Health Benefits Of Chestnuts
Chestnuts have been a valued food source in many cultures, notably those of China, Korea, Japan and the Mediterranean, and have been cultivated for more than 6,000 years in China and 3,000 years in Europe, according to Richard Litz, author of the book “Biotechnology of Fruit and Nut Crops.”
1. Digestive Health
Chestnuts have a high fiber content. Dietary fiber comes in the form of soluble and insoluble. Soluble gets absorbed in water and forms a gel-like consistency in the intestines. This type helps reduce cholesterol and stabilizes blood-sugar levels. Insoluble fiber creates bulk in the stool and helps it pass through the system quickly. Chestnuts have predominately insoluble fiber. A 3-ounce serving of roasted chestnuts contains 4 grams of fiber.
2. Stronger Bones
Copper is a trace mineral that enhances bone strength, helps with red blood cell formation and nerve function and boosts the immune system.
3. Improved Brain Function
The fat-soluble B vitamins help produce red blood cells, break down protein, carbs and fats for energy, promote healthy skin and enhance brain function. Chestnuts have a generous blend of B vitamins in moderately high amounts. A 3-ounce serving contains 21 percent of the recommended daily value of B-6, 15 percent of folate, 14 percent of thiamine and 9 percent of riboflavin.
4. Stable Energy Levels
Most nuts are low in carbohydrates, which is why they often are part of low-carb diet plans. Chestnuts, however, have a high amount of carbs. They contain 45 grams per 3-ounce serving. Carbs are needed for short- and long-term energy, and they help with nervous system function.
5. Disease Risk Reduction
Chestnuts have a high content of the trace mineral manganese — an antioxidant, which soaks up free radicals in the system and reduces the risk for cancer and heart disease.