Chestnuts are the nuts belonging to Genus Castanea, and are closely related to the beech family or Fagaceae family. They are scientifically known as Castanea Sativa and are available in four varieties such as European chestnuts, Chinese chestnuts, American chestnuts, and Japanese chestnuts. These delicious nuts provide many health and beauty benefits due to the abundance of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc.
Health Benefits Of Chestnuts
Some major health benefits of chestnuts are as follows.
(1) Strengthen Bones And Teeth
Chestnut strengthens our bones and teeth due to the abundance of bone-strengthening minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, etc.
Calcium is an essential mineral for bone health as it promotes the growth and development of the bones, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Potassium improves bone density by neutralizing acid load and reducing the loss of calcium from the bones.
Potassium in chestnuts is an essential mineral for bone health as it works with calcium for the formation of bones.
Magnesium in chestnuts also plays an important role in improving bone density.
(2) Provide Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Anti-inflammatory compounds such as vitamin C and dietary fibers in chestnut reduces pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma, and bronchial asthma, etc.source-Pixabay.com
(3) Improves Digestive Health
Chestnut is good for the stomach and improves our digestive health.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients, etc in chestnut protects our digestive system from free radical damage. This reduces the risk of various cancers like colon cancer, abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and intestinal cancer, etc.
The laxative properties of dietary fibers in chestnuts improve bowel movement and provide relief from constipation and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces the risk of diverticulosis, a condition that causes inflammation in the small areas of the inner lining of the intestinal walls.
Other nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and B vitamins, etc in chestnuts also play a significant role in improving digestive health.
(4) Provide Relief From Diarrhea
Chestnut improves our digestive health and provides relief from constipation.
It also provides quick relief from diarrhea.
For treating diarrhea, do as follows.
- Boil 3 tablespoons of crushed shelled chestnuts with one-liter water, and let it cool to room temperature.
- Take this tannin-rich water in a controlled manner to get relief from diarrhea.
Avoid this remedy for infants and children as their stomachs may be sensitive towards the solution.
(5) Improves Respiratory health
Chestnuts are good for the lungs and improve our respiratory health.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidants in chestnuts protect our respiratory system from free radical damage and reduces the risk of lung cancer.
They provide quick relief from dryness and itching caused by common respiratory diseases like cough, cold, sore throat, and bronchitis, etc.
Anti-inflammatory compounds like vitamin C etc in chestnut reduces lung inflammation,
Because of their expectorant properties, chestnut signals the body to produce a more hydrating secretion and relieve itching and dryness.
(6) Helps In Cholesterol Management
Chestnut helps in cholesterol management as it reduces bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol.
Dietary fibers in chestnuts reduce LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition that causes hardening and narrowing of arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls.
Essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and Oleic acid in chestnut improves the elasticity of the blood vessels and increases HDL cholesterol.
(7) Protection Against Cancer(s)
Chestnut contains many antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients, and polyphenols, etc.
These compounds protect our cells from free radical damage and reduce the risk of various cancers such as colon cancer, abdominal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, intestinal cancer, and bladder cancer, etc.
Free radicals are unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from the neighboring molecules, and doing so causes oxidative damage to them.
(8) Provide Antioxidant Benefits
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds like flavonoids, etc in chestnut protects our cells and tissues from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of various cancers and also provides many other benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, improved respiratory health, better cognitive health, a stronger immune system, and so on.
(9) Maintains Thyroid Function
The ellagic acid present in chestnut helps in maintaining thyroid functions in our body.
Ellagic acid suppresses the hormone responsible for hyperthyroidism and keeps the overactive thyroid under control.
(10) Promotes Weight Loss
Chestnuts are low in calories in comparison to other nuts like almonds and walnuts.
Because of their low calorific value, moderate consumption of chestnuts is good for people on a weight loss journey.
Dietary fibers in chestnuts provide stomach satiety and control overeating, a major cause of obesity.
Raw chestnuts are about 74 percent water, and an abundance of water also contributes to weight management as it improves metabolism and enhances digestion.
(11) Regulates Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health condition that gives rise to cardiovascular and other health problems.
Chestnut helps in regulating high blood pressure due to the presence of potassium.
Potassium is a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Consume chestnuts in moderation as otherwise too much potassium may drop our blood pressure level and cause symptoms like dizziness, fainting, nausea, dehydration, poor concentration, blurred vision, and pale skin, etc.
Eating chestnuts while being on blood pressure medication should be considered only under the doctor’s supervision to ensure that there is no food-drug interference risk.
(12) Improves Cardiovascular Health
Chestnuts are good for the heart and improve our cardiovascular health.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds such as phytonutrients protect the cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
Dietary fibers and essential fatty acids in chestnuts aids in cholesterol management and reduces the risk of various cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
Potassium in chestnuts regulates our blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health.
Vitamin B12 in chestnuts reduces the risk of hyperhomocysteinemia.
Other nutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, and B vitamins, etc in chestnuts also play an important role in improving cardiovascular health.
(13) Regulates Blood Sugar
Because of its low glycemic index of 54, chestnuts slowly release sugar into the bloodstream and prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar level.
This helps in managing diabetes.
Dietary fibers in chestnuts reduce the absorption of sugar by the bloodstream and regulate blood sugar levels.
Avoid overconsumption of chestnuts as they may drop blood sugar below the normal level and cause excessive hunger, excessive sweating, dizziness, shakiness, fast heartbeat, irritability, or moodiness.
If you take diabetic medication, consult your doctor before adding chestnuts to your diet to ensure there is no food-drug interference risk.
(14) Eating Chestnut During Pregnancy And Nursing Stage
Chestnuts are a good source of various nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc.
These compounds play an important role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients, etc in chestnut protects the fetus from free radical damage.
Folic acid or folate in the chestnut promotes brain development of the fetus and reduces the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.
Chestnuts regulate our blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
Dietary fibers in chestnuts reduce LDL cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.
Other nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins, etc in chestnuts also play a significant role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Despite these advantages, eat chestnuts in moderation and after doctor’s consultation to ensure there is no complication or food-drug interference involved.
Nursing mothers should follow the same precaution and have word with their doctor before eating chestnuts during the nursing stage.
(15) Maintains Electrolyte Balance
Vital minerals like potassium and magnesium in chestnuts help in maintaining our electrolyte balance.
Maintaining electrolyte balance is important as it helps in transporting neurotransmitters from to brain to different parts of the body.
Chestnuts also contain an abundance of water ( about 60 percent) that plays an important role in an electrolyte solution.
(16) Reduces The Risk Of Anemia
Chestnut reduces the risk of iron-induced anemia.
Iron-induced anemia is a blood disorder that mainly occurs due to the deficiency of iron in our body and is characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pain, etc.
Iron in chestnut increases the production of red blood cells that carries oxygenated blood to cells and tissues of the body.
This provides nourishment to our cells and reduces the risk of iron-induced anemia.
Vitamin C in chestnuts increases iron absorption in the body, and benefit against anemia.
(17) Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones And Gallstones
Chestnuts help in reducing the risk of kidney stones and gallstones because of their low oxalate levels.
Oxalate is an ion that combines with minerals such as calcium for the formation of calcium oxalate.
Calcium oxalate is infamous for the development of kidney stones and gallstones.
Potassium in chestnuts reduces the loss of calcium from the bones.
This reduces the loss of calcium in the blood and the risk of interaction with oxalate reduces significantly.
(18) Provides Astringent Benefits
The astringent and anti-inflammatory properties of chestnuts provide relief from pain and inflammation caused by the wear and tear of body tissues.
It helps in the quick healing of wounds and injuries and helps in treating hemorrhoids.
(19) Mainains Energy Level
Chestnuts are rich in complex carbohydrates and help in maintaining our energy level.
A single 3 ounce serving of chestnuts provide 45 grams of carbohydrates that support both long term and short term energy need.
It also helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system.
The complex carbohydrates in chestnuts provide a steady supply of energy for our day-to-day activity and are a better alternative to caffeinated energy drinks available in the market.
(20) Improves Cognitive Health
Chestnuts are good for our brain and improve our neurological system.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients in chestnut protect the brain cells or neurons from free radical damage.
This reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, and dementia, etc.
Other nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins in chestnuts improve our nerve health by enhancing cognitive functions such as sharper memory, better focus, reduced brain fog, and, increased alertness, etc.
(21) Boosts Immunity
Regular and moderate intake of chestnuts strengthens our immune system.
The immune system is the defense mechanism of the body that prevents and treats various infections, injuries, diseases, and wounds, etc.
Vitamin C and other relevant compounds in chestnuts protect our immune system or white blood cells from free radical damage.
This strengthens our immune system and reduces the risk of getting a cough, cold, fever, and flu, etc.
Vitamin C further strengthens immunity by enhancing the production of white blood cells.
The antimicrobial properties of chestnuts protect us from bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.