Grilled, boiled, steamed… During periods of cold weather, we all tend to enjoy consuming chestnuts, that delicious food which we happily share with our friends around a fire, for example. The French name of this husky fruit (“châtaigne”) appeared in the French language during the twelfth century and is derived from the Latin word “castanea”. Moreover, the chestnut has many health benefits of which we cite the following:
– The chestnut is characterized by its rich content of carbohydrates which are slowly absorbed by the body and are of an excellent digestibility after cooking.
– The chestnut contains a little amount of fats, most of which are unsaturated fatty acids. It also contains phytosterols.
– It is also high in fibers (6g/100g) that are beneficial for the bowel movement. And such a wealth makes it a food with a great satiating effect.
– It contains also a wealth of B group vitamins (B1, B6, B9, etc.) in addition to the vitamin C it provides us.
– The chestnut is also a good source of minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper and zinc.
– The chestnut is an ideal choice for athletes as it is a substantial source of energy derived from the complex carbohydrates it contains. Also, its levels of potassium and magnesium make it a great choice for easing cramps, frequent during exercising.
– Proteins contained in the chestnut are deprived from gluten. As such, this food is used to produce gluten-free flour which became an ingredient in several products appealing to people suffering from celiac disease.
On the other hand, we should always try to choose the pieces of chestnut whose shell is smooth, shiny and presenting no holes (worms may hide in them). Chestnuts to choose should also be very heavy since those pieces that are too light and soft are generally from an old crop and their taste is not recommended. Finally, we may preserve chestnuts for several days in a cool place or in the vegetables container of the refrigerator.