Health Benefits Of CHESTNUT
Chestnuts grow on trees and in water. The sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) grows on trees and belongs to the oak family. The water chestnuts include caltrops (Trapa natans) and the Chinese water chestnut (Eleocharis tuberosa).
Chestnuts have the lowest calorie and fat content of any nut (1g) and even when roasted in their shell, as is traditional in Switzerland and France, there are no problems with free radicals, as the chestnut is nearly a pure carbohydrate nut (49g). On a freezing cold day, a bag of roasted chestnuts is better than an ice cream on a boiling hot day. Chestnuts have a soft texture when roasted or boiled and children love the experience of roasting them by the fire-place. It is best to slit the soft shell, to avoid explosions. Boys may think that’s a blast, but be careful!
Chestnuts supply good amounts of potassium (447mg), magnesium (21% d.v.), the second-best nut source of vitamin A (200 IU) and the best nut source of vitamin C (36mg). Chestnuts need cooking to eliminate the tannic acid content. In France the chestnut is a delicacy and in Italy the chestnut is a staple food and often ground into flour to make farina dolce, a specialist bread.
Chestnuts are a good source of folic acid (68mcg, more than peas). They are also the least fattening of all nuts. Roasted chestnuts are the ideal food for anybody!