Roasted chestnuts are an ideal snack for fall and winter season. Chestnuts are a real nut, compared to cashews and almonds, for instance, which are actually a fruit. They are dissimilar from water chestnuts that are a rhizome from an aquatic plant. There are several varieties of chestnuts, with the Asian and European varieties being the most popular ones.
Chestnuts are specific in that they are starchy, nothing like most nuts that are more often on the fatty side. Actually, roasted chestnuts are somewhat low in fat. They are a great natural carbohydrate option for people who like to consume a little more starch, but who want to eat what is available in nature and want to stay in the Paleo limits.
Chestnuts are rarely eaten raw and typically eaten roasted and sometimes boiled. These nuts are also used for the preparation of a chestnut flour, which can be used in place of almond flour in many recipes. Chestnuts and chestnut flour are popular in Italian cuisine. Chestnut bread is really common there.
Health Benefits of Roasted Chestnuts
Roasted chestnuts usually spark thoughts of the holiday season. They are lower in fat than related nuts such as walnuts and pecans – good news if you have been told by your GP to watch your intake. Roasted chestnuts are packed with some essential nutrients and have a really pleasing taste. Here are some of the most impressive chestnuts health benefits:
- Strong Bones
Chestnuts have 22% of the recommended daily intake of copper per 3-ounce (85 grams) portion. Copper is a mineral that improves bone strength, supports the formation of red blood cell and nerve function and enhances the immune system.
For a snack high in copper, pair some dried prunes with roasted chestnuts.
- Stable Energy Levels
Typically, nuts are low in carbohydrates – which is the reason why they usually are part of many low-carb diet plans. Roasted chestnuts, though, contain a lot of carbs. They have 45 grams of carbohydrates per 3-ounce (85 grams) portion.
Carbs are essential for long- and short-term energy and they assist the function of the nervous system. The carbohydrates that derive from chestnuts are pretty complex, which are digested slowly and provide a great energy.
- Digestive Health
Chestnuts are a good source of dietary fiber, which comes in the form of insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber makes bulk in the stool and assists it to pass through the digestive system fast. This helps decrease the risk of intestinal complications (as diverticulosis – a condition where little pockets on the intestinal wall lining get inflamed) and constipation. Soluble is absorbed in water and creates a gel-like consistency in the intestines. This form helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce cholesterol levels.
A 3-ounce (85 grams) serving of roasted chestnuts has 4 grams’ fiber. Commonly, nuts contain predominately insoluble fiber.
- Disease Risk Reduction
These nuts contain a good amount of the trace mineral manganese, a potent antioxidant that soaks up free radicals in the system and decreases the risk for heart disease and cancer.
Manganese also plays a significant role in the aging process, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A 3-ounce (85 grams) portion of chestnuts has just over 1 microgram of manganese (50% of the recommended DV). This mineral also helps with blood clotting and connective tissue production. For a manganese-packed breakfast, add some chopped chestnuts in a bowl of oatmeal.
- Improved Brain Function
Chestnuts contain a good amount of B-vitamins. A 3-ounce (85 grams) portion contain about 14% of the recommended daily value of thiamin, 21% of Vitamin b6, 9% of riboflavin, and 15% of folate. The fat-soluble B vitamins help break down protein, fats, and carbs for energy, produce red blood cells, enhance brain function, and promote healthy skin.
Eat roasted chestnuts as snacks with a lean meat and a leafy green salad for a complete B-vitamin-packed meal.
Chestnuts Nutrition Facts
Chestnuts are perhaps not what we would call a nutrition powerhouse, however, they are still quite high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, copper, and manganese. In fact, they are the only nuts that contain significant levels of Vitamin C.
100 grams of chestnuts contain:
- 53 grams’ carbohydrates: 5 from fiber, 11 from simple sugars, and 37 grams of starch
- 2 grams’ fat
- 3 grams’ protein
Numerous people suffer from certain tree nut allergy, therefore, be cautious when adding nuts to your diet. You should consult with your GP or an allergist first. Further, remember that as a source of starchy carbohydrate, some individuals will fare better without these nuts, particularly those trying to lose weight, and they are easy to overdo.
However, people with a broken metabolism or digestive problems will probably fair better by avoiding chestnuts as well as all starch. These nuts can be a perfect addition for people who want to consume starchy vegetables, though.
Chestnuts are a great source of copper, manganese, and molybdenum, and a good source of magnesium. Additionally, they are also a good source of B-vitamins, as well as Vitamin C and folic acid.
The health benefits of roasted chestnuts focus on their nutritional content. Though, unlike some other nuts, these nuts are a low-fat variety and don’t provide the impressive benefits of a high level of monounsaturated fat.