We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
There are numerous possible health benefits of water chestnuts. These include providing antioxidants, lowering high blood pressure, and more.
Water chestnuts are an aquatic tuber vegetable. They grow in parts of Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, and many Pacific islands. A water chestnut resembles an actual chestnut in both color and shape, but it is not a nut.
Water chestnuts are popular in many cuisines and have a variety of potential health benefits.
These benefits may include:
Water chestnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body’s immune system fight free radicals, which are potentially harmful molecules.
When free radicals accumulate to a certain extent, they can cause a state of oxidative stress, impacting the body’s natural defenses and damaging cells.
Oxidative stress is linked to an increased risk of developing chronic illnesses, including cancer.
Water chestnuts contain an antioxidant called ferulic acid. There is some evidence that ferulic acid can help reduce or slow the growth of cancer cells.
For example, a test tube study of breast cancer found that ferulic acid both helped kill and reduce the growth rate of the cells.
However, determining whether the compounds in water chestnuts can help fight cancer will require more research in humans.
Despite having a low calorie count, water chestnuts contain many nutrients, including:
The researchers also found moderate-quality evidence to suggest that a higher potassium intake could reduce the risk of stroke by 24 percent. This review considered a higher intake to consist of 3,500–4,700 milligrams (mg).
Half a cup of sliced water chestnuts contains
Water chestnuts are easy to prepare and eat. Grocery stores that stock international foods often offer them canned or whole. People can also purchase them online.
To use a whole, fresh water chestnut, peel away the outer brown skin to reveal the white flesh beneath. A person can eat the flesh raw.
They can also be fried, grilled, boiled, or sautéed to provide a sweet, crunchy addition to a meal.
Depending on the dish, a person may serve them whole, sliced, diced, or ground up. They are popular in stir-fries, chop suey, and many curries.
People also enjoy candied or pickled water chestnuts as a snack. Or, to them in a flour mixture or as a thickening agent, dry water chestnuts out and grind them up.
Water chestnuts are an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants, making them a good addition to a healthful diet.
Some evidence suggests that consuming water chestnuts could help reduce free radicals in the body and lower blood pressure, among other benefits.
Water chestnuts are quite versatile — people can use them in many types of cooking or eat them raw.