Chestnuts: Properties, Benefits And Contraindications

Chestnuts: Properties, Benefits And Contraindications

What kind of food is chestnut this question is quite frequent when autumn arrives and therefore we approach the celebration of the chestnut tree, a tradition very rooted in Catalonia that is celebrated the night before All Saints and lately Coexists with another party, Halloween, which is gradually gaining ground.

According to some theories chestnut comes from Asia Minor from where it was introduced by the Romans in many Mediterranean countries to make bread for the troops, and also they served of food to the horses. According to more recent studies of the origin of the chestnuts could go much further, since fossilized remains have been found in the Iberian Peninsula of more than 2,500 years of antiquity.

Chestnut has been a very useful food in difficult times in which other food resources were scarce, such as during wartime or during times of starvation. Many populations could survive on the basis of chestnuts, because of the flour can be made a bread substitute. In fact, the composition of the chestnut, which is botanically a seed or a walnut, is much more like that of cereal grains than of other nuts. Thus, chestnut is one of the most carbohydrate rich foods that nature offers us, since it contains 37%, a quantity comparable only to that contained in legumes and cereals.

Chestnut contains mostly starch, a complex sugar that gives energy for a long time. In contrast, it contains very little protein and fat. Chestnut is thus an energetic food, which provides about 200 calories per hundred grams.

As for vitamins and minerals, it contains mostly B vitamins, a little vitamin C, lots of potassium and certain amounts of magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphorus. The fact of having very little sodium and much potassium makes it highly recommended in case of hypertension or cardiovascular conditions.

It has to be said that it also contains an appreciable amount of fiber and that in our body acts as a muscle toner, and is also alkalizing, astringent and lactogenic (increases milk secretion). Therefore, it is highly indicated in the following cases:

Chestnuts: Properties, Benefits And ContraindicationsStates of physical fatigue

Fatigue due to intense muscular exercise (athletes or manual workers)

Times of growth: Since it is a good source of energy, vitamins and minerals highly recommended for the skeletal and muscular growth of adolescents.

Arteriosclerosis and circulation and heart problems: Chestnut provides a lot of energy and lots of potassium, but little fat and little sodium and all contribute to avoiding blood pressure.

Diarrhea: Especially in the form of puree: It has astringent and regulating effect.

Renal insufficiency: It has an alkalizing effect that can compensate for the excess of acids in the blood, such as uric acid or urea that can accumulate when the kidney does not fulfill its functions.

Breastfeeding: It is a food that increases the secretion of milk in women who breastfeed, in addition to providing necessary nutrients at this stage.

Of course, they should be chewed well because they can give flatulence. People who are overweight or obese and also diabetics should consume chestnuts with caution, because of their richness in carbohydrates, which make them highly energetic.

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