Health Benefits of Chestnuts
Chestnuts may be considered as a Christmas treat but that’s no reason to not eat them all year round. There are plenty of great health benefits of chestnuts to make them a regular part of your diet. Here’s some more information about these great health benefits and what they mean for you.
Rich in Monounsaturated Fats
The idea that all fats are bad for you is a complete fallacy. Some fats, such as the monounsaturated fats found in chestnuts, can actually be good for you. Chestnuts are rich in oleic acid and palmitoleic acids. Studies have suggested that these monounsaturated fats can reduce your levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase your levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
Chestnuts are rich in manganese. This trace mineral antioxidant gets rid of free radicals, boosts your immunity, and reduces your chances of developing diseases and cancer. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that manganese can also affect your rate of aging. Just three ounces of chestnuts have just over 1 microgram of manganese. It might not sound like much but it is 50% of your recommended daily intake of manganese. Manganese also plays a role in blood clotting. To get your day started off right why not add some chopped chestnuts to your oatmeal?
Another trace mineral that the body needs is copper. Copper is needed to keep bones strong, form red blood cells, boost the immune system, and keep nerves working properly. Remember that trace minerals are only needed in small amounts. As well as containing half of your RDI of manganese chestnuts also have 22% of the copper you need in a three ounce serving. If you want a copper-rich snack then we recommend eating roasted chestnuts and dried prunes.
Chestnuts are different from most other nuts in a few ways. One of these ways is that they contain a lot of carbohydrates; a three ounce serving contains 43 grams of carbs. Before you decide that their high carb levels is a reason to drop them, understand that chestnuts contain complex carbs. These carbs take longer to digest. The end result is that you receive consistent amounts of energy from them compared to simple carbs that cause energy highs and lows.
A three ounce serving of chestnuts contains about 35% of your RDI of folate. This folate is a water-soluble B-vitamin that can be found naturally in foods such as chestnuts. It’s so good for you because it keeps the neurological systems of a fetus healthy; making chestnuts an integral part of the diet of a pregnant woman. Folate has also been found to help in the production of DNA, RNA, and red blood cells. Folic Acid is so important that it was mandatory for manufacturers to include additional folic acid in breads, cereals, and pastas in 1998 by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Chestnuts should be included in any diet. The good news is that they are also gluten free so everyone can enjoy the great health benefits of chestnuts!