A woman’s appetite changes as her pregnancy develop. In spite of the fact that one should eat properly throughout pregnancy, pregnant women experience intense cravings for things that they haven’t thought about in weeks, months, or even years. Singhara is a good example of a forgotten food or fruit that is nevertheless much liked. Singhara, or water chestnuts, have a delicious flavor whether they are raw or cooked. However, there are many questions about what foods are and are not healthy during pregnancy, leading many women to wonder if eating Singhara during pregnancy is safe or not.
What Are Singharas?
The Singhara, or water chestnut, is an aquatic plant that grows in marshy areas, ponds, swamps, and lakes in temperate regions. Trapa natans, as it is known by scientists, belong to the family Lythraceae. The black-colored Water Chestnut fruit contains a single white seed. The edible part is the seed, which is both starchy and crisp and has a somewhat sweet flavor.
The water chestnut’s exterior is typically unappealing. Two horn-like protrusions evoke the appearance of a goat’s or bull’s head. The best time to get your hands on this fruit is from the start of the monsoon season until the beginning of winter.
It’s no secret that Singhara is a superfood. Singhara has a wide range of applications and is beneficial in many ways. It improves the taste, flavor, and nutritional value of stir-fries, curries, pasta, and salads.
Related Reading: 21 Pregnancy Superfoods To Include In Your Pregnancy Diet
Is It Safe To Eat Water Chestnuts During Pregnancy?
Nutritionally, water chestnuts are among the highest. The fat and cholesterol content are quite minimal. Hence, you won’t put on any extra pounds. So, it’s great for expectant mothers who need to limit their caloric intake and maintain weight during pregnancy.
Consuming water chestnuts is completely safe because of their high vitamin and mineral content. Taking them moderately is all that’s required.
Throughout pregnancy, women should consult their doctor before making any major changes to their diet. Hence, if this is your first time trying Singhara, you should talk to your doctor beforehand. It’s the same answer to the question “Is Singhara good in early pregnancy“.
Nutritional Value Of Singhara
The nutrition that Singhara offers is epic. Although commonly considered a nut, water chestnut is in fact a vegetable. They are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, flavones, and phenols. A decent amount of carbohydrates, oils, fats, phytosterols, and saponins are also found in the fruit.
They are a great source of many nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, minerals (such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, sodium, and potassium), and vitamins (B, A, E, and C).
Singhara flour, which can be used as a direct replacement for wheat flour, is safe for those with celiac disease and other gluten-related digestive disorders.
The following nutrients are found in approximately 100 grams of water chestnuts1 :
Nutrient Measure Calories 97 Fat 0.1gm Carbohydrates 4.8 gm Fibre 1.4 gm Sugars 0.1gm Protein 10 gm Vitamin B6 0.33 mg (25%) Potassium 584 mg (19%) Copper 0.33 mg (37%) Manganese 0.33 mg
Top 5 Benefits Of Eating Singhara Fruit During Pregnancy
Singhara is not only tasty but also very revitalizing. Even though most people eat the fruit raw, it can be used in a number of other ways. It’s delicious, and it’s excellent for you, thanks to the fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, and copper that it contains.
Some of the benefits you can get from eating water chestnut fruit are that it is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-diabetic, and anti-ulcer. It is also high in carbohydrates and proteins2.
Following are the top 5 benefits of eating Singhara fruit during pregnancy:
1. Benefits the heart and blood vessels by lowering blood pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is when the walls of the arteries are put under too much pressure. During pregnancy, high blood pressure is one of the major causes of complications. In traditional Chinese medicine, Singhara is used to treat high blood pressure3.
The water chestnut has diuretic properties. A diuretic can help the body get rid of extra water and sodium. Sodium is necessary for life, but too much of it can make your kidneys work harder to excrete excess fluid, leading to swelling and high blood pressure. A diuretic encourages the kidneys to excrete extra sodium through urine. This makes it easier for the kidneys to get rid of extra water in the blood, which lowers the pressure in the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure4.
One of the reasons Singhara is so effective at lowering blood sodium levels is its high potassium content. Too much sodium in the diet is a direct cause of both water retention and high blood pressure. Because it has a lot of potassium, Singhara reduces the effects that sodium has on blood pressure. So, water chestnuts are recommended for pregnant women to help lower their blood pressure. Researchers have also found that it helps reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol5.
2. Singhara benefits pregnant women with diabetes
Even though it contains a lot of carbohydrates, Singhara has a relatively low glycemic index. In fact, Singhara’s glycemic index is 546. Foods that have a glycemic index (GI) of less than 55 are considered to be healthy for diabetics. Consequently, the blood sugar levels of pregnant women with gestational diabetes will not spike after consuming this healthy food.
Chestnut fiber aids in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level by being slowly absorbed by the digestive tract. High-fiber foods slow starch absorption. Thus, a pregnant woman who eats Singhara will be less likely to experience dangerous swings in her blood sugar levels.
3. Singhara for immunity
Immunity declines significantly during pregnancy for women. As a good source of antioxidants, Singhara is very important for fighting free radicals and making the immune system stronger. Singhara aids in the excretion of toxins inhibit free radical-induced oxidative stress and provide protection against numerous pathogens. It has been observed that neutrophil (a type of white blood cell) production is boosted by water chestnut extracts.7
4. Effective for relieving joint pain
During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a wide range of aches and pains. Research into water chestnut’s anti-inflammatory effects has shown that it shows promise as a potential anti-inflammatory agent, which could help alleviate a wide range of inflammation-related pain8.
Related Reading: Intermittent Fasting During Pregnancy- Safe Or Not
5. Singhara treats urine infection
Pregnancy-related UTIs are extremely common. If left untreated, UTIs can bring about many complications during pregnancy. Including Singhara in the pregnancy diet is an excellent way to keep UTIs at bay. Singhara’s enzymes have been shown to have some sanitizing and cleansing effects on the urinary bladder9.
The Additional Advantages Of Singhara
Aside from the aforementioned positive effects of Singhara on the developing baby, it also has the following advantages:
- In terms of dietary fiber, Singhara is a decent option. As a result, it is highly effective at easing constipation during pregnancy
- Because of its high carbohydrate content, Singhara is an excellent choice for those looking to boost their energy levels
- Coughs can be effectively treated by combining powdered Singhara with liquids like juice, tea, or water
- Singhara is an extremely effective remedy for indigestion and nausea. Because of its ability to dispel the internal heat that can lead to gastrointestinal distress, Singhara juice can be used as a natural remedy for a variety of stomach and bowel issues
- Jaundice sufferers can benefit greatly from taking Singhara. A person with jaundice may become extremely frail and experience a precipitous drop in body fluids. Singhara address both issues and can help jaundiced patients recover faster and relieve their symptoms
- Because of its high iodine and manganese content, it can help those with thyroid problems as well
- Singhara helps cool your body. It quenches thirst and stimulates salivation. Because it helps the body maintain its natural temperature, drinking Singhara is an excellent choice when the weather is hot and dry
- The cellular damage caused by oxidative stress has been linked to the development of many diseases, including cancer. Singhara reduces oxidative stress, preventing many health problems
Top Risks Associated With Eating Singhara During Pregnancy
While there are many potential benefits to consuming Singhara, it is still best to do so with caution. 10–15 grams per day is the maximum amount that should be consumed by a healthy person. Consuming more than that could cause uncomfortable side effects like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Avoiding Singhara is also advisable for those who suffer from constipation.
Not only does water chestnut have the aforementioned positive effects on health, but it also has the following negative effects:
- Intense nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain are some of the side effects of eating too many water chestnuts
- In some people, it may also lead to abdominal distention
- Research has shown that water chestnut can help lower blood sugar levels10
- Those with diabetes taking medication or experiencing low blood sugar levels should consult a medical professional before using water chestnut
- Lowered blood pressure is one of Singhara’s reported benefits. Thus, anyone with hypotension should avoid taking Singhara in any form
Suggestions For Choosing And Eating Singhara Fruit While Expecting
When buying Singharas, you should only choose ones that look solid and don’t have any wrinkles. It is important to make sure that the fruit has been well-washed before it is consumed. Before consuming a fruit, peel off its outer layer. Water chestnuts, when left unpeeled, can keep for up to a week in the fridge.
Related Reading: Energy Drinks During Pregnancy – Are They Safe?
So, How To Include Singhara In Pregnancy Diet?
Singhara is a winter treat. Even when eaten raw, they have a tantalizing flavor. Another way to eat them is to incorporate them into a healthy salad. Because the fruit is grown in water that is only slightly moving, there is a possibility that it will contain some toxins when it is sold fresh. Blanching, boiling, steaming, or roasting the fruit for at least seven minutes will remove these toxins, and should be done before peeling or slicing the fruit.
The following are some ways to incorporate it into your diet while you are pregnant:
- You can add Singhara to your favorite drink or beverage by blending it with other ingredients
- A water chestnut’s savory flavor makes it a great addition to salads, clear soups, stews, and curries
- Singhara porridge is a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy this superfood. Having a bowl of Singhara porridge each day may help you feel better during your pregnancy. Singhara porridge is prepared by sautéing the necessary amount of Singhara flour in a small amount of ghee and seasoning with a dash of cardamom. The milk should be added gradually until a porridge consistency is reached. For added sweetness, try using jaggery.
- You can make puddings out of minced Singhara
- You can use them to stuff whole chickens or wraps
- Singhara, when sliced and tossed in olive oil, makes a delicious pizza topping
- Singhara is ground into powder and used to thicken the gravy
- Make some Singhara Pulao. A true delicacy, pulao is made by combining rice with a variety of vegetables and spices. Adding Singhara to the vegetable mix improves both the flavor and nutritional value of the dish
- If you’re pregnant and craving something sweet, try this nutritious alternative: Singhara kheer. Bring the milk to a boil, then whisk in the Singhara flour. Add some ground nutmeg, stir, and put it in the oven. Sprinkle some dry fruits on the top of your Singhara kheer and dig in
- Singara can be ground into a fine powder to produce Singhara flour, which can then be used in place of regular flour when making rotis
The water chestnut is a winter fruit that is grown underwater, but the benefits of Singhara can be reaped at any time of the year because its by-products, like flour, are available throughout the year. Raw or cooked, this crisp and flavorful vegetable can be used in savory or sweet preparations. The safety rules are all you need to follow to reap its benefits during pregnancy.