When you hear of water chestnuts, you’ll think it’s a type of nuts. But that’s not the case. It’s a type of aquatic tuber found inwet places. They are found in semitropical areas and are common in some states like Florida and California.

Water chestnuts originated from China and are available in two varieties; fresh and canned versions.

What are the other names for water chestnuts?

Water chestnuts are sometimes called singhara, water caltrop, bat nut, buffalo nut, wingnut, or devil pod.

Which is better; fresh or canned water chestnuts?

Both fresh and canned chestnuts exist, but canned is more easily available. The fresh version has a sweet flavor and is quite crispy with a juicy taste. It serves as an ingredient for most dishes. Canned has the same texture but with no flavor. It’s only used to improve the feel of other dishes but not because of taste. It’s used in soups, stir-fries, and stuffing and is cheaper than fresh water chestnuts.

What nutrients are found in water chestnuts?

The nutrition status of water chestnuts is impressive. Singhara hasimportant vitamins, high in antioxidants, contains few calories, and is low in fats. Moreover, it has Vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, copper, and riboflavin.A 100 grams of raw water chestnuts contain 97 calories, 23.9grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of proteins, and0.1 fats.

How is water chestnut used in cooking?

Most Chinese recipes use water chestnuts. These tubers are mostly added to stir-fries and other vegetables. You can also create a tasty meal by adding it to your bacon or spinachdip. If you want a better taste, add few slices of it at the end of your cooking period.

For how long can water chestnuts survive?

If stored in the refrigerator,peeled water chestnut can survive for about a week. But only if it’skept in freshwater. Change the water daily to maintain freshness.

How should you store your water chestnut?

It’s important to use your water chestnuts within a few days after buying them. Canned water chestnuts that are leftovers should be stored in cool filtered water and in a container that is well covered. Change the water each day to extend its shelf life. For bottled water chestnuts, all you have to do is place them in a fridge, and they’ll maintain their freshness even after being opened.

Guideline on how to slice and peel water chestnuts

Use a knife to cut off the top and bottom parts. Cut its sides, ensuring all the skins on it are removed. You can choose to slice it into equal pieces, chop it, or leave it whole, depending on what your recipe is like. Ensure to rinse canned water chestnutsin running water, and soak them in freshwater containing about one teaspoon of baking soda. Ten minutes is enough for the procedure.

How do water chestnuts taste like?

Fresh and canned water chestnuts have different tastes. With a fresh type, you’ll get a flavorful, fruity, sweet, and nutty taste. The flavor can be likened to a combination of apple and coconut and some touches of pear. Canned type, on the other hand, will leave no taste in your mouth after eating it. It’s tasteless.

How does a water chestnut differ from an ordinary chestnut?

While both have the same name and share some common traits, the two are different. You cannot replace one using the other because they serve differently. Chestnuts, sometimes called tree chestnuts, are mainly found in the US, Asia, and Europe. These nuts are enclosed in capsules, which contain about 7 or fewer nuts, but each encased in a different shell. You can eat them raw, boil or roast them.Water chestnuts are corms and not nuts and are largely found in SouthEastAsia. They do great in wet and marshy places and grow underground. The brown skin that covers it is similar to the one for a normal chestnut. However, upon peeling, water chestnuts appear different. Their texture is crispy and apple-like. On the other hand, the ordinary chestnut seems starchier and much meatier. You can find them both jarred or canned.

What should you consider when buying water chestnuts?

Price is usually the main consideration when choosing what to buy, and the cheapest is mostly the choice for many. Water chestnuts are generally affordable.Jarred water chestnuts have a fresher taste. When buying canned,choose whole packed over the sliced version. Whole types are tastier and crunchier. Canned chaste nuts are available in most supermarkets. Fresh ones are mostly found in Asian groceries stalls. Their quality is measured by how full and heavy they are. The fuller and heavier they are, the better the quality and sweeter for consumption.

What is the health importance of water chestnuts?

  • Highly nutritious, yet contain low amounts of calories
  • Have antioxidants that have disease-fighting abilities
  • It helps to decrease blood pressure and minimize the risks of heart disease
  • It helps to lose weight by making you feel fuller for long hours
  • It helps fight cancer and minimize the risks of oxidative stress

In what foods can you use water chestnuts?

Whether it’s raw, fried, candied, pickled, grilled, or boiled, you can use water chestnuts to make any food more appealing. Once it’s peeled,you can dice, slice, or grate into any dish. You can use curries, omelets, or stir-fries.

Side effects of water chestnut

Even with its plenty provision of health benefits, it’s accompanied with some side effects. However, these negative consequences will fade after a while and are not experienced by anyone. Neither will you experience all of them at once. You may have stomach pain, nausea, vomit, or bloating. Individuals with diabetes are not advised to use them before consulting their doctors. Doing so ensures that the hypoglycemic characteristics of singharado not react with the diabetic medication, which may cause unpleasant results. Hypotensive individuals are also warned against water chestnuts because of theirability to reduce blood pressure.


Water chaste nuts are one of the important foods to invest in if you’re concerned with your health and wellbeing. They are free from cholesterol and have zero fats. So you won’t have extra fats in your body. Ensure you take them in moderation. With all this pleasant knowledge, why not include water chestnuts in your diet?

Elena Ognivtseva

Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.