If you’ve ever eaten chestnuts, you already know they’re delicious. But did you know they are also healthy? While much of the talk about chestnuts centers around open fires and New York street vendors, the chestnut has a lot to offer the health-conscious eater. Here are five fun health facts about chestnuts.
They’re Gluten Free
Many people are sensitive to gluten- a protein found in many common food products. Chestnuts are gluten free, meaning they are safe to eat for people who require a low gluten or gluten free diet. Chestnuts can be ground into flour to make gluten free breads and desserts, as well as serving as a scrumptious topping on other already gluten free treats.
They promote heart health
Chestnuts are chock-full of healthy vitamins and minerals, but some of what’s most amazing about the chestnut is its fat content. But wait, isn’t fat a bad thing? Not all fats are equal, and much of the fat content in chestnuts is the “good fat” that your body requires to function properly. This fat can reduce bad cholesterol, promote good cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and even promote good vascular health. Chestnuts also contain high concentrations of potassium, which is proven to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.
They’re Good for Digestion
Chestnuts are high in fiber, which is good news for your digestion. Dietary fiber aids in keeping your bowels regular, as well as making sure your digestive tract stays healthy and able to absorb the many nutrients your body requires to stay healthy. That same dietary fiber is also a valuable ally in the fight against and management of diabetes.
They’re great for your bones
Chestnuts have many vitamins and minerals that can encourage maintaining strong bones. They are an incredible source of vitamin C, as well as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium- all assets in healthy bone development. Those same minerals, especially the vitamin C are good for your teeth.
They boost your immune system
Vitamin C is not just good for your bones and teeth. The high concentrations of this important vitamin in chestnuts make them an ideal immune system booster. C is one of the primary vitamins that cause white blood cells to form, which helps your body fight off infections and illness. Also, chestnuts are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals and keep your body running smooth.