment with different options to find the best alternative for your dish.

Q. What do water chestnuts taste like?

Water chestnuts have a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a crunchy texture. People often compare their texture to that of apples or jicama. The taste is refreshing and subtle, making water chestnuts a versatile ingredient in various culinary dishes. They absorb flavors well and complement both savory and sweet dishes, adding crunch and texture without overpowering other ingredients.

Q. Does the fruit “water-chestnut” help diabetes?

Water chestnuts are low in calories and fat, and they contain a moderate amount of fiber. The fiber content can potentially help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream. Additionally, water chestnuts have a low glycemic index, which means they are less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels compared to high-glycemic foods. However, individuals with diabetes should consume water chestnuts in moderation as part of an overall healthy eating plan, despite their potential to be part of a balanced diet.

Q. Do you need to cook canned water chestnuts?

During the canning process, manufacturers typically pre-cook canned water chestnuts, making them safe to eat straight out of the can. However, many recipes require adding canned water chestnuts to stir-fries, salads, soups, and other dishes, where additional cooking can enhance their flavor and texture. Cooking canned water chestnuts can help soften them slightly and incorporate them more fully into the dish.

Q. Can you eat water chestnuts with a nut allergy?

Despite their name, water chestnuts are not nuts; they are aquatic vegetables that grow underwater. Individuals with nut allergies can typically consume water chestnuts safely without experiencing allergic reactions. However, if you have a severe allergy or are uncertain about potential cross-contamination, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating new foods into your diet.

Q. Is singhara atta or water chestnut flour good for a low-carb diet?

Singhara atta, also known as water chestnut flour, is often used as a substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free and grain-free recipes. It is relatively low in carbohydrates compared to wheat flour, making it a suitable option for individuals following a low-carb diet or those who need to manage their blood sugar levels. However, like any other food, it’s important to consume singhara atta in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet, especially if you are monitoring your carbohydrate intake for specific health reasons.

Q. Is water chestnut flour good for the skin?

Water chestnut flour is not commonly used for skincare purposes, but it does contain certain nutrients and antioxidants that may benefit the skin indirectly when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Water chestnuts are a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, and antioxidants, which can help support overall skin health and hydration. However, there is limited scientific evidence specifically linking water chestnut flour to skincare benefits when applied topically.

Q. How to make water chestnut drink?

Water chestnut drink is a refreshing beverage often enjoyed in Asian cuisines. This drink offers a light and slightly sweet flavor, making it a refreshing choice, especially in warmer weather. Here’s a simple recipe:

  • Ingredients:
    • Fresh water chestnuts (peeled and finely grated) – about 1 cup
    • Water – 4 cups
    • Rock sugar or sweetener of choice – to taste
    • Ice cubes (optional)
  • Instructions:
    • Peel and finely grate the fresh water chestnuts. You can use a fine grater or a food processor.
    • In a blender, combine the grated water chestnuts and water.
    • Blend until well combined, then strain the mixture to extract the liquid.
    • Sweeten the liquid with rock sugar or your preferred sweetener, adjusting to taste.
    • Chill the water chestnut drink in the refrigerator.
    • Serve over ice cubes if desired.
Q. How to prepare water chestnuts?

Preparing water chestnuts involves peeling and cleaning them to reveal the edible white interior. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Start by rinsing the water chestnuts under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Use a small knife to make a shallow cut around the circumference of each water chestnut.
  3. Gently peel away the brown skin, revealing the white, crisp flesh inside.
  4. Rinse the peeled water chestnuts once more to ensure they are clean.
  5. At this point, you can slice, dice, or use them whole in your desired recipe.
Q. Are water chestnuts a good source of protein?

Water chestnuts do not constitute a significant source of protein. While they contain small amounts of protein, their primary nutritional contributions come from their low-calorie content, minimal fat, and moderate levels of dietary fiber. People value water chestnuts more for their crunchy texture, mild flavor, and versatility in various dishes, particularly in Asian cuisine. If you’re looking to increase your protein intake, it’s advisable to incorporate other protein-rich foods into your diet.

Q. What are some home remedies associated with horse chestnuts?
  • Improves Blood Circulation: Many people know horse chestnuts as a treatment for circulation problems. Studies done in Europe found that horse chestnut helps to increase blood flow, strengthens connective tissue, tightens veins, and decrease redness and inflammation. Researchers have found that one of its compounds, escin, closes the small pores in the walls of the veins, making them less permeable, stronger, and reducing leakage of fluid into the surrounding tissues. Take horse chestnut capsules 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Frostbite and Hemorrhoids: Adding a decoction of the spiky husk as well as the nuts to a foot bath or full bath increases blood circulation to the area immersed and also helps with frostbite and hemorrhoids. Cover 1 kg of chopped husks and nuts with water and bring briefly to the boil, cover and turn off heat. Leave for 30 minutes then add strained liquid to bath water.
  • In Turkey, people used horse chestnut to treat chest problems in horses, donkeys, and mules, and its common name may have derived from this practice.
  • Sweet Chestnut is helpful for people suffering from great anguish, whether mental or physical, and who feel that hope has run out.
  • Improves Concentration: If you have difficulty learning or concentrating, try chestnut bud to improve your memory skills.
Q. How to use horse chestnut for varicose veins?

Horse chestnut seed extract is a traditional treatment for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. As an astringent and anti-inflammatory, it has a beneficial effect on veins throughout the body, tightening up and toning the vein walls where they have become damaged and sore. By drawing back fluid that has leaked out of veins, horse chestnut reduces swelling and congestion in veins, as well as local inflammation, and is the first choice in herbal treatment for varicose veins and venous insufficiency (poor vein health). People typically take it as a standardized tablet or capsule, although they may also apply it to the skin overlying varicose veins as a lotion, ointment, or gel. For three months, take 250 milligrams of horse chestnut twice a day. After your third month on horse chestnut, take it once daily.

Q. What are health benefits of white chestnut?

White Chestnut helps quiet minds that suffer from constant, repetitive worries. For obsessive thoughts about food or about your eating disorder that just won’t stop, take White Chestnut. White Chestnut aids in quieting minds plagued by constant, repetitive worries.

Q. How red chestnut is useful?

If excessive concern for others causes anxiety, Red Chestnut helps put things in perspective. Red Chestnut is for individuals who worry a great deal about their loved ones, even to the extent of neglecting themselves, and for those whose sleeplessness is brought on by worries for other people.

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