Water caltrop or Singharas a popular street food, are seen abundantly in the market these days. The raw fruits are green and the black Singharas are the boiled ones. These are aquatic fruits and are known in India for thousands of years. The nutty, sweet and crunchy fruits are available from rainy season to the beginning of the winter. They have a unique shape and the outer cover is slightly hard with a white seed inside. The dried fruits are made into flour known as kuttu ka ata.
- This fruit is a rich source of minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. The fruit contain vitamin B, C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine and contains no fat.
- It is used in Ayurveda to cure various diseases.
- The content of Iron, manganese and other minerals in Singharas help in proper functioning of thyroid.
- Dried singhara mixed with lemon juice cures eczema if applied regularly on the affected area.
- Singhara peel paste if applied of swelling gives instant relief.
- Singhara should be eaten moderately. Excess of singharas can lead to bloating of stomach. More over one can gain weight on regular eating of these fruits.
- People with constipation are advised to avoid eating this fruit.
- The juice extract of this fruit is very nutritious which helps in blood purification and checks diarrhoea. It helps ease nausea and provides energy to the body.
- Diabetics can have this fruit without any guilt feeling.
- While on keeping fast people usually go for Singhara ata, potatoes, fruits and milk to fill their stomach. This helps maintain a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. In the absence of cereals and pulses, taking these food groups in appropriate amounts, one can maintain the balance.
- The dried fruits were analyzed in terms of nutritional phyto chemical and anti-oxidant properties. Water caltrop was found to be rich in proteins, carbohydrates and minerals.
- Its negligible fat content contributes to be very interesting constituent for fat free diets.
- It proved to be good in terms of nutrition and anti oxidant potential making it to be ideal for a balanced diet. Especially for the people who have relied significantly on water caltrop to supplement their normal nutritional needs.
- It is stated in the study that the utilization of fruits as a source phyto-chemicals tender varied opportunities for its nutraceutical functional food application. The therapeutic use that it offers makes it more useful dietary constitution.
- It is an excellent tonic for removing toxins from the body. This results in the appearance of beautiful skin.
- The flour of this fruit is used for making a number of recipes during the Navratri fast or vrat in Northern parts of India.
- Water caltrop is effective in treating conditions like measles. These nuts boiled in water makes an excellent solution for measles patient.
- It is a natural anti oxidant and protects the skin from wrinkles and UV rays.
- These caltrops are beneficial even for your hair as they contain certain essential nutrients such as potassium, zinc, Vitamin B and Vitamin E.
- As the toxins that damage the hair are removed from the body, the hair gets proper nutrition.
Thus caltrops have a lot to contribute to a healthy body. Grab a few before they disappear from the market.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna