Chestnuts are nuts that belong to Genus Castanea and is related to beech family or Fagaceae family. The Scientific name of chestnuts is Castanea sativa and they are available in four different species like European chestnuts, Chinese Chestnuts, American Chestnuts and Japanese chestnuts. The difference in these variants is because of the difference in the growth pattern of these varieties of chestnuts. Chestnuts are good in taste and eating chestnuts provide a lot of benefits because of the presence of essential nutrients like vitamins,minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates etc. in them. In this article, we will know about the major health benefits of chestnuts but first, let’s take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart of chestnut.
Nutrition Chart Of Chestnut
Health Benefits Of Chestnuts
(1) Strengthens Our Bones & Teeth
Regular and moderate consumption of chestnut is very beneficial for making our bones and teeth stronger because of the presence of phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium in it. Calcium and phosphorus are two vital nutrients that play a very important role in keeping our bones healthy as they are the main composition of bones.
In addition to this, magnesium also plays an important role in keeping our teeth healthy as they form the hard enamel around the teeth and protects our bones from decay and degeneration. As chestnuts are rich in phosphorus and magnesium so they help in keeping our bones stronger. Although the level of calcium in chestnuts is low but it still helps.
(2) Provide Relief From Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a common digestive problem that can be very dangerous when not treated on time. It can result in dehydration , loss of salts and minerals from our body, weakness, and other health complications. In the worst case, it can even cause death by depleting body fluids and as per WHO, Diarrhoeal disease is the second major cause of death in children under five years. Even in adults, untreated diarrhea can cause serious health problems. Because of these reasons, it is important to get diarrhea treated as early as possible.
It has been found that chestnut especially the bark of the chestnut tree has been found to be very effective in providing relief from diarrhea and other related condition. To use chestnut tree bark for relief from diarrhea, boil a standard 3 spoons of crushed bark or equivalent chestnuts with shells in one-liter water and then let it cool to room temperature. The water so obtained will be rich in Tannins and taking a controlled quantity of this water ( tannins-rich ) will help in providing relief from diarrhea.
It is important to note that it is not advisable to use this method for treating diarrhea among infants and children as their stomach is very sensitive and even a small mistakes in proportion can be dangerous for them. For treating diarrhea among infants and children , it is better to consult with your doctor.
(3) Provides Relief From Dryness And Itching Caused By Respiratory Problems
Respiratory diseases like a cough and cold can sometimes be very irritating as they cause a feeling of dryness and itching in our neck and mouth, and make it difficult for us to even breathe and speak properly.
Chestnut is very effective in providing relief from the persistent feeling of dryness and itching caused by the common respiratory diseases like a cough, cold, sore throat, bronchitis etc. This is because of the expectorant properties of the chestnuts. Expectorants are drugs that are also added to cough syrups as they signal the body to produce more hydrating secretion and provide relief from dryness and itching.
(4) Maintains Elasticity Of Blood Vessels
Chestnuts are very effective in maintaining the elasticity of blood vessels in our body because of the presence of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, palmitic acid and Oleic acid in chestnuts. These fatty acids are very safe for our body and are required by our body for maintaining the good health. These fatty acids are low in cholesterol and they can even help in bringing down the bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol ) level of our body.
Bad cholesterol is very dangerous for our cardiovascular health as it can deposit plaque of fat in the inner lining of arteries of our heart and increases the risk of various cardiovascular diseases like heart problem, strokes, irregular heartbeat etc. Regular and moderate consumption of chestnuts ensure that fat doesn’t get deposited on the inner lining of our blood vessels and it also helps in keeping our blood vessels healthy by maintaining their elasticity.
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(5) Prevents Free Radicals Damage
Regular and moderate consumption of chestnuts helps in removing toxins from our body because of the presence of high level of antioxidants like Vitamin C, Gallic acid and Ellagic acid in them.
These antioxidants fights with the free radicals of our body stabilizes the unstabilized ions and prevents them from doing damage to our body. Free radicals can even damage our immune system, making us more prone to diseases, but antioxidants prevent this and make our immune system stronger.
(6) Maintains Thyroid Function
The presence of Ellagic acid in chestnuts make them very effective for supporting the thyroid functions of our body. Ellagic acid suppresses the hormone responsible for hyperthyroidism /overactive thyroid function and helps in keeping overactive thyroid gland under control.
The thyroid gland is the largest endocrine gland in our body that secretes triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones. It regulates the rate at which our body uses energy, synthesize protein and sensitivity of our body towards other hormones.
(7) Keep Our Digestive System Healthy
Regular and moderate consumption of chestnuts is very effective in keeping our digestive system healthy and providing relief from various gastrointestinal problems like constipation, anal irritation, piles etc. because of the presence of dietary fibers and water in it . Water and dietary fibers present in chestnuts play an important role in providing relief from constipation as they make stool smooth and ensures that it get excreted out without any problem.
This also helps in reducing the risk of intestinal complication like diverticulosis, a condition where small areas on the inner lining of the intestinal walls get inflamed.
In addition to this, fibers present in chestnuts also helps in reducing bad cholesterol level of our body and stabilizes blood sugar level and is thus beneficial for people suffering from diabetes.
(8) Promotes Weight Loss
Regular and moderate consumption of chestnuts is very effective in promoting weight loss and helps in weight management because of the presence of dietary fibers and water in it. The presence of dietary fibers and water helps in keeping our body satisfied for a longer time and decreases our urge to eat again and again.
As overeating is a major cause of weight gain, so by controlling overeating , chestnuts helps in controlling weight gain.
Chestnuts are well suited for weight loss program not only because of the presence of dietary fibers and water but also because of their low energy quotient ( in comparison to other nuts like almonds and walnuts ).
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(9) Good For Pregnant Women
It is very important for any pregnant women to take good care of her diet as what she eat and drink plays an important role in determining the overall health of the baby developing in her womb, as growing fetus derives all its nutrients from the mother’s body and for this reason, it is important for the mother to eat a healthy diet and ensure that she is getting all the vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals required for maintaining her health and for maintaining the development of fetus developing in her.
Moderate consumption of chestnuts is very beneficial for pregnant women as it provides important nutrients like calcium,phosphorus, magnesium etc. The presence of these nutrients helps in making the bones for pregnant women stronger, balance electrolyte level and thus prevents frequent cramping experienced by many pregnant women.
It also helps in providing relief from nausea which is experienced by the majority of pregnant women especially during their first trimester of pregnancy.
(10) Maintains Electrolyte Balance
Consuming chestnuts is very effective in maintaining the electrolyte balance of our body because of the presence of a safe level of potassium and magnesium in chestnuts. The electrolyte is nothing but a salt solution ( made from sodium, magnesium, potassium and carbonates etc. ) that conducts electricity.
In our body, the electrolyte is important as it helps in transporting of neurotransmitters from the brain to different parts of our body and vice versa. This electrolyte balance gets lost naturally through excretion and sweating, but consuming chestnuts ensure that electrolyte balance is maintained properly. Chestnuts are not rich in magnesium and potassium but also carries a good amount ( around 60 %) of water ( an important part of electrolyte solution).
(11) Keep Our Heart Healthy
Eating chestnuts is very effective for keeping our heart healthy and preventing us from various cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart stroke etc. because of the presence of nutrients like vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, and folates in it. Vitamin B6 helps in regulating the homocysteine level in our body.High level of homocysteine ( a nonprotein amino acid) can cause inflammation and damage to blood vessels, and cause blockage in arteries and obstruct the passage of oxygenated blood to the heart.
In addition to this, the presence of vitamin B12 and folate in chestnuts helps in reducing the risk of development of hyperhomocysteinemia. Chestnuts also help in reducing bad cholesterol level of our body and prevents damage to the inner lining of arteries.
(12) Reduces The Risk Of Anemia
Regular and moderate consumption of chestnuts is very effective in reducing the risk of anemia because of the presence of iron and copper in it. Iron and copper are two important elements that are required for the production of blood. Iron also plays an important role in improving the function of hemoglobin, responsible for carrying oxygen to various parts of the body.
In addition to this, copper present in chestnuts binds with the oxygen molecule and helps in its transportation. Deficiency of iron can even cause fatigue, headache, weakness , shortness of breath , tongue swelling etc. and as chestnuts are rich in iron so eating chestnuts prevents us from all these symptoms.
(13) Reduces The Risk Of Development Of Kidney Stones And Gallstones.
Consuming chestnuts on a regular basis but in a moderate quantity is very effective in reducing the risk of development of kidney stones because of their low oxalate levels. Oxalate is an ion that is responsible for increasing the risk of development of kidney stones. In fact, calcium oxalate is infamous for developing gallstones and kidney stones and because of this reason it is advised to eat a low oxalate diet that decreases the risk of these stones.
Chestnuts have very low oxalate level and they are also a good source of potassium which helps in regulating and controlling the production and distribution of calcium in the body and ensures proper deposition of calcium in bones and minimizes the level of calcium that gets dissolved in the blood stream.
In this way, it reduces the formation of calcium oxalate and thus reduces the risk of gallstones and kidney stones development.
(14) Provides Astringent Benefits
Chestnuts are very effective in providing relief from pain, swelling and inflammation caused by the wear and tear of body tissues, and helps in quick healing of wounds and treats hemorrhoids. These benefits of chestnut are because of the anti-inflammatory and astringent properties of chestnut ( due to the presence of tannin in it).
In addition to this, the presence of vitamin C in chestnut also plays an important role in providing anti-inflammatory benefits to chestnuts.
(15) Maintains Stable Energy Level
Unlike other nuts, chestnuts are high in complex carbohydrates which means eating chestnuts can help in maintaining the stable energy level. A single 3 ounce serving of chestnuts provide as much as 45 grams of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important because they help in maintaining both short term and long term energy level and also helps in proper functioning of our nervous system.
As the carbohydrates received from chestnuts are complex so they are digested slowly ( in comparison to simple carbohydrates) and maintains even energy level for a long time. Some other nuts that are a good source of energy are almonds, walnuts etc.
(16) Improves Brain Function
Chestnuts are good for our brain as they as helps in improving the brain function because of the presence of B vitamins in chestnuts. These B vitamins like vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 etc. helps in the production of red blood cells, synthesis of proteins, burning of carbohydrates and fats for energy and thus enhance brain function.
Chestnuts are high in B vitamins and a single 3 ounce serving of chestnuts provide around 21 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin B6, 15 percent of folate, 14 percent of thiamine and 9 percent of riboflavin. All the nutrients plays a very important role in keeping our brain healthy and for ensuring its proper function.
(17) Boost Immunity And Reduces Diseases Risk
Regular and moderate consumption of chestnuts is very effective in making our immune system stronger and for reducing the risk of various diseases because of the presence of antioxidants like vitamin C and manganese in it. These antioxidants fights with the free radicals of our body, stabilize them and prevents them from doing damage to our body (including the immune system).
A 3 Ounce serving of chestnuts provides around 1 microgram of manganese which is 50 percent of the recommended daily dosage of our body. Manganese not only fights with free radicals but also helps in the production of connective tissue and helps in the clotting of blood.
These were some of the major health benefits of chestnuts. Although chestnut provides a lot of benefits and eating them is good for our health but still it is better to eat chestnuts in moderation as too much of everything is bad. In addition to this, avoid eating raw chestnuts as they are very high in tannic acid and can leave extremely bad taste in our mouth.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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