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Chestnuts

C is for chestnut and vitamin C

Sunday, January 16, 2011 by: Alex Malinsky aka RawGuru
Tags: chestnuts, vitamin C, health news

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(NewsTarget) Have you heard the word about chestnuts? They are a unique member of the nut family, with a surprising collection of nutritional benefits, appealing texture and flavor, and a variety of uses.

Unlike any other nut, chestnuts are a significant source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a huge asset to your health, and it is still being researched due to the ongoing discovery of new health benefits. Vitamin C boosts your cardiovascular system, your immune system and your eyes and helps prevent cancer and stroke. Usually, people get their vitamin C from fruits and vegetables like oranges, broccoli and bell peppers, but now you know you can get it from this very special nut.

Moreover, on top of all that vitamin C, chestnuts are rich in Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Folate, Riboflavin, Niacin and Pantothenic Acid.

Some people steer clear of nuts due to their high fat and calorie content, but chestnuts are actually very low in fat and calories. Chestnuts are actually more like a grain than a nut, in that they are high in carbohydrates. They even have more starch than a potato. And yes, they are still a significant source of protein and are very high in fiber.

These versatile nuts can be enjoyed in many different ways. They can be eaten as a snack: dried, roasted, or raw. The slightly crunchy, lightly sweet nuts can also be used in a variety of recipes. Furthermore, chestnut flour, which is completely free of gluten, can be milled into a flour to make breads, noodles, and pancakes. Chestnuts contain nutrients that are often absent from gluten-free foods, so chestnut flour is extremely useful to those who try to avoid gluten in their diets.

Even though chestnuts have a pleasant taste and a high nutritional content, they are seen on the shelves far less frequently than some other nuts like almonds, walnuts and cashews. This is mainly because in the early twentieth century there was a blight that led to the destruction of about four billion chestnut trees across the United States. Chestnut trees became extremely sparse after that, but they are now becoming more numerous as universities and research scientists work hard to restore the species.

When purchasing chestnuts, use care, as most grocers are not well informed on how to keep them fresh. Chestnuts are not like other nuts in that they are approximately 50 percent water and need to be kept moist and refrigerated like a vegetable. As chestnuts become more popular due to the reestablishment of the nut in the United States, grocers are gradually becoming more informed on the proper handling and preserving of this treasure of a nut. In the meantime, it is highly recommended to purchase them from a
knowledgeable grocer or supplier.

Chestnuts are definitely worth getting your hands on. Treat yourself to this flavorful vitamin C packed, nutrient dense, low-fat, low-cal, carbo-loaded, protein-dense supernut!

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/the-benefits...
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/...
http://www.centerforagroforestry.org/pubs/ch...
http://www.chestnutsonline.com/

About the author

Alex Malinsky aka RawGuru is an award winning chef and one of the leading experts in the field of raw food. He started to learn about raw foods at the early at of 15. After 10 years on the raw food diet he continues to be on the cutting edge of nutritional research and product development. Visit Alex's website at: www.RawGuru.com for more information.



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