Sweet Chestnuts aren’t just a fantastic winter warmer if roasted over a fire, there is so much more to this little fruit! Not only are they rich in vitamins and minerals, but they are also low in fat. They are even rich in folates, a range of B vitamins, Vitamin C and folic acid, not to mention iron, calcium and magnesium- the list goes on!
This little powerhouse is full of nutritional benefits that can be used in sweet and savoury dishes from cake to lasagne, mousse, soup – honestly we pop them in almost everything! They are a great way to boost your immunity and over all health. Let’s have a look at some bodily benefits of including chestnuts in your diet.
- Winter Ailments – Expectorant is what a doctor recommends in cough syrups to relieve that dry itchy throat as it sends signals to the body to produce more hydrating secretions. Chestnuts also have the same properties as an expectorant.
- Antioxidant– Chestnuts have very high antioxidant properties which help to clean the body of toxins and free-radicals. They help detoxify the body and optimise immune function. It effectiveness is contributed to the high amount of Vitamin C, Gallic Acid and Ellagic Acid which help make it such a strong antioxidant.
- Overactive Thyroid– Looking once again at the Ellagic Acid in Chestnuts, which also helps to supress hormone secretion and thus aiding to bring an overactive thyroid under control.
- Assists Weight-loss– Chestnuts are not only low fat, but high in fibre and energy. Meaning they keep you fuller for longer as they help to curb your appetite. Their electrolyte content (from Potassium and Magnesium and the high percentage of water in chestnuts) is also great for those who require replenishment after exercise.
- Healthy Bones and Teeth– Our bones need a balance of minerals for optimal health, these include Magnesium, Phosphorous and Calcium. Magnesium is also the mineral that assists with forming the hard enamel around our teeth and works to protect our bones from degeneration. All three of these minerals are present in Chestnuts.
- Healthy Heart– Chestnuts contain vitamins B6, B12 and Folate for heart health; Iron and copper for healthy blood, with some people apparently taking chestnuts to help with anaemia. Chestnuts are also Low in Cholesterol and have essential fatty acids that assist with elasticity of the blood vessels.
- Pregnancy– With such a high content of vitamins and minerals, Chestnuts are a good consideration to add into your diet if pregnant. As the baby grows they absorb so much of what the parents’ body also needs. Each pregnancy is different, however if you have cramps, the electrolytes are beneficial to assist with cramping. We can also consider that the minerals for bone strength are beneficial during pregnancy too. There is even talk of some people taking Chestnuts to assist with alleviating nausea.
- Digestion – Due to the combinations of fibre and water in chestnuts, they help to soften your stool and help them travel easier and faster along the gastrointestinal tract. This also helps to aid those who suffer from constipation.Some people even boil the chestnut with some of the shell or bark from the tree due to the Tannins in it, taken in controlled quantities, some have found that it can help relieve diahorrea.
There are many benefits to including chestnuts in your diet. Although scientific studies are limited, we recommend you doing your own research and ensure that you maintain a healthy balance in your diet. If you are unwell, please seek a healthcare practitioner’s advice to assist you with your symptoms and recovery.