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Chestnuts Health Benefits

Chestnuts are native to hilly forests of China, Japan, Europe, and North America. The nuts are an excellent source of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc, besides providing a very good amount of potassium (518 mg / 100 g).


Potassium helps counter hypertensive action of sodium, lowers heart rate and blood pressure.


Chestnut are usually eaten boiled or roasted and are often added to stuffing or soups, or served as a side dish. It can also be ground into flour and used for baking.


Chestnuts have a high content of the trace mineral manganese an antioxidant, which soaks up free radicals in the system and reduces the risk for cancer and heart disease.


According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, manganese also plays a key role in the aging process.


A 3-ouce serving of chestnuts contains just over 1 microgram of manganese, which is 50 percent of the recommended daily intake.


Manganese also helps with connective-tissue production and blood clotting.


Copper is a trace mineral that enhances bone strength, helps with red blood cell formation and nerve function and boosts the immune system.


A trace mineral is only needed in a small amount by the body. Chestnuts contain 22 percent of the recommended daily value of copper per 3-ounce serving.


Unlike many other nuts, chestnuts are high in carbohydrates (43 grams for every 3-ounce serving).


But before shunning the high carb notion, know that the carbs in chestnuts are complex, so they are digested slower than simple ones.


This means energy levels stay constant compared to simple carbs, which only provide sporadic yo-yo energy bursts.


Folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in certain foods like chestnuts, plays a role in preventing neurological defects in the foetus, making it an ideal choice for pregnant women.


It is also known to help with the building blocks of life, responsible in part for making DNA, RNA and red blood cells.


In fact, many countries including the United States, Canada and South Africa have mandatory folic acid fortification programs in place to ensure people receive adequate amounts in their diets.

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