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Are chestnuts fattening? its calories and health benefits

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

The chestnut, a very healthy fruit

One of the typical foods of autumn is mainly the chestnut , the arrival of this fruit from the tree with the same name, chestnut, is a reason for celebration in those places where it is produced. In fact, in many places the day of the chestnut tree is celebrated in his honor. Also known for pilongas chestnuts , below we are going to tell you all its properties and benefits , as well as its contraindications .

Formerly considered as the bread of the poor, the chestnut has been used in food as a substitute for potatoes or cereals, in fact, as we will see below, its nutritional properties are similar to those of these foods and are framed within the same nutritional group of foods .

If you want to know more about chestnuts, do not hesitate to continue reading because you have all the information about this precious autumn fruit.

What do chestnuts give us?

The chestnut is the richest dried fruit in complex carbohydrates and, in starch when consumed dry; hence its reputation for fattening, but we have to say that despite this and contrary to what happens with other fruits such as hazelnuts and walnuts, it provides little fat and much fewer calories than almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts.

Chestnuts provide us with 200 kcal per 100 grams of product, while for example almonds and walnuts provide us with around 600 kcal, hazelnuts 628 calories. From what you can see, they are a third less caloric than the rest of commonly consumed nuts and they give us similar properties that we will see below.

Furthermore, if we compare them with these other nuts, we must emphasize that the fat intake is much lower, when compared to almonds; the Chestnut gives us a 2% fat versus 50%. In addition, the fats that it provides us are polyunsaturated so it does not pose a health problem, and it also provides us with a large number of benefits. It can be used as a source of energy replacing cereals, bread or other carbohydrates in the diet.

Another fact to take into account is the high fiber content of the chestnut, which makes it an ally to combat constipation, in addition, the fiber present makes digestion smoother, and does not contain the irritating part that fiber has when comes from bran; which can be annoying for people with digestive diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome , or sensitive stomachs.

It is a good source of iron and calcium , which is why it supports the health of our bones and teeth and prevents us from anemia. It is also an antioxidant because it provides us with vitamin C , which also helps the correct absorption of iron. If you tend to have anemia , or are prone to low iron, we recommend that you read this post about foods with more iron .

We must emphasize that the chestnut has a very low sodium content , less than 2 mg per 100 grams of product, this makes it an ideal food for hypertensive people or for those who suffer from fluid retention; since in addition to not providing sodium, it is rich in potassium , which makes it very interesting in these cases.

It is an adjunct to diuretics, if you usually retain fluids we recommend that you read this post about the best natural drains to get rid of fluid retention. They are also recommended for people with hypertension , and suffering from cardiovascular diseases .

The vegetable proteins of the chestnut have all the essential amino acids , something that makes it one of the main ingredients of vegetarian or vegan diets , since this way they consume quality plant-based proteins.

  • If you want to know how to get a good source of plant-based protein, check out this post with the best foods to do so.

What are the main benefits of chestnut for our health?

In addition to everything we have discussed above, chestnuts benefit us in health due to their multiple properties, among which we highlight the following:

Due to their high content of calcium , magnesium and phosphorus , they protect the health of our teeth and bones. They are also energizing and stimulate the proper functioning of our central nervous system,  preventing diseases of neurological origin due to their high content of B vitamins and minerals.

They are indicated for people with diabetes , since the hydrates they provide us are slowly absorbed, and have a low glycemic index that does not drastically raise blood glucose levels.

As we have mentioned previously, they are cardioprotective, they provide us with a low concentration of fats and also those that they provide us are healthy, such as polyunsaturated or omega 3 and 6 acids that they present.

How to take them and what portion?

When it comes to taking it, its low sodium content makes it possible to combine it with sweet and salty foods since its flavor is rather neutral. In addition, it can be consumed in various ways as we like it.

We can make it baked , as a healthy snack a portion of about 80-100 grams is recommended, children usually like it and it can be an alternative to sweets, as a snack, accompanied by a piece of fruit, etc. Boiled whole or pureed

Boiled and pureed, it constitutes an original and nutritious garnish for all types of meats. Dressed with oil and a little salt, it combines perfectly with red meat, poultry and even the typical roast-beef.

Baked it can be a healthy snack, without fat and suitable for everyone. Especially for children since it constitutes a much healthier snack than the classic piece of industrial pastries. Always bearing in mind that we should not eat the blackened parts and that they must be allowed to cool, since hot chestnuts can be quite indigestible.

Chestnuts in the microwave, a quick and healthy solution. You can microwave them, a healthy food that you can make in a few minutes and the result is delicious.

Tostadas are a great snack and accompaniment to fruit salads, yogurts, soups and even ice cream, cut into small pieces.

You can also find them candied , in jam or candied, but there the high sugar content increases their caloric intake considerably. If you eat them raw , they have more nutrients but they can be a bit indigestible.

You can also find chestnut milk, very healthy and with a lower caloric intake than almond milk.

Who should eat chestnuts?

The chestnut can be part of anyone’s diet, but it is especially indicated for those who follow a diet low in sodium (salt), people with cardiovascular problems or hypertension ; you can also check out the DASH diet . Also for those with liver, biliary or digestive tract problems. One of the most common uses is as a food supplement for children who have no appetite or who eat little.

It is also recommended for those people who are fatigued, or especially tired, since they provide energy with fewer calories than other nuts.

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Can chestnut help you lose weight?

Dieters tend to look for healthy foods that do not provide excess calories or fat , and the chestnut is one of those foods, since it is a low-calorie dry fruit, with little fat and provides interesting nutrients for our health, it is also satiating and contains fiber ; which makes it an appetite controller, which can help us lose weight.

You must take into account when buying them that they are hard and have a bright intense brown color, they can be perfectly stored for a couple of months, but if you want to keep them for longer it is advisable that you peel them and store them in the fridge.

Chestnut contraindications

Although it is a very healthy fruit, it is not recommended for those people who usually suffer from heartburn , since chestnut is high in tannins . Those who have digestive problems should not consume it raw, as it can be indigestible; We must emphasize that it is important to remove the brown inner skin as it has substances that inhibit amylase, an enzyme that facilitates digestion.

It is not recommended in cases of constipation to consume it raw, since it is very astringent . On the other hand, in the case of diabetics it is not advisable to consume more than 6 cooked chestnuts as it could raise blood glucose levels if their consumption is abused.

Although due to its caloric intake it may seem like an enemy fruit of weight loss diets , knowing that nuts are highly caloric, you have been able to verify that chestnuts are not so caloric, and that it turns out to be one of the healthiest and lowest-calorie nuts. fat contribution.

For all this, it is convenient that you include it in your diet, since it can serve as a substitute for cereals, potatoes or rice, providing us with energy with low glycemic intake , little salt and little fat ; a luxury for our health.

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