5 Health Benefits of Chestnuts

Chestnuts roasted over an open fire could also be a timeless Christmas image. From the Castanea family, these nuts offer a slight sweetness with a nutty crunch and the flexibility to be added to salads and soups, stuffings and many other dishes.

Sweet chestnuts are often called the “breadfruit”, serving as a staple food and source of nutrition for people in the Mediterranean and Europe. Widely recognized for their nutritional value, these nuts provide carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein, to name a few. Here are five amazing benefits of chestnuts for human health.


1. Better memory

Nuts in general are valued for their highly nutrient profile. In particular, they are studied to fight against oxidative damage, inflammation, the aging process, dementia or memory loss.

A 2020 review looked at the anti-dementia property of nine different nuts, including chestnuts. From the rich nutritional profile of nuts, essential fats, proteins, vitamins, fibers, minerals and trace elements stand out. These and other properties “could make walnuts an alternative therapy for mankind to combat memory loss,” the authors wrote.

2. Improved heart health

Chestnuts offer nutrients that contribute to cardiovascular well-being. They are rich in antioxidants, namely gallic and ellagic acids, which help protect the heart from oxidative stress. This condition can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Chestnuts also provide a good amount of potassium, a mineral that helps keep the heart healthy and regulate blood pressure.

3. Diabetes Fighting Potential

Consumption of nuts, including chestnuts, has been associated with protection against type 2 diabetes and related metabolic syndromes. This benefit is linked to reduced oxidative damage, as well as inflammatory biomarkers, as well as beneficial fatty acids from chestnuts, dietary fiber, plant proteins and polyphenols.

This is where the rich antioxidant profile of chestnuts comes in: these compounds help protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Oxidative stress can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and various types of cancer.

4. Weight loss

The high fiber content of chestnuts is key to keeping you feeling full longer. This is because fiber helps slow down the time it takes for food to pass from the stomach to the intestines. Animal studies also suggest that dietary supplementation with chestnuts may reduce abdominal fat.

5. Action against cancer

A 2014 study suggested that Castanea mollissima Blume, also known as Chinese chestnut, contains flavonoids and polyphenolic acids which have anticancer properties and may protect against diabetes complications. In test-tube research, the antioxidants in these nuts helped suppress the growth and spread of cancerous cells, such as prostate cancer.

How to use chestnuts

It’s easy to add chestnuts to your diet. You can eat them raw, although their high tannin content can cause digestive issues in sensitive individuals. You can also boil or roast chestnuts. Once cooked, their skin becomes easy to remove for a healthy and delicious snack or as a garnish in festive dishes.

By Sayer Ji. Articles in English

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