The water caltrop or the water chestnut, more commonly known as Singhara in India, is an aquatic plant that grows in slow-moving water of up to 5 metres of depth. It has been cultivated in China and the Indian subcontinent for its edible seeds for at least 3,000 years now. Less do people know about the high nutritional value that it boasts of. Let us have a look at what the fruit has in store for us.
How To Eat?
Available in green, brown & pink colours, Singhara is quite nutritional and beneficial for health. Conventionally, it is eaten in its raw form or after being boiled. It can also be dried and then ground into flour, called Singhara Atta, an ingredient commonly used to make chapattis for consumption while fasting. The flour is also added to milk to make it creamier and it may be used to make the batter for deep-frying.
Nutrients in Indian Water Chestnut (Singhara)
|Dietary fiber||14.9 grams|
Benefits of Singhara
- Singhara is widely used in Ayurvedic and Unani Ayurveda says it contain 22 percent more mineral compared to buffalo milk.
- It is used to treat stomach, liver, kidney and spleen ailments.
- It has astringent, diuretic, and antiseptic properties.
- Singhara is used for treating thyroid problems and bronchitis.
- The fruits are used to treat a sore throat, anaemia, fractures, urinary disorders, and leprosy.
- Singhara peel can be ground and applied to swelling to get relief.
- If applied regularly, singhara seed powder, mixed with lemon juice, helps treat eczema.
- Powdered singhara relieves cough.
- To treat measles, boil chestnuts in water and drink this water to alleviate the infection. It is best given from the 3rd day to 9th day of symptoms.
- The seed has a detoxifying effect on the body and therefore is very useful to those who suffer from jaundice. It helps in removing toxic substances from the body.
- It cures dehydration in winters and serves as a coolant.
- It is a cooling food, ideal to counter summer heat.
- The juice relieves nausea and can improve the appetite.
- A paste of the seed helps to treat cracked heels.
- The acrid juice is used to control diarrhoea and dysentery.
- The fruit reduces inflammation and may act as an aphrodisiac.
- It is a natural antioxidant, prevents wrinkles, protects from UV rays and helps to cure weakness.
- It helps in the proper functioning of the thyroid.
- Regular eating of its flour helps to gain weight.
- It is rich in polyphenolic and flavonoid antioxidants and therefore possesses antibacterial, antiviral, anticancer and antioxidant properties.
- Low in fat
- Low in sodium
- High in potassium
- Rich in minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus
- Contains moderate amounts of fibre
- Good source of energy
Things To Keep In Mind:
- A healthy person can eat 10- 15 gm of singharas daily. This may vary depending on the individual’s digestive strength.
- Do not eat singhara in excess as it may cause bloating and stomachache.
- Avoid drinking water after eating singhara.
- If you are suffering from constipation then it is better to avoid this fruit.
- This article is on the water chestnuts cultivated in India (Water Caltrop) and known as Singhara. It is not to be confused with Eleocharis Dulcis.