Chestnuts are considered one of the healthiest nuts due to their high carbohydrate and fiber content , and their low levels of fat. They are also a food with many properties and benefits for the consumer, thanks to their biological nature.
In the following article we will delve into the description and benefits of these fruits, thus allowing their proper recognition and use.
What are chestnuts?
Chestnuts are a dry fruit that is obtained from an imposing tree called chestnut. Its fruit is a globose capsule and inside is what is really known as chestnuts.
You should know: Chestnuts were of great importance in the diet of antiquity, especially in Europe and Asia, where they were used to make flour while corn and wheat became an easily accessible product. (1)
They are highly recognized nuts, for their properties and benefits, as well as wide uses. They typically occur in the autumn season and their nutritional composition is characterized by being similar to that of cereals.
Chestnuts have important nutritional properties , which influence their nutritional capacity and the benefits conferred from their consumption. They will be described below: (2)
Despite the fact that its contents are not important or significant, it is worth noting that it is quite varied and therefore beneficial . Chestnuts contain B vitamins, these being B1, B2, B3 and B6, vitamin E and vitamin C.
Note: It also contains tannins, folic acid and antioxidants.
Its mineral contributions are also quite broad, contemplating the presence of magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, selenium and zinc . They allow to confer benefits to the consumer’s body, such as anti-inflammatory properties and also the correct development and functionality of the body.
3. Other compounds
Among the other components of chestnuts we can highlight the existing macronutrients, being an important source of energy, carbohydrates and fibers . They also provide protein, fat and water, the latter being practically half of its composition.
What benefits do chestnuts have?
Chestnuts, as we have previously mentioned, confer certain benefits to the health of their consumers, they will be mentioned and explained below for their use:
1. They prevent cardiovascular diseases
Chestnuts do not provide cholesterol content and are also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 acids, which are important and influential in controlling alterations in our blood.
To highlight: Nuts in general terms are capable of reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by providing fibers and antioxidants that greatly benefit the health of the body and our cardiovascular system. It is therefore that the risk of developing diseases is reduced and its consumption gives way to a healthier body. (3)
2. They reduce the impact of free radicals
Chestnuts are high in polyphenols, and these components have been shown to have chelating properties, which means the ability to trap free radicals, preventing oxidative stress and therefore reducing its impact. (4)
The reduction of free radicals in the body has a positive influence, reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, cataracts, and all the damage that is a consequence of premature oxidation of the cells of our body.
3. They promote digestive health
As we have previously mentioned, chestnuts are rich in fiber , which greatly benefits intestinal transit and prevents constipation , a common symptom in different types of gastrointestinal disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, colitis, among others), also helping to prevent the presence gas and bloating.
Note: Chestnuts improve the functionality of the digestive system and also improve the absorption of nutrients. (5)
4. They strengthen bones, teeth and muscles
Its mineral contributions and improved nutrient absorption allow full use of them, benefiting the health of bones and muscles due to its iron, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium content, which in addition to contributing to bone construction, help to fix calcium in these structures.
5. They fight anemia
Chestnuts are useful to combat or prevent anemia , tiredness and fatigue due to their iron content. However, they also contain an important contribution of energy that benefits metabolic processes and reduces this type of symptomatology.
6. They increase physical energy
80% of the energy contribution of chestnuts comes from the carbohydrates present in their nutritional composition and not from fats, which makes them a food with less calories than other nuts but with a great capacity to increase physical energy in its consumers . . (6)
7. They help control weight
The inclusion of nuts in general terms benefits the goal of weight reduction. Its high fiber and protein content allow a prolonged feeling of satiety causing less food consumption.
To highlight: Chestnuts also contain enzymes that allow the acceleration of metabolism, which reduces the risk of being overweight. (7)
8. They prevent cancer and diabetes
The content of antioxidants and selenium, have shown through different scientific studies that chestnuts reduce the probability of risk of developing prostate cancer.
Important: Research published by the Journal of Urology exposes that the lack or deficiency of selenium in the blood increases the risk of developing cancer cells. (8)
How can chestnuts be consumed?
Chestnuts can be eaten raw, as long as the brown layer is completely removed due to its high tannin content , causing gastric discomfort if left. They can also be eaten boiled, salted, sweet or even roasted.
Note: To roast them, it is recommended to make a cut in each chestnut and place them at 400°C for approximately ten or fifteen minutes.
On the other hand, chestnuts can also be added to dishes such as salads, stews, preparations with rice and a wide variety of desserts. Its uses in the kitchen are quite diverse.
- Chestnuts are a nut recognized for its high fiber and carbohydrate content.
- The contribution of minerals from chestnuts favors the development and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
- Chestnuts have an important caloric intake that allows to increase physical energy and combat the symptoms of anemia, fatigue and tiredness.
- Thanks to the fiber content, chestnuts support digestive health and promote the absorption of nutrients.