What is Chestnut?
Chestnut is good for you? What are the health benefits of chestnut? Are you curious? Then start reading the benefits of the chestnut! Chestnut or Castanea belongs to the same family as oak and beech trees.
These chestnut trees produce a edible eaten, commonly called chestnut species and consumed worldwide. Interestingly, chestnuts are considered both nuts and fruits. Because fruits are technically defined as product of a flowering plant and many of them fall into this category.
Chestnuts have a slightly sweet taste and can be easily added to a variety of dishes. Raw chestnuts have a very hard and crispy texture that becomes softer after being cooked or roasted.
Main Types of Chestnuts Include
- American chestnut.
- Sweet chestnut (also called Spanish Chestnut)
- Chinese chestnut.
- Japanese / Korean Chestnut.
Note that these Chestnut varieties have nothing to do with sea urchin. Sea urchins are not technically nuts , but they are a water plant used in many Asian cuisines.
Nutritional Values Of Chestnut
Chestnuts contain a good amount of fiber along with a variety of micro-nutrients such as manganese, vitamin C and thiamine. The following food values were determined for about ten roasted chestnuts (about 84 grams):
- 206 calories
- 44.5 grams of carbohydrates
- 2.7 grams of protein
- 1.8 grams of fat
- 4.3 grams of fiber
- 1 milligrams manganese (50% of your daily need)
- 21.8 milligrams vitamin C (36% of your daily need)
- 0.4 milligrams vitamin B6 (21% of your daily requirement)
- 0.4 milligrams copper (21% of daily need)
- 58.8 micrographic folate (15% of your daily need)
- 0.2 milligrams thiamine (14% of your daily need)
- 497 milligrams of potassium (14% of your daily need)
- 0.1 milligrams riboflavin (9% of the daily requirement)
- 0.2 89.9 milligrams of phosphorus (9% of the daily requirement)
- 0.3 6.6 micrograms vitamin K (8% of your daily need)
- 0.4 27.7 milligrams magnesium (7% of your daily need)
- 0.5 1.1 milligrams niacin (6% of your daily need)
- 0.6 0.5 milligrams pantothenic acid (5% of your daily need)
- 0.7 0.8 milligrams of Iron (4% of your daily need)
- 0.8 0.5 milligrams of zinc (3% of daily need)
1. Improves Digestion
Some studies have shown that chestnut trees can help provide better digestion in a few different ways. A test tube study published in Food Microbiology found that chestnut extract had protective effects on probiotic species found in gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are useful bacteria that keep your bowel healthy and help to improve digestion.
In addition, chestnuts are high in fiber. The dietary fiber is resistant to digestion as passes through gastrointestinal tract, helping to pass through food into your digestive system.
Fibers can relieve constipation, increase food retention, balance blood sugar, and feed useful bacteria in your bowel. In addition to chestnuts, other high-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes and other nuts.
2. Chestnut Contains Antioxidants
In addition to providing a large amount of vitamins and minerals, chestnuts are also high in antioxidant content.
A 2010 study conducted by biotechnology department at Chosun University in Korea showed that chestnut extract has strong antioxidant properties and even helps protect against melanoma or skin cancer.
Antioxidants are substances that help neutralize harmful free radicals, which are compounds that cause cells and chronic disease.
These beneficial ingredients have been associated with an impressive range of health benefits, from preventing cancer to fighting against heart disease.
3. Protects Your Heart
Interestingly, some varieties of chestnut have been shown to have a protective effect on your heart. Chestnuts contain antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
Chestnuts also contain potassium, an important mineral that can reduce some risk factors related to heart disease. A study found that increased potassium intake can effectively lower blood pressure and even reduce stroke risk by 24 percent.
If you have heart disease, can help reduce some risk factors for heart disease and keep your heart healthy.
4. Regulates Bowel Movements
When you eat fiber foods, they move into the body undigested. This helps to gain a volume of stool and facilitates the passage of the stool to fight constipation.
An analysis published in the World Gastroenterology magazine in 2012 examined five studies that measure the effects of dietary fiber. Researchers have found that increased fiber consumption is associated with an increase in stool frequency.
5. Increases Bone Health
Only 10 chestnuts can supply 50% of the manganese you need all day long. Manganese is an incredibly important mineral needed for normal cell function. Some studies have shown that manganese plays a central role in bone health and can provide protection against certain diseases.
About 43% of manganese is stored in bones. Taking manganese along with other bone-building minerals can help prevent bone loss, especially in older women.
In a 2004 study, 334 women with weak bones, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, zinc and boron together with a capsule containing manganese supplementation increased bone density. A portion of chestnut to add to your diet can help keep bones strong and stay away from osteoporosis.
6. Chestnut Improves Brain Function
Chestnuts contain plenty of vitamin B, including thiamin, vitamin B6, riboflavin and folate. These vitamins are necessary to keep your brain healthy and protect against disease.
Deficiency in any of these B vitamins can cause problems with cognition. For example, thiamin deficiency can cause delirium, while folate deficiency can impair brain development in children.
In a study in 2016, folic acid supplementation of older participants for a year helped improve cognitive performance while reducing certain obvious levels of inflammation.
In another study in Nutrition magazine, vitamin B intake increased in elderly participants with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive function was shown to be positive.
Chestnut: vitamin B helps you to meet your needs and optimize your brain health. For this, eat plenty of protein-rich foods and consider a serving of chestnuts every day.