Water chestnut is an excellent fruit to have during hot summers and if you indulge in regular intermittent fasting. A water chestnut resembles an actual chestnut in both colour and shape, but it is not a nut. Its popular in many cuisines and promises a variety of health benefits. Although it is often used as a fruit, its nutrient-dense flour is used for making various dishes.
Popularly known as Singhara ka atta in India, it grows underwater. It is usually a winter fruit, however, its by-products especially the flour are available round the year. It is used for chappatis, parathas, sweets, vadas, pancakes and other dough-based recipes and is a staple item during fasts. Water chestnuts are dense with potassium and fibre. It barely contains any sodium or fat, but is high in carbohydrates. Here are some of its health benefits.
Checks water retention in the body
Singhara flour is rich in potassium content and low in sodium content, which is said to help water retention in the body.
Singhara atta is an excellent source of good carbohydrate and energy-boosting nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc and phosphorous. Therefore, it is heavily consumed by women who fast during the nine days of Navratri.
This fruit has no cholesterol and is enriched with essential nutrients and vitamins. A research study published in the Journal of Food Science suggests the antioxidants found in water chestnut peel can help neutralise the effects of free radicals in the body.
People who are gluten intolerant can ditch their wheat sources for a very nutritious singhara flour. When wheat flour is combined with water, the protein strands unwind and link together to form a network, which is called gluten. It is this gluten that triggers a number of conditions, such as gluten allergy, gluten intolerance and celiac diseases.
Lowering high blood pressure and associated risks
High blood pressure can contribute to several health issues, including stroke and heart disease. Potassium, a nutrient in water chestnuts, is linked to reducing blood pressure. A 2013 review found that high-quality evidence shows that increased potassium intake reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension and has no adverse effect on blood lipid concentrations, catecholamine concentrations, or renal function in adults.
Singhara is high on fibre, a quality that one can find in singhara atta, too. Fibre takes the longest to digest. It gives you the feeling of being full, thereby, preventing you from bingeing on other high-fattening foods. But, that is not all about fibre.