Water chestnuts (officially called Eleocharis dulcis) are not typical food people buy from the supermarket.
And while they are mainly sold fresh in the autumn (months September-November) , you can find canned or dried versions of the food during the whole year: often in the healthy food stores or Asian aisles in the supermarket.
This article will guide you through the healthy properties of water chestnuts and will give you some tips on how to prepare them!
Let’s get started!
What is the nutritional value of water chestnuts?
Fresh water chestnuts are low in calories (97kcal per 100 grams), have low glycemic load (GL 9), and have low-fat content (less than 0.1 gram per 100 grams of product).  Besides, they are packed with various micronutrients:
- Vitamin C (4mg or 7% of DV)
- Vitamin E (1.2mg or 6% of DV)
- Thiamin (0.1mg or 9% of DV)
- Riboflavin (0.2mg or 12% of DV)
- Vitamin B6 (0.3mg or 16% og DV)
- Copper (0.3mg or 16% of DV)
- Manganese (0.3mg or 17% of DV)
- Potassium (584mg or 17% of DV)
Health benefits of water chestnuts
According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Food Science, the 8 types of flavonoids found in the peel of water chestnuts may be associated with antitumor, antioxidant, and nitrite scavenging effects. 
Or in other words, the regular consumption of whole water chestnuts may play a role in cancer prevention due to the presence of various antioxidant plant compounds.
A 2019 paper published on PharmacologyOnLine suggests that the phytochemicals (chemical compounds found exclusively in plant foods) in water chestnuts may have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and thrombolytic effects (dissolving blood clots in the body).  This way, the regular consumption of this food may play a role in protecting the body cells from damage, as well as preventing and slowing the progression of chronic and inflammatory diseases.
Blood pressure control
100 grams of water chestnuts contain about 17% of the recommended daily intake of potassium. 
Furthermore, this mineral plays an important role in the management and prevention of the following health conditions:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Kidney stones and kidney disease
- Brittle bones
- High blood sugar
In fact, evidence suggests that potassium deficiency may be associated with increased risk of these diseases! 
Potassium-rich foods like water chestnuts, apricots, bananas and potatoes are a key part of the DASH diet, which aims to improve the life quality of people with hypertension and increased risk of heart disease. 
100 grams of water chestnuts contain 3 grams of dietary fiber, which is about 12% of the recommended daily fiber intake. 
When you feel full longer, you likely eat fewer calories during the day, which can be a prerequisite for entering a caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn). Furthermore, a 2019 study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that the sufficient consumption of fiber may reduce hunger and make dieting easier for obese or overweight adults following calorie-restircting diet. 
Considering that, integrating water chestnuts or other fiber-rich foods (like fruits, veggies, oats and other whole grains) into your diet may help you lose and maintain your weight, as well as stick to your diet plan more effectively.
Blood sugar control
Another way dietary fiber found in water chestnuts may impact your health is through blood sugar control and diabetes prevention.
Evidence suggests that fiber-rich diet may significantly improve blood sugar control and may decrease total cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. 
What is more, a 2007 study published in the Journal of Hormone and Metabolic Research suggests that a diet rich in fiber (>30g fiber per day) and low in fats may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, as well as lower the risk of obesity and heart disease. 
How to cook water chestnuts?
You can add water chestnuts to many different dishes.