Foodstruct Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart | Insulin index chart | Blog

Chestnut vs Water chestnut - In-Depth Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on March 31, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Chestnut
vs
Water chestnuts

Summary

Chestnuts have more minerals, Vitamin C, fats, calories and contain lower sugar than water chestnuts.

Water chestnuts are lower in sodium, glycemic index, and saturated fats have more fiber and Vitamin B-family.

Introduction

At first, it may seem that chestnuts and water chestnuts are the same food, but they are not. We will discover the nutritional value, differences, and similarities between chestnuts and water chestnuts.

What's The Actual Difference?

Water chestnuts and chestnuts are nothing like each other. The only thing they share is the name, and here their similarities end. Water chestnuts, also known as Chinese water chestnuts, are aquatic vegetables that grow in marshes, ponds, and lakes. On the other hand, chestnuts are tree nuts that have eight or nine species of trees and shrubs.

Nutrition

You can find nutritional infographics at the bottom of this page that visually show the differences between chestnut and water chestnut.

The food varieties used in this article are raw Chinese water chestnut and boiled and streamed European chestnut.

Fats

Both water chestnuts and chestnuts have a tiny amount of fat. However, the fat content of chestnuts is higher in comparison with water chestnuts.

It has 1.38g overall fat per 100g, whereas water chestnuts have 0.1g per 100g. As you can see, this number differs a bit.

Both have no trans fats, which make them suitable in the case of diets.

Calories

The number of calories in chestnuts is higher than in water chestnuts. But here again, the difference is very little.

Chestnuts have 131 kcal per 100g, whereas water chestnuts contain 97 kcal per 100g. Both are suitable for low-calorie diets.

Carbs

Chestnut contains more carbs than water chestnuts. It has 26.76 g carbs in 100g, while water chestnuts have 23.94g.

The total carbs number of these two foods is almost the same, but they differ by the number of net carbs.

All carbs in chestnuts are net carbs, whereas water chestnuts have 20.94 g net carbs and 3g dietary fiber per 100g.

Cholesterol

Chestnuts and water chestnuts have no cholesterol.

Minerals

When it comes to the minerals content, chestnuts have a relatively high number.

In particular, chestnuts have iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and copper than water chestnuts. Moreover, it contains four times more calcium. Important notes, chestnuts fall in the range of 8% of foods as a source of potassium. These nuts can cover your daily potassium intake by 20%.

On the other hand, water chestnuts contain more zinc and less sodium than chestnuts.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +318.2%
Contains more Iron +2783.3%
Contains more Magnesium +145.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +57.1%
Contains more Potassium +22.4%
Contains more Copper +44.8%
Contains less Sodium -48.1%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 14% 65% 39% 43% 64% 4% 7% 158%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 4% 3% 16% 27% 52% 2% 14% 109%
Contains more Calcium +318.2%
Contains more Iron +2783.3%
Contains more Magnesium +145.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +57.1%
Contains more Potassium +22.4%
Contains more Copper +44.8%
Contains less Sodium -48.1%
Contains more Zinc +100%

Vitamins

Both water chestnuts and chestnuts have a moderate amount of vitamins.

For instance, water chestnuts have a higher number of Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B6.

On the other hand, chestnuts are higher in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and folate.

Chestnuts have almost seven times more Vitamin C, covering your daily need 25% more than water chestnuts.

Both lack Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +567.5%
Contains more Folate +137.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +92.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +36.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +51.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +40.8%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.14
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 0% 0% 89% 37% 24% 14% 19% 54% 29% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 24% 0% 14% 35% 47% 19% 29% 76% 12% 0% 1%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +567.5%
Contains more Folate +137.5%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +92.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +36.8%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +51.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +40.8%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.14

Weight Loss

Since both chestnuts and water chestnuts are low in calories, fats, and carbs, they may be suitable for low-calorie, low-fat, and low-carb diets. They also may be added to your list of recommended foods in the case of DASH, Atkins, Mediterranean, and Paleo diets.

Health Benefits

This section of the article will discover the health impact of water chestnuts and chestnuts, the benefits, and the downsides of their consumption.

Phenolics

Both chestnuts and water chestnuts have a high total phenolic content, including free and bound phenolics.

Tidal phenols in chestnuts include anthocyanins, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and isoflavones. These substances have potent antioxidant properties [1].

Water chestnuts' main phenolic compounds are gallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate, and catechin gallate. They also have trace amounts of anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and isoflavones [2].

Cardiovascular Health

Both water chestnuts and chestnuts contain antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. According to research, the flavonoids found in these foods may help protect the heart from oxidative stress linked to strokes and heart disease [1]. Because of their high mineral and chemical content, water chestnuts have been used to treat risk factors such as high blood pressure.

Gallic acid and ellagic acid, both found in water chestnuts, have been shown in studies to help protect the heart against oxidative stress linked to heart disease [2].

Moreover, chestnuts are high in potassium, which aids in the maintenance of the heart by allowing electricity to flow freely throughout the body. One study found that eating a potassium-rich diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by 27% and strokes by 24% [4].

Cancer

Water chestnuts and chestnuts are high in flavonoids and phenolic compounds, with antioxidant properties.

Water chestnuts, in particular, are high in gallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate, and catechin gallate. These compounds possess potent antioxidant properties and have been shown to protect against free radical-related diseases such as cancer. They also contain anthocyanins and isoflavones, which may aid in the prevention of oxidative stress-related diseases. A malignant tumor is the world's second leading cause of death. The mechanisms of the anti-tumor effect are linked to the direct killing of cancer cells or the stimulation of the immune system to fight the tumor. According to the study, water chestnut extract has therapeutic potential for breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate, oral, and kidney cancers [1] [5].

On the other hand, chestnuts have anti-cancer properties as well. According to research, chestnuts may be able to cure stomach cancer. Furthermore, these nuts contain a lot of Vitamin C, which has anti-cancer properties. Chestnuts may be beneficial in treating stomach cancer and epistaxis, according to one study [6].

Boost Immune System

Chestnuts are an excellent immune system booster due to their high concentration of Vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds and trace minerals like copper. According to research, Vitamin C may aid in the recovery of people suffering from the common cold.

Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells and acts as an antioxidant, lowering the risk of free radical formation and neutralizing them before they mutate healthy cells or cause oxidative stress near vital organs. This can help the immune system focus its pathogens and disease prevention efforts [6].

Anti-inflammatory effects

Water chestnuts contain " puchiin " compound with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Puchiin has been known for a long time and is considered the second plant-derived antibacterial substance after penicillin. Puchiins' antibacterial properties and functions are similar to penicillin in boosting immune function [5].

Other Health Benefits

Chestnuts are rich in magnesium. They are found in approximately 21% of foods as a source of magnesium. Research suggests that migraine sufferers may have low magnesium levels. Several studies have shown magnesium supplements to help prevent and treat migraine headaches [7].

Downsides and Risks

Allergy

The allergen responsible for the reaction in cases of chestnut allergy is most likely one of the lipid transfer proteins. Thirty percent of chestnut-allergic patients experience severe anaphylactic reactions when exposed to the allergen. Chesnut allergy may include wheezing, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing [8].

Because water chestnut is not a nut, there have been no reports of allergic people to water chestnuts. Consult your doctor if you experience food allergy symptoms such as itching or swelling around your mouth after eating water, chestnuts, or other food.

Taste and Culinary

Rather than another type of nut, chestnuts have a slightly sweet flavor similar to sweet potato. You can use chestnuts in desserts, baking, chocolate truffles, salads, and stuffing with cranberries or apples.

Water chestnuts are typically sweet, nutty, and tart all at the same time. You can eat water chestnuts raw, boiled, fried, grilled, pickled, or candied.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33532353/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31906347/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133749/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23674806/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27603811/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25307916/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31691193/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811165/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: March 31, 2022

Infographic

Chestnut vs Water chestnuts infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Chestnut Water chestnuts
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Chestnut Water chestnuts Opinion
Net carbs 27.76g 20.94g Chestnut
Protein 2g 1.4g Chestnut
Fats 1.38g 0.1g Chestnut
Carbs 27.76g 23.94g Chestnut
Calories 131kcal 97kcal Chestnut
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar g 4.8g Chestnut
Fiber g 3g Water chestnuts
Calcium 46mg 11mg Chestnut
Iron 1.73mg 0.06mg Chestnut
Magnesium 54mg 22mg Chestnut
Phosphorus 99mg 63mg Chestnut
Potassium 715mg 584mg Chestnut
Sodium 27mg 14mg Water chestnuts
Zinc 0.25mg 0.5mg Water chestnuts
Copper 0.472mg 0.326mg Chestnut
Vitamin A 17IU 0IU Chestnut
Vitamin E mg 1.2mg Water chestnuts
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 26.7mg 4mg Chestnut
Vitamin B1 0.148mg 0.14mg Chestnut
Vitamin B2 0.104mg 0.2mg Water chestnuts
Vitamin B3 0.731mg 1mg Water chestnuts
Vitamin B5 0.316mg 0.479mg Water chestnuts
Vitamin B6 0.233mg 0.328mg Water chestnuts
Folate 38µg 16µg Chestnut
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K µg 0.3µg Water chestnuts
Tryptophan 0.022mg mg Chestnut
Threonine 0.071mg mg Chestnut
Isoleucine 0.079mg mg Chestnut
Leucine 0.118mg mg Chestnut
Lysine 0.118mg mg Chestnut
Methionine 0.047mg mg Chestnut
Phenylalanine 0.084mg mg Chestnut
Valine 0.112mg mg Chestnut
Histidine 0.055mg mg Chestnut
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g 0g Chestnut
Saturated Fat 0.26g 0.026g Water chestnuts
Monounsaturated Fat 0.476g 0.002g Chestnut
Polyunsaturated fat 0.545g 0.043g Chestnut

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Chestnut Water chestnuts
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
22
Chestnut
21
Water chestnuts
Mineral Summary Score
49
Chestnut
28
Water chestnuts

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
12%
Chestnut
8%
Water chestnuts
Carbohydrates
28%
Chestnut
24%
Water chestnuts
Fats
6%
Chestnut
0%
Water chestnuts

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Water chestnuts
Water chestnuts contains less Sodium (difference - 13mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Water chestnuts
Water chestnuts is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.234g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Water chestnuts
Water chestnuts is lower in glycemic index (difference - 54)
Which food is cheaper?
Water chestnuts
Water chestnuts is cheaper (difference - $3)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Chestnut
Chestnut is lower in Sugar (difference - 4.8g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Chestnut
Chestnut is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Chestnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170168/nutrients
  2. Water chestnuts - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170066/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.