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Health Benefits of Water Chestnuts

author image Karen Curley
Karen Curley has more than 18 years experience in health and nutrition, specializing in healthy food choices for families. She received USDA certification in food components, nutrient sources, food groups and infant/child nutrition, and holds a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts. Curley is also an avid gardener, home renovator, Collie breeder, dog groomer and dog trainer.
Health Benefits of Water Chestnuts
Bowl of peeled water chestnuts Photo Credit Petra Kukofka/iStock/Getty Images

If you go out for Chinese food, your meal will often contain Chinese water chestnuts. Water chestnuts belong to the nonstarchy, low-calorie vegetable group that can keep you full longer while supplying your meals with vitamins and minerals. Water chestnuts also contain no cholesterol and are low in sodium and fat. Try adding them to salads, soups, wraps or even pizza toppings and take advantage of the health benefits of water chestnuts.

Zero Cholesterol and Fat

When looking for cholesterol-free and fat-free foods to add to your meal plans, water chestnuts fill the bill. You can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke by maintaining your blood cholesterol level, and adding water chestnuts to your meals can help you do this. Water chestnuts' zero fat content may help you prevent weight gain when adding them to your diet.

Essential Vitamins Work Together

Adding water chestnuts to your salads or vegetable side dishes is a way to add essential vitamins to your daily diet. Just one-half cup water chestnuts provides 10 percent of the daily value of B-6, 7 percent of the DV of riboflavin and 6 percent of the DV of thiamin. Vitamin B-6 supports healthy brain and immune system function, while thiamin and riboflavin help your body convert food into energy.

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Mountains of Minerals

Water chestnuts contain 10 percent of the DV of potassium, copper and manganese in a half-cup serving. Each of these minerals plays a role in your overall health. Your heartbeat maintains a steady rhythm with the help of potassium, while copper aids in red blood cell production. Manganese helps build bones and also aids in metabolizing carbohydrates and cholesterol.

Low-Calorie Choice for Diets

Water chestnuts have only 60 calories in one-half cup, so you don’t have to worry about eating a little more of this nutritious vegetable if you are counting calories. You can eat water chestnuts for a low-calorie snack or add them to salads and other dishes, still getting all the health benefits while sticking to your diet.

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