Chestnuts and Christmas go hand in hand; you cannot think of one without being reminded of the other. However, chestnut has been limited to a holiday staple when it deserves a spot in more than just Christmas carols and stuffing. These starchy nuts are packed with fiber, Vitamin C, and minerals such as calcium and potassium.
Here’s a list of all that there is inside the rigid hulls that are chestnuts.
- Amount: 100 grams
- Total fat:1.4 g
- Potassium: 715 mg
- Protein: 2 g
- Sodium: 27 mg
- Vitamin C: 44%
- Iron: 9%
- Magnesium: 13%
- Calcium: 4%
- Protein: 2 g
- Total carbohydrates: 28 g
Health Benefits Of Chestnuts
Unlike other nuts, chestnuts do not provide a high quantity of protein or fat; however, they provide chiefly complex carbs. However, that does not mean that they fail to provide essential nutrients: chestnuts are packed with essential nutrients beneficial for your body.
As most of us are aware, a healthy intake of fiber is essential for our body’s gastrointestinal functioning. Those suffering from constipation are advised to increase their fiber intake to get instant relief. Chestnuts are rich in fiber, and mere ten roasted chestnuts can provide up to 17% of the fiber content needed by our bodies daily. As recommended by health officials, an average person should eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day; however, an average American only consumes half of the recommended amount. Fibre gained from plant-based foods such as nuts helps maintain GI health, lower cholesterol levels, and add to a healthy weight by giving us a full feeling.
Keeps You Energized
While nuts such as almonds and peanuts dominate the protein department, chestnuts rule in providing a high quantity of complex carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates are slowly digested by our body and provide us with a stable energy source. Food items such as chestnuts rich in fiber and complex carbs also have a less immediate effect on our body’s blood sugar levels, reducing the chances of sudden spikes.
Vitamin C is essential and beneficial for our body, skin, and our immune system. Although we are all aware of these benefits, we do not commonly know that Vitamin C is also crucial for forming blood vessels, cartilages, muscles, and collagen in the human body. In addition, the Vitamin C antioxidants also protect the cells against the free radicals present in our body and also helps in the absorption and storage of iron in the body.
Apart from providing an ample amount of macro-minerals, chestnuts also contain some essential trace minerals. Trace minerals are those minerals that are only needed in small doses in our bodies. Still, these small dosages are significant for the healthy functioning of our overall body system. Chestnuts contain one such trace mineral, that is copper. Like Vitamin C, copper also aids the health of our nervous system, such as nerves, bones, immune systems, and helps in iron absorption.
May Aid Weight Loss
Eating chestnuts may aid in weight loss as the high amounts of fiber present in these nuts give you the full feeling; you will not feel hungry for a while. This works because fiber slows down the time it takes for food to empty into the intestines from the stomach. Some studies show that eating a high fiber diet increases the production of hormones that help curb your appetite and reduce the chances of snacking.
If you wish to lose weight, you will naturally have a calorie deficit, where chestnuts come to the rescue. Chestnuts are low in fat as compared to other nuts hence making them the perfect weight loss aid. A study done on animals shows that eating chestnuts may aid in lowering cholesterol and reducing belly fat. However, much deeper research is still to be conducted to provide any proof.
May Lower Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body heal and wards off infections. However, there are some cases where inflammation persists in the body at a low rate. This condition is known as chronic inflammation and can be linked to numerous chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart problems, etc.
Chestnuts contain numerous antioxidants such as Vitamin C, ellagic acid, polyphenols, gallic acid, etc. Antioxidants present in chestnut bits help reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals, which are the lead cause of chronic inflammation.
Although there is no hard evidence proving this notion, research from test-tube studies has shown that chestnuts have anti-tumor properties. These studies show that the antioxidants present in chestnuts can curbing the spread and suppressing the growth of cancer cells and can also eradicate cancer cells. However, all the studies were done on this notion in test tubes. Scientists are yet to do any animal studies or human studies to understand the effects of the compounds present in chestnuts on cancer cells concerning humans.
Chestnuts are healthy, but they are also exceedingly yummy and easy to add to your diet. They are mildly sweet, a little soft yet firm at the same time. You can eat them in various ways, boil them, roast them, bake them whatever you like. Some people eat raw chestnuts, which you can do but should avoid. Raw chestnuts are high in tannins, often leading to digestive issues or other complications, so it is always best to prepare them before eating.
The bottom Line
Chestnuts are a popular food item around the world, especially around Christmas time. They are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, manganese, and so much more. In addition, chestnuts help improve heart health, cholesterol levels, digestive health, and anticancer properties. Suppose you wish to add chestnuts to your diet. In that case, you can do so by roasting or boiling them to enjoy as a snake or can incorporate various forms of chestnuts into numerous recipes.