Health Benefits of Chestnuts
When most people think of nuts, they envision hot roasted peanuts, honey roasted cashews, or tasty pecans. But there’s another nut that deserves consideration for both its taste and health benefits – the chestnut.
Many people think of chestnuts as being a nut to be enjoyed only around the holidays when the sounds of “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” reverberate through the frosty air. But this nut can be enjoyed at any time of year.
Although difficult to find fresh chestnuts except during the holiday season. They’re available year-round in cans and jars. What are the health benefits of chestnuts?
1. Lower in calories
While all nuts are calorie-dense, chestnuts are lower in calories than any other common nut. While 100 grams of walnuts have 691 calories, chestnuts have only 170.
If you’re watching your weight and can’t keep your hands out of the nut jar. The solution may be to fill the jar with chestnuts instead. The caloric savings could be considerable.
2. High in fiber
Chestnuts are a surprisingly good source of fiber with around six to eight milligrams of insoluble fiber in a 100 g serving. If you’re tired of getting your fiber from bran cereal, take a break and try chestnuts instead.
3. Lower in fat
Chestnuts are one of the lowest-fat nuts around with only around 2 grams of fat per 100 g serving. Compare this to other common nuts where the fat content can range from thirty to seventy-five grams per 100 g portion. They’re also cholesterol-free and have received the approval of the American Heart Association as a low-fat food.
4. High in Vitamin and Mineral
Chestnuts are the only nut that is a significant source of vitamin C. In fact, three ounces of chestnuts supplies almost half of your daily vitamin C requirement. They’re also a good source of the B vitamins, folate, magnesium manganese, and copper.
Chestnuts are higher in carbohydrates than most nuts at around 34 grams per 100 g serving. Although they’re high in complex, low glycemic carbs.
They may not be suitable if you’re on a strict, low carb diet. Also, keep in mind that their calorie count goes up when they’re boiled.
How should you use them?
You’ll find dozens of ways to use chestnuts in your favorite recipes. Try pureeing them for soup. Use them to make sauces and dressings.
Slice them onto vegetable dishes. Use them in pesto; or make a chestnut mousse for dessert. Don’t wait until the holidays to enjoy the tasty health benefits of chestnuts.