In the monsoons that affect the southern part of Asia, water chestnuts are very popular. They are akin to peanuts in their consumption. They are often roasted and sold by street side vendors. Little do we know that this quick munch packs in several health benefits.
The Origins Of Water Chestnuts
Water chestnuts come from a variation of continents like Asia, Europe, and the tropical parts of Africa. However, the most popular variety is the Chinese water chestnut. This is primarily because it is used extensively in Chinese cuisine. While it is also found in the U.S., its usage is mostly in Asia.
Essentially, the nuts come from the plant that grows near damp places like lakes, ponds, fields, even marshes and bogs. The plant is spongy and often submerged in water. For this reason, the plant is usually seen near farms in China. The edible part of this plant is the fruit, which resembles a nut and hence the label of chestnut.
One of the greatest gains that these nuts provide us with is that though they count for all means as nuts, they do not contain fat and are practically cholesterol free. As such, they make for a healthy snacking option. It possesses omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Both these categories comprise unsaturated fats and are very healthy. Also, other kinds of nuts that are high in cholesterol like pistachios can be substituted in recipes for the same crunch.
Like watermelons, litchis, and green coconuts; chestnuts possess an abundant amount of water in them. For this reason they are a good aid against dehydration, especially in summer and during heavy physical work. If you are suffering from diarrhea, it is a good idea to grab a handful of nuts to make up for the loss of liquid. Chestnuts also supply moisture for skin.
Another element is present in profusion in chestnuts is potassium. Potassium is very important to the body, as it is required for several vital roles that different organs execute. One of them is the responsibility is to transmit electric charges throughout the body. This is for the electrolysis that the body has to carry out. Potassium also maintains regular heart operations. Proper muscle and skeletal contraction also requires sufficient potassium. Chestnuts supply an adequate amount to the body.
Chestnuts contain large amounts of calcium. This calcium provides for the strength in bones and proper vascular maintenance. Along with potassium, calcium is involved in the activity of neurons and intracellular signals. Calcium also takes care of hormonal secretions and distribution.Chestnuts are very low on sodium, making them a good food for those with hypertension. As such, combined with the natural potassium they have, these nuts can control abnormal blood pressure as well as the body’s ability to preserve water. Chestnuts are a good source of proteins as well as carbohydrates as well.
They are touted as very helpful body coolers. In summer and during fevers, chestnuts are recommended. Those suffering from heat stroke use the nuts often.Chestnuts are known to be especially beneficial to the digestive system. They are capable of purging the system of parasites, leading to eliminating worms and infections. Chestnuts detoxify the body, leading to a cleaner digestive and excretory process, as well as better skin. This is useful for those suffering from jaundice. Water chestnuts will also help with feelings of nausea. It acts as a tonic for those with bad appetites and general weakness. Chestnuts have been proven to be very effective for women who are expecting. The nuts are useful in providing equilibrium to the fetus. They also help in preventing abortion due to infections. Chestnuts also help in regular lactation. In all, chestnuts are seen as one of the important foods for pregnant women.
Chestnuts are used in a variety of ways. The most common and easiest way to consume it is to eat it as a fruit. While some prefer to boil it, some eat it raw. The cover of the nut is hard and has to be peeled off. In food, it is commonly added to salads where its fresh nutty texture can be tasted. Also, it is used in soups. Using them fresh or steamed is the bets way to preserve their nutritional value. However, they are often fried too. These nuts may sprout too, but unlike other kinds of sprouts, these are not as healthy.
As far as curative usages are concerned, chestnuts are often powdered. This powder or flour has many uses. It is used to cure cough when taken with water at least twice a day. It is also a remedy for sore throats and bronchitis. This flour can also be mixed with water to form a tonic that cures general as well as sexual debility.For measles, take the chestnuts and boil them in water. The drink formed this way should be drunk for relief from the third day to the ninth.For curing bronchitis, excessive body heat, and tonsils, chestnut juice is very useful.
This can be obtained by chopping and grinding about gm of chestnuts and then passing the ground mixture through a strainer. Add 250gm of crude or rock sugar to it.Chestnuts are capable of eliminating infections in the kidneys and urinary tracts. To cure any such ailment, try this concoction using chestnuts, sugarcane, carrots, and rock sugar. Both chestnuts (200gm) and sugarcane (350gm) should be soaked in salt water separately and then rinsed.
Place these along with the carrots (200gm) and the sugar (80gm) in a vessel of water, enough to cover them and boil for half an hour. Those suffering from hypertension will also benefit form this blend.Another body coolant can be made with 100gm of both nuts and lemons. Slice the nuts thinly and split the lemons into two. Add both to a liter of water and let it boil for fifteen minutes.To get rid of excessive mucus in the body and throat, mix the juice of 500gm of chestnuts with 500gm honey. Drink this blend regularly.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.