7 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Water Chestnuts

Other than the occasional Chinese food, most people probably don’t give water chestnuts much thought, but they should. That’s because water chestnuts are surprisingly healthy. Here are some of my favorite reasons to eat more water chestnuts:

Anti-Cancer Activity against Breast Cancer

It’s hard to imagine that such small foods can exert so much power on our bodies. But, according to research published in the journal Oncology Reports, scientists found that a natural compound found in water chestnuts called ferulic acid demonstrated anti-cancer activity. The study found that ferulic acid inhibited tumors while also preventing cancer from spreading. The finding shows promise in the possible prevention and treatment of cancer.

Anti-Cancer Activity against Lung Cancer

But water chestnuts are not just good for people trying to ward off or fight breast cancer. According to research published in the Journal of Food Science, there are 4 compounds in water chestnuts that demonstrated activity against human lung cancer. One in particular, known as luteolin, had the greatest activity against cancer cells, causing them to commit suicide. Most water chestnuts are peeled so you’ll want to look for ones with the peel intact to benefit from these healing compounds.

Packed with Nutrition

Water chestnuts are a good source of the minerals copper, magnesium and potassium, as well as the vitamins B2 (more commonly known as riboflavin) and B6. Additionally, they contain protein and fiber, making them a great addition to your diet.

Regulate Blood Pressure

Thanks to their potassium content, eating more water chestnuts can help regulate your blood pressure. As long as you don’t add excessive sodium in the form of salt or soy sauce to the dishes you enjoy them in, you’ll benefit from the potassium boost. One-half cup of sliced water chestnuts provides 362 milligrams of potassium.

Destroy Free Radicals Linked to Aging

Research in the Journal of Food Science also found that the compounds found in water chestnuts are also excellent free radical scavengers, known as antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for us to slow the aging and disease processes.

Rehydration Powerhouses

Water chestnuts are made up of 74 percent water. That means that they are a great way to rehydrate your body at the cellular level.

Keep You Feeling Full Longer

Thanks to their high amount of water, water chestnuts are considered high volume foods, meaning they help keep you feeling full longer, without having a high caloric value.

How to Benefit from Water Chestnuts

You can only reap their benefits if you eat water chestnuts on a fairly regular basis so knowing how to use them can help. They are available in whole or sliced form in cans in most grocery stores in the international foods aisle. Some grocery stores or Asian food markets sell them fresh. Most people peel the fresh ones (although the above-mentioned research published in the Journal of Food Science may make them reconsider). They can be grilled, boiled, steamed or sautéed and are a delicious addition to soups, salads and stir fries.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, preserving, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking. Follow her work.



Christine V
Christine V2 days ago

I do like water chestnuts

Hui S
Hui S3 days ago

thanks for posting!

Emma L
Emma L5 days ago


Thomas M
Thomas M5 days ago

Thank you

Beth S
Barbara S6 days ago


Carole R
Carole R7 days ago

Good to know.

beba h
beba h7 days ago

I do buy them from time to time and do like the crunchy taste.

Colin Clauscen
Colin Clauscen8 days ago


Angeles Madrazo
Angeles M9 days ago

Good info. Thank you

Angela K
Angela K9 days ago

Thanks for sharing