Chestnut is a nut coming from the deciduous trees and shrubs from the beech family Fagaceae. Native in the Northern Hemisphere, the nuts are edible and the species are usually known as American, Chinese, European, and Japanese. Also, chestnuts also have various health benefits.
Chestnuts are rich in vitamins and minerals. According to Nutrition and You, the nut has vitamins B and C. Vitamin B is vital for brain function while vitamin C helps boost the body’s defenses against infection and sickness. Also, vitamin C promotes the function of collagen, as substance that acts as cement, binding loosely connected tissues and cells. This is the reason why some people take collagen as supplement; it delays the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and saggy skin.
In terms of minerals, chestnuts contain calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. These minerals are important in metabolism, bone health, oxygenation, digestive health, and neuromuscular health. As per the publication, potassium also helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, as it is capable of lowering the person’s blood pressure and heart rate.
Chestnuts can prevent diabetes mellitus, a condition characterized by constantly high blood sugar levels. According to Organic Facts, chestnuts are high in fiber, which also makes it a low glycemic food. This suggests that the nuts can delay the sudden increase or decrease in the glucose levels in the blood, a condition that is considered harmful in people with diabetes.
Chestnuts also promote the heart’s health. According to the book “Tree Nuts: Composition, Phytochemicals, and Health Effects,” as cited by Live Strong, chestnuts are rich in essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, which are vital to the cardiovascular system. In a Portuguese study, researchers also found out that chestnuts only have 12 percent fat, which makes them low-fat nuts. In addition to linoleic acid, chestnuts also contain oleic acid and palmitic acid, which can also be found in olive oil.
Chestnuts can be added to various meals, such as Quail with Chestnuts and Butternut Squash. According to BBC, the ingredients include nine fresh chestnuts, a tablespoon of dried cranberries, a tablespoon of parsley, 100 grams of butternut squash, half small red onion, a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of honey, a tablespoon of olive oil, half tablespoon of hazelnut oil, 50 grams unsalted butter, 80 grams of caster sugar, one sprig rosemary, two sprigs thyme, one orange, one cinnamon stick, two star Anise, two cloves, one to two small quail, salt, and pepper.
To prepare, 500 ml of water is brought to a boil and ingredients are brined to the boil. Next, they are removed from the heat and allowed to cool. After that, the quail is spatchcocked by cutting up the back with a pair of scissors. They are placed in a bowl, covered with the cooled brine, and then chilled for 30 minutes in the fridge. Once done, the quail is removed from the brine and pat dry, before seasoning will oil, salt, and pepper.
Then, a pan is placed over a high heat. Next, the quail skin is cooked with the skin side down for three and a half minute per side. After that, the salad ingredients are mixed, except for the butternut squash; the resulting mixture is set aside. Then, the dressing ingredients are whisked in a small bowl. The butternut squash is put in the dressing for five minutes to soften. Once done, the dressing is added to the salad.
Next, the finely chopped chestnuts are heated along with oil in a frying pan and they are cooked for one to two minutes. Finally, the quail is placed on the serving plates and the chopped chestnuts are drizzled on the dish. The salad is served alongside.
Overall, chestnuts are packed with health benefits. Thus, its inclusion to various meals allows positive change in a person’s health and well-being.