A pregnant woman’s cravings can be unpredictable. From junk foods like ice cream, pickles, or noodles to healthy fruits and fresh vegetables. However, many women experience some unusual cravings and that’s completely normal too. In fact, one very popular unusual craving is for the tropical fruit, water chestnut. This fruit has a combination of sweet, nutty, and tart taste all in one place and its unique mix-flavour is perhaps the reason for its weird craving during pregnancy.
But is it actually safe to consume during pregnancy? Let’s take a look at its safety and health benefits.
Is Eating Water Chestnut In Pregnancy Safe?
Image Source: Pixabay
Yes, of course! Water chestnut has long been considered a herbal medicine. This fruit is native to tropical countries, and people consume it regularly. In fact, these are readily available in the Asian markets and many people also use dried powder of this fruit in multiple recipes.
Nutritional Importance of Water Chestnut
Freshly cut water chestnuts are a favoured food in China and known for their sweet taste. Expert Dr. Qing Li advises eating it fresh for its nutritional and antioxidant value as it is perishable and can undergo enzymatic reactions after being cut.
The Department of Agriculture, USA, also specifies that water chestnut is rich in minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese; and is low in sodium. Thereby making it useful in pregnancy, not only for its nutritional value but also to reduce water retention in the legs.
Water chestnuts contain many vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin A, as well as essential amino acids, and fibres, which collectively help maintain your bowel movement and relieve constipation.
Medicinal Benefits of Water Chestnut In Pregnancy
Image courtesy: Pixabay
Water chestnuts are rich in plant polyphenols and are known to protect your body from the damage caused by environmental pollutants. Interestingly, polyphenol-containing fruits are also anti-ageing. They also contain antioxidants, including ferulic acid, gallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate, and catechin gallate, that help maintain that ‘pregnancy glow.’
In addition, a study published in 2020 mentioned that water chestnut has immunomodulatory effects and aids in the protection of your growing baby. So essentially there is a lot to gain from consuming water chestnuts during pregnancy.
But the question is, how should you eat it? Is it best consumed raw, or should you use its powdered form in other recipes. Let’s find out.
5 Recipes To Try With Water Chestnuts
Image Source: Pexels
You can start with peeled and freshly cut water chestnuts and eat them like you would any fruit. Then there is the option of using water chestnut powder. Either way, you can try these five simple and healthy recipes using both.
1. Water Chestnut Stir Fry
Ingredients (quantity is based on consumption*): Oil, salt, pepper powder, lemon, ginger, carrot, broccoli, and water chestnut
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan
- Add washed and peeled vegetables like carrot, broccoli, along with water chestnut
- Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes till veggies soften
- Add pepper powder and salt to taste
- For added flavour, you can add a juice of lemon and ginger
2. Chestnut Pancakes
Ingredients*: Egg whites (2), coconut milk, chestnut flour, baking power, salt, honey
- Beat egg whites till they give stiff straight peaks
- Gently add coconut milk, chestnut flour, and mix by the cut-and-fold method to get a smooth batter
- Add a pinch of baking powder and salt to taste
- Pour one tablespoon of batter into a greased pan
- Cook until bubbles form and pop
- Flip and cook until lightly browned
- Enjoy hot pancakes with honey
3. Water Chestnut Smoothie
Ingredients*: Boiled and peeled water chestnuts (1/2 cup), banana, almond milk, vanilla yoghurt, and cinnamon powder
- Blend boiled and peeled water chestnuts with banana, almond milk, and vanilla yoghurt
- You can add a pinch of cinnamon powder for more flavour
4. Refreshing Drink With Water Chestnut
Ingredients: Boiled and peeled water chestnuts (1/2 cup), watermelon (1/2 cup), Himalayan rock salt (1tbsp), honey (1 tbsp)
- Boil and peel water chestnuts
- Blend them in a grinder with some pieces of watermelon or musk melon
- Stain it
- Add a pinch of Himalayan rock salt and a teaspoonful of honey
- Consume chilled. It is a super refreshing, clean, and sweet chestnut drink, a must-have after exercise
5. Chestnut And Apple Porridge
Ingredients: Water (1 cup), chestnut powder (1/2 cup), milk (1/2 cup), butter (1 tbsp), nutmeg powder (1/2 tbsp), honey (1 tbsp), apple (1/2)
- In a saucepan, prepare a paste of water, chestnut powder, and milk
- Cook it till it becomes a thick paste and leaves the sides of the pan
- Pour it into the bowl, and in another pan, heat a little butter and roast slices of apple in the heated butter
- Once the pieces turn crispy brown, place them over the chestnut porridge
- Sprinkle nutmeg powder, add one teaspoon of honey and enjoy hot
While water chestnuts are loaded with healthy nutrients and are generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy. The recipes listed above are some of the best ways you can consume water chestnuts.
However, it is always advisable to first consult your doctor about the quantity or amount of serving, based on your health.
What is a Customised Pregnancy Diet Plan and Should You Go for It?
7 Foods That Treat Eczema to Include in Your Diet Daily
3 Amazing Ways To Use Dietary Essential Oils When Cooking At Home