Health — November 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm

The Benefits of Chestnuts

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Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/EricGlanville

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/EricGlanville

1. Digestive Health

Chestnuts have high fiber content. Dietary fiber comes in the forms of soluble and insoluble. Soluble dietary fiber is absorbed in water and forms a gel-like consistency in the intestines. This type helps reduce cholesterol and stabilizes blood-sugar levels. Insoluble fiber creates bulk in the stool and helps it pass through the system quickly. This helps reduce the risk of constipation and intestinal complications like diverticulosis, a condition where small pockets on the intestinal wall lining become inflamed. A 3-ounce serving of roasted chestnuts contains 4 grams of fiber (nuts contain predominately insoluble fiber).

2.  Improved Brain Function

The fat-soluble B vitamins help produce red blood cells, break down protein, carbs and fats for energy, promote healthy skin and enhance brain function. Chestnuts have a generous blend of B vitamins in moderately high amounts. A 3-ounce serving contains 21% of the recommended daily value of B-6, 15% of folate, 14% of thiamine and 9% of riboflavin. Eat roasted chestnuts as appetizers with a leafy green salad and lean meat for a vitamin B-packed meal.

3.  Stable Energy Levels

Most nuts are low in carbohydrates, which is why they are often part of low-carb nutrition plans. Chestnuts, however, are high in carbs. They contain 45 grams per 3-ounce serving. Carbs are needed for short- and long-term energy, and they help with nervous system function. The carbs that come from chestnuts are complex. Unlike simple carbs, complex carbs are digested slowly, which helps to stabilize your energy levels. On the contrary, simple carbs tend to give you a fast spike of energy followed by a fast dip.

Contributor: Dr. Gregg Baron

The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  None of the information presented is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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