Alexa...What's “Panifal" or "Singhara" in English?? Your search ends here. It’s because panifal, singhara fruit, devil pod, buffalo nut, bat nut, ling nut, and water caltrop are the names of an aquatic vegetable known as 'water chestnut'.
This water chestnut grows underwater, in marshes, and in the mud. It tastes good and is consumed by a majority of the population within India.
Singhara or water chestnut offers more benefits than you can imagine. Also, the nutritional value it holds is terrific. But what exactly is a singhara fruit or water chestnut, and how can it benefit you?
Well, you can find the answers in the blog below. Along with the benefits, we’ll also discuss some ways of consuming singhara and the possible side effects.
- Exploring more about: Singhara or Water Chestnut
- How Nutritious is a Shingada Fruit?
- Health Benefits of Singhara (Water Chestnut)
- What Are the Different Ways of Consuming Singhara?
- Are there any side effects of Singharas?
Exploring more about: Singhara or Water Chestnut
This seasonal fruit, though not common in all parts of India, it is available in the form of flour in most of the supermarkets. This is probably the only fruit out of which you can make rotis and puris!
Singhara mostly available in rainy season up to the beginning of winter. Since this fruit is grown in temporary flowing waters, it is supposed to be carrying toxins but that's not the case.
The fruit originally green in color is cooked and roasted until the outer skin turns black to eliminate toxins. This fruit is used in the form of flour after drying and is popularly known as ‘singhare ka atta'. It is used in making kheer, halwa, burfis, ladoos, etc and its consumption is encouraged during fasts.
How Nutritious is a Shingada Fruit?
Let’s learn about the nutritious value of singhara fruit.
Here are all the nutrients in every 100 grams of shingada fruit:
- 97 Calories
- 584 mg Potassium
- 24g Carbohydrates
- 1.4g Protein
- 0.1g Fat
- 0.01% Calcium
- 6% Vitamin C
- 15% Vitamin B-6
- 5% Magnesium
So, that’s a lot of nutrition in a 100 gram serving of singhara, right?
Health Benefits of Singhara (Water Chestnut)
1) Good for your Heart
Sodium plays a key role in increasing blood pressure which further impacts your heart. However, singhara comes with Potassium that helps counter the impact of Sodium. This way, you can control your blood pressure and thus save your heart from diseases.
Furthermore, singhara is known to lower bad cholesterol levels. So, if you want to eat something heart-friendly, go for water chestnut.
2) Helps Lose Weight
Water chestnut is a low-calorie food that’s rich in fiber. And fiber takes time to digest, which makes you feel full for longer. This way, you won’t have the urge to eat and will eventually lose weight.
3) Uplifts Mood and Relieves Stress
Singhara comes with a good amount of Vitamin B6. And this vitamin is known to reduce your stress and improve your mood. So, by consuming singhara, you can feel good and sleep better in a good mood and with no stress.
4) Helps Lower the Risk of Cancer
Singhara is an abundant source of antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols. These antioxidants help you fight free radicals. And this further helps prevent cancer in humans.
Because of the antioxidants it comes with, water chestnut offers anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer properties too.
5) Helps Ease Jaundice Symptoms
Water chestnut helps eliminate toxins out of the body that are quite helpful for treating jaundice. A person suffering from jaundice feels weakness and nausea. However, consuming a glass of water chestnut can help you feel good and prevent nausea.
6) Helps Treat Insomnia
The inability to sleep is what we call insomnia. It’s quite a difficult condition that can disturb your physical and mental balance.
However, water chestnuts can help you deal with this. It’s because water chestnut comes with Vitamin B6. And Vitamin B6 helps release stress and uplifts mood. When you feel stress-free, you can sleep better and thus get relief from insomnia.
7) Offers you Energy
The Navratri festival is quite popular among Indians. During this festival, people practice fasting to please the goddess Durga. And fasting means no food for the day which can make you weak. Fortunately, you’re allowed to consume fruits and some other items such as singhara flour.
Singhara, as you know, comes with numerous nutrients. So, consuming singhara flour during Navratri can help you boost your energy levels. And you won’t feel weak all day long.
Water caltrops are sweet and sicne they are also rich in vitamin B, zinc, potassium, iron and calcium. They have many medicinal properties, few of them being:
- When taken in the form of juice, it reduces nausea and also treats diarrhoea.
- In the powdered form, when taken twice a day, it cures cough and treats phlegm.
- Since it has detoxifying properties, it clears blood impurities.
- As it has high calcium content, it acts as a natural supplement of calcium for breast feeding mothers.
With that said, let’s now find out different ways of consuming singhara.
What Are the Different Ways of Consuming Singhara?
One of the most common ways of consuming singhara is eating it raw. Just remove the outer shell using a knife, and the water chestnut is ready to be consumed. You can also boil it for some time and enjoy the same. However, it’s a bit dry when boiled.
2. Prepare Veggies or Add to Curries
You can boil singharas or pressure cook them to prepare curries. Also, you can use singharas as potatoes and prepare water chestnut and green pea curry. Another tasty way is to simply fry singharas along with mustard seeds, cumin, and curry leaves.
If you can use singharas as potatoes, you can easily prepare cutlets. You just need to boil and mash the singharas and add the same to other vegetables. Then just shallow fry and enjoy.
4. Singhara Halwa
Just like wheat flour, you can use singhara flour to make halwa. Roast the flour in ghee, add some water and sugar, and cook until you achieve the desired consistency. Once cooked, you can add whatever dry fruits you wish.
5. Pancakes and Chillas
Add some water and curd to singhara flour. Make sure that the mixture has a pourable consistency. After that, you can prepare pancakes or even chillas (similar to dosas) by adding the spices of your choice.
Now that you know some ways of consuming singharas, let's find out if there are any side effects of singhara.
Are there any side effects of Singharas?
Consuming anything in excess, from water to meat, leads to side effects. And singharas are no exception. Consuming excessive singharas can lead to nausea and stomach ache. In severe conditions, it can also lead to vomiting.
So, make sure to eat everything, including singhara, in a limited amount.
Water chestnut or singhara is a tasty aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes. Also, it comes with several health benefits and can be consumed in a variety of ways.
Fortunately, there aren’t any major side effects of consuming excessive chestnuts. But that never means you should take the risk. Instead, you should try new singhara dishes and extract as much nutrition as you can and consume a limited amount of singhara. Also, stay tuned for similar value-rich posts.