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Overview

Benefits of Chestnuts And Its Side Effects

Chestnuts are an extremely popular and easy to find nut. They are versatile when it comes to their usage and adding just a handful to your diet on a daily basis can help you with a host of ailments. Chestnuts are known for preventing diabetes, boosting the immune system as a whole, increasing the bone mineral density, relieving digestive problems, improving cognitive function, preventing chronic illnesses, controlling the blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health and increasing the production of red blood cells in the blood stream. All of thesehealth benefits make them a great addition to the daily diet.

Benefits of Chestnuts And Its Side Effects

Table of Content

Chestnuts
Nutritional Value of Chestnuts
Health Benefits of Chestnuts
Prevents diabetes
Boosts the immune system
Increases the bone mineral density
Relieves digestive problems
Improves cognitive function
Prevents chronic illnesses
Controls blood pressure
Improves cardiovascular health
Increases red blood cells
Prevents scurvy
Uses of Chestnuts
Side-Effects & Allergies of Chestnuts
Cultivation of Chestnuts

Chestnuts

Chestnuts are produced by shrubs and trees that belong to the Castanea genus. They grow with a thick and hard outer shell that is brown and have a white edible kernel in the center. This kernel can be eaten raw as well as cooked.

There are many different types of chestnuts and they all have similar properties and nutritionals values. However, they should not be confused with horse chestnuts. The four main types of chestnuts consumed are the Japanese chestnut, American chestnut, Chinese chestnut and European chestnut. Chestnuts contain high amounts of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, good fats, and antioxidant compounds and can be used to create a balanced, healthy diet.

Nutritional Value of Chestnuts

In a 100g, chestnuts have 131 calories. The total fat present in them is 1.4g out of which there is 0.3g of saturated fat, 0.5g of polyunsaturated fats (PUSA), and 05g of monounsaturated fats (MUSA). It has 0mg of cholesterol. It contains 27mg of sodium and 715mg of potassium. The total carbohydrate content of 100g of chestnuts is 28g. It also has a total of 2g of proteins, and 4% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 44% of vitamin C, 9% of iron, 10% of vitamin B-6, and 13% of magnesium. It has 0% of vitamin A, B-12, and D.

Health Benefits of Chestnuts

Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Chestnuts
Health Benefits of Chestnuts

Prevents diabetes

One of the least known facts about diabetes is that it can be successfully prevented with the help of dietary fibers. They can also regulate and manage diabetes in patients. Food products that have a lot of dietary fiber are considered low glycemic foods because they make the sugar levels in the blood rise more slowly. This is a benefit that is extremely important to diabetics as their treatments are all about controlling their sugar. Moreover, they prevent random drops in the sugar levels as well. This is important for people who may have a disposition towards diabetes as well as chestnuts can help preventing the disease from developing in the first place.

Boosts the immune system

Chestnuts contain high amounts of vitamic C, as well as high amounts of antioxidants, which makes them a great food product to have to boost your immune system. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the body as it helps to stimulate the production of White Blood Cells (WBCs), which are an essential part of the immune system as they fight foreign disease-causing agents. It also has the properties of antioxidants which hunt down free radicals in the system and then help eradicate them. This allows the immune system to focus on more important things, like pathogens.

Increases the bone mineral density

As the body ages, many systems are affected. One of these is the skeletal structure and a common problem amongst ageing people is osteoporosis, which occurs due to the loss of bone mass and manifests itself in the form of weakened bones and aching joints. One of the ways to prevent this is to include chestnut in your diet. Chestnuts contain magnesium which plays a big role in increasing the bone mineral density, thereby keeping the bones healthy. Chestnuts also have large amounts of copper, which plays a huge role in the way the body absorbs iron, thus contributing to overall bone health and strength.

Relieves digestive problems

Dietary fiber is the best thing to put into your body if you suffer from digestive issues. Fibers add a lot of bulk to the digested food, which helps it move down the digestive track much faster. It helps with peristalsis, the contracting and releasing of intestinal muscles to move food along, which also helps with better bowel movements. Dietary fiber also plays a role in improving the way the body absorbs nutrients, which is better on the whole. Dietary fiber can also help reduce diarrhea.

Improves cognitive function

Chestnuts have a direct impact on the brain and cognitive function. As they contain high amounts of different types of vitamin B, such as folate, thiamine, riboflavin), they can help with better focus and stronger memory. These vitamins are linked with brain development and its function and chestnuts are, therefore, a great addition to the diet of your child.

Furthermore, chestnuts also contain potassium. Potassium is known for increasing the flow of blood to the brain, keeping it well oxygenated and revitalized, and also as a positive impact on the overall health of the nervous system. This also contributes to better memory, concentration, and retention.

Prevents chronic illnesses

No matter how careful you think you are, your body is always filled with free radicals. This is not because of something you are doing or not doing. It is simply so because free radicals happen to be a byproduct of cellular respiration. They are considered slightly dangerous as they can make your healthy cells mutate and cause cancer. They can also cause a number of chronic illnesses and oxidative stress. The antioxidants in chestnuts help eliminate these free radicals, saving you from a host of problems.

Controls blood pressure

As discussed earlier, chestnuts contain potassium and this is one of the most important minerals when it comes to lowering blood pressure. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, which helps in increasing the general blood flow, therefore decreasing the overall pressure. Potassium also controls the movement of water in the body.

Improves cardiovascular health

Chestnuts are also known for improving cardiovascular health. The body requires good fats in order to balance the cholesterol and chestnuts is filled with them. They reduce any inflammation in the body which reduces any risk of strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, arthrosclerosis and coronary disease. People with a history of heart disease in the family can benefit by eating a handful of these delicious nuts every day.

Increases red blood cells

Red blood cells, also known as RBCs, are an extremely important type of cell in the blood as they carry oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. Chestnuts contain copper which facilitates the metabolism of iron into the blood stream and the creation of red blood cells. Without an optimal number of RBCs, the organs start to deteriorate due to the lack of fresh oxygen. Moreover, copper is an important nutrient for the body as without it, one can be at risk for anemia, osteoporosis, and irregular heartbeat.

Prevents scurvy

Scurvy is a disease that occurs when there is a deficiency of vitamin C in the body and can manifest itself in a range of symptoms such as fatigue, sore arms and legs, gum disease, and more extreme symptoms as the disease progresses such as insufficient wound healing, changes in the personality and even death if not treated. The best way to prevent scurvy is to ensure that your diet has sufficient amounts of vitamin C in it. Chestnuts are highly rich in Vitamin C and can therefore help prevent scurvy from developing.

Uses of Chestnuts

One of the most common ways to consume chestnuts is to roast them at an open fire. The outer layer cracks open easily, leaving the fleshy white inside to be consumed. However, chestnuts can be eaten in a variety of different ways.

They can be candied for delicious treats, pureed for an addition to a savory meal, and boiled and eaten just like that. They can also be ground into flour and used to make textured bread. Chestnuts can also be steamed, grilled or deep fried.

In many cuisines, chestnuts are crushed and sprinkled over meats or salads to add an extra dimension of flavor and texture to the meal.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Chestnuts

As is the case with most nuts, chestnuts are a known allergen. People who are susceptible to allergies, or have nut allergies should definitely consult with their doctor before they add these nuts to their daily diet. These allergies can range from mild to severe with eczema, rashes, itchiness and even breathing difficulties as symptoms. Some people can also get contact dermatitis, which is the developing of itching and rashes on the skin right after touching the nuts. So even though these nuts have a high nutritional value, one should be fairly careful before including them in one’s diet.

Cultivation of Chestnuts

Chestnuts originated in Asia Minor, though they are grown and found almost all over the world now. It is believed that the ancient Greeks were responsible for introducing chestnuts to the Mediterranean region 3,000 years ago.

Popular Questions & Answers

What is the right quantity and correct form of including cashew nuts in the diet of a person with history of cholesterol/ hypertensive?

MBBS, Dip.Cardiology, Fellowship in Clinical Cardiology(FICC), Fellowship in Echocardiology
Cardiologist, Ghaziabad
Ill take the opportunity to educate you so I will be little lengthy, here it goes. Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet may be good for your heart. Nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients. And they're a great snack food — inexpensive, easy to store and easy to pack when you're on the go. One drawback to nuts is that they're high in calories, so it's important to limit portions. But choosing nuts instead of a less healthy snack may just help you stick to a heart-healthy diet. Although a great deal of research suggests that nuts can benefit heart health and reduce the risks of dying early from heart disease and other causes, the evidence is still inconclusive. But, unless you're allergic to nuts, there's no real danger in eating nuts, so you can certainly include nuts as part of your heart-healthy diet. One way nuts may help your heart health is by lowering the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels. LDL plays a major role in the development of plaque that builds up on the blood vessels. Eating more nuts has also been linked to lower levels of inflammation linked to heart disease. Eating nuts may also reduce your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Nuts also appear to improve the health of the lining of your arteries. Besides being packed with protein, most nuts contain at least some of these heart-healthy substances: Unsaturated fats. It's not entirely clear why, but it's thought that the "good" fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower bad cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many kinds of fish, but many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks. Fiber. All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. Fiber makes you feel full, so you eat less. Fiber is also thought to play a role in preventing type 2 diabetes. Vitamin E. Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack. Plant sterols. Some nuts contain plant sterols, a substance that can help lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to products like margarine and orange juice for additional health benefits, but sterols occur naturally in nuts. L-arginine. Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow. As much as 80 percent of a nut is fat. Even though most of this fat is healthy fat, it's still a lot of calories. That's why you should eat nuts in moderation. Ideally, you should use nuts as a substitute for saturated fats, such as those found in meats, eggs and dairy products. Instead of eating foods with unhealthy saturated fats, try substituting a handful of nuts or a tablespoon or two of a nut spread. The American Heart Association recommends eating about four servings of unsalted nuts a week. Select raw or dry-roasted nuts rather than those cooked in oil. A serving is a small handful (1.5 ounces) of whole nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter. But again, do this as part of a heart-healthy diet. Just eating nuts and not cutting back on saturated fats found in many dairy and meat products won't do your heart any good. The type of nuts you choose to eat probably doesn't matter much. Most nuts appear to be generally healthy, though some may have more heart-healthy nutrients than others. For example, walnuts contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans are other nuts that appear to be quite heart healthy. And peanuts — which are technically not a nut, but a legume, like beans — seem to be relatively healthy. Keep in mind, you could end up canceling out the heart-healthy benefits of nuts if they're covered with chocolate, sugar or salt. Here's some nutrition information on common types of nuts. All calorie and fat content measurements are for 1 ounce, or 28.4 grams (g), of unsalted nuts. Type of nutCaloriesTotal fat Almonds, dry-roasted17014.9 g Almonds, raw16414.2 g Brazil nuts, raw18719 g Cashews, dry-roasted16313.1 g Chestnuts, roasted690.6 g Hazelnuts (filberts), dry-roasted18317.7 g Hazelnuts (filberts), raw17817.2 g Macadamia nuts, dry-roasted20421.6 g Macadamia nuts, raw20421.5 g Peanuts, dry-roasted16614.1 g Pecans, dry-roasted20121.1 g Pistachios, dry-roasted16213 g Walnuts, halved18518.5 g Nut oils are also a good source of healthy nutrients, but they lack the fiber found in whole nuts. Walnut oil is the highest in omega-3s. Consider using nut oils in homemade salad dressing or in cooking. When cooking with nut oils, remember that they respond differently to heat than do vegetable oils. Nut oil, if overheated, can become bitter. Just like with nuts, use nut oil in moderation, as the oils are high in fat and calories.

Popular Health Tips

Navratri Diet - Natural Process to Cleanse Internally!

M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Surat
Navratri Diet - Natural Process to Cleanse Internally!

Detox and Cleanse are the two buzzing words in the health community for some time now. Navratri diet is essentially one of the native processes to cleanse our body internally. We can utilize our hands and soap to clear our skin, but for internal clearance, diet plans like Navratri are being used since ancient times. It works in very simple terms. As our body needs energy all the times, if we stop or minimize intake of food in any form, the body’s internal metabolic system searches for any stored energy in the form of fat and converts it into energy. In this manner, we can gradually lose all the fat content within a span of 9 days of Navratri festival.

Navratri fasting – Doing it right
Proper fasting techniques help us to set us back on track when it comes to good health. But unhealthy practices such as consuming deeply fried or sugary food during the festival period was not an ancient process but which somehow developed along the way and hence should be avoided. Going salt-free and including fruits and vegetables in our diet help our bodies pass this time with ease. A Navratri diet plan was actually made to detoxify our body.

Incorporating Variety of Grains: Amaranth, Chestnuts, and Samak are equivalent to cereal and are rich in proteins and carbohydrates. Recently scientists have found that these pseudo-cereals have high nutritional content as compared to wheat. They are also the best sources of minerals and vitamins and free from gluten. The practice of including such foods with us in the past which might have been lost as we evolved and the festive occasion is a good opportunity to bring about the change.

Similarly, khichdi made from Kuttu also serves the need of a balanced diet with proper carbohydrate minerals and other vitamins. It's effortless to cook which helps to make time for celebration as well. Chapati made up of Kuttu is also a great option for those who prefer parathas and puris.

The potato which is also a rich source of carbohydrate in a baked form can suit the need of Navaratri diet plans. Sabudana, either as Khichdi or mixed with milk not only enhances the taste buds but also provides quality nutrition. It's better to have these alternate grains at regular intervals instead of an extended period of fast.

Drinking plenty of fluids: Plenty of fluids like water, buttermilk, fruit juice should be taken. Lime diluted with warm water helps to detoxify your body at faster levels. A variety of such foods should be eaten to satisfy the taste buds and providing proper nutrition to the body.

Hence, it would be good to incorporate such foods into the regular diet, even after the Navratri celebrations are over. It not only helps in minimizing weight but also to maintain it. This diet promotes digestion, improves energy, prevents diseases and fosters a feeling of lightness and well-being throughout the year and entire life. Celebrate the Navratri in a healthy way, not compromising the pomp and grandeur.

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Table of Content

Chestnuts
Nutritional Value of Chestnuts
Health Benefits of Chestnuts
Prevents diabetes
Boosts the immune system
Increases the bone mineral density
Relieves digestive problems
Improves cognitive function
Prevents chronic illnesses
Controls blood pressure
Improves cardiovascular health
Increases red blood cells
Prevents scurvy
Uses of Chestnuts
Side-Effects & Allergies of Chestnuts
Cultivation of Chestnuts