Home Healthy Eating Chestnuts: Chestnuts are so healthy!

Chestnuts: Chestnuts are so healthy!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 401 views

They smell sweet and nutty and taste delicious: chestnuts are a popular meal, especially in autumn and winter. Chestnuts not only fill you up, they are also healthy. Read more about the nutrients in chestnuts and how positive they are for our bodies.

What are chestnuts?

The chestnut has its origins in the Caucasus region. It is known for its nutritious fruits: the chestnuts, also known as chestnuts. The name “Maroni” is derived from the Italian word “marrone” (brown).

The sweet chestnut belongs to the beech family and is therefore a nut. However, there are two criteria that distinguish it from other nuts:

  • It has a high starch content. That is why it used to be a staple food in areas where no grain was grown. Among other things, people used chestnuts to bake bread. The chestnut was therefore also known as “bread for the poor”.
  • Compared to other types of nuts, it has a very low fat content and is therefore low in calories. 100 grams have about 220 calories. However, it should be noted that a bag of chestnuts at markets usually contains 250 grams and therefore has more than 700 calories. So it is not a small snack, but rather a meal.

It is important not to confuse the chestnut with the horse chestnut . The latter belongs to the maple trees, its seeds are highly poisonous.

Chestnuts: They are so healthy!

Chestnuts contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. In addition, there are vitamins C and E, many B vitamins and provitamin A. The nuts are also rich in valuable carbohydrates, protein and fiber.

They affect the body as follows:

Chestnuts stabilize blood sugar

Chestnuts contain complex carbohydrates that protect against food cravings. They not only fill you up well, but also ensure that the blood sugar level does not rise too quickly after eating and remains stable for a long time. This means that the pancreas has to release less insulin.

Chestnuts are good for the heart

Chestnuts contain vitamin C. This vitamin has a lowering effect on cholesterol levels. The polyunsaturated fatty acids they contain also have such an effect.

High cholesterol levels generally increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Especially the harmful LDL cholesterol favors the risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke. Conversely, low levels protect the heart and blood vessels .

There is also a lot of fiber and potassium in chestnuts. Dietary fiber is an important part of a balanced diet, which is particularly important if you have high blood pressure. They contain about nine grams per 100 grams. According to the German Society for Nutrition, 30 grams per day are recommended.

Potassium helps flush excess water from the body, thereby relieving strain on the kidneys and heart.

Chestnuts and cancer prevention

Chestnuts contain secondary plant substances such as tannins and lignans as well as antioxidants. These substances show a cancer-preventing or inhibiting effect. So far, however, there have only been a few studies on the exact influence of chestnuts on cancer cells.

Scientists tested extracts from the wood, leaves, tree bark or shells on animals or cells. The results are promising. However, the data cannot yet be transferred to humans or to the food itself. Further studies are therefore necessary.

Chestnuts are good for the bones

Chestnuts strengthen our bones. Because the special combination of calcium and phosphorus in chestnuts increases bone density. Their effect is supported by a plus in potassium: This helps the body to bind calcium and store it in the right place.

Chestnuts ensure a restful sleep

Another special feature of chestnuts is their extensive vitamin B content – from B 1 to B 6. These vital substances control important nerve processes. A deficiency leads, for example, to restlessness and sleep disorders.

Chestnuts are also valuable for sleep for another reason: their protein contains tryptophan. This amino acid is metabolized in the brain into a messenger substance that controls sleep. Sweet chestnuts therefore support a deep and relaxing dive in the evening.

Chestnuts support digestion

Chestnuts contribute to intestinal health. This is mainly due to the fiber they contain. These get the digestion going, which is important to prevent constipation.

Even those who suffer from celiac disease are welcome to use chestnut flour. It does not contain gluten and is suitable for baking bread or cakes.

Nutrients at a glance

Fresh chestnuts contain the following nutrients per 100 grams:

  • Vitamin A: 12 mg
  • Vitamin B1: 0,1-0,2 mg
  • Vitamin B2: 0,2-0,3 mg
  • Vitamin C: 6-23 mg
  • Potassium: 395-707 mg
  • Calcium: 18-38 mg
  • Magnesium: 31-65 mg
  • Fiber: 8 gr

How do I prepare chestnuts?

Chestnuts are versatile in the kitchen. Do not eat chestnuts raw, but roast or boil the nuts. This makes them digestible. In addition, the starch it contains is only converted into sugar when it is heated.

Chestnuts go well as an accompaniment to game and poultry dishes, can be processed into puree or roasted in the oven. Processed into flour, they are good for baking. There are also chestnut flakes for muesli, chestnut cream or even chestnut liqueur.

Sweet chestnut: worth knowing

There are three types of edible chestnuts, each with a different shape and taste.

  • Chestnut: They are dark brown, round and flattened on one side. A strong segmentation is typical of them. That means: The seedling is deeply engulfed. The shell is difficult to peel off.
  • Chestnuts: They are smaller and lighter in color than chestnuts, oval to heart-shaped and have a pleasant taste. In addition, they last longer.
  • Chestnuts: They are similar to chestnuts. However, they must be picked by hand. They have the longest shelf life of up to three months.

In Germany, Charlemagne promoted the cultivation of chestnuts as early as the 8th century. In Germany, it was only replaced by the potato as a staple food for the people a good 250 years ago.

You may also like

Leave a Comment