Roasted Chestnuts – a Nutritious Winter Treat
Roasting chestnuts on an open fire sounds like the perfect addition to your holiday season. But they're more than just a staple of a winter tradition. December 14th is Roasted Chestnuts Day, and what better way to celebrate than learning about chestnuts? (Besides eating them!) These edible nuts are from the Castanea genus species, mainly found within the northern part of the world. Rich in flavor, chestnuts are native to mountainous regions in China, Japan, Europe and North America. They are imported throughout the world mainly from China.
The Multi-Beneficial Nut for the Holidays
Chestnuts have a varied nutritional profile that goes well with most diets. Here's a closer look at their benefits:
- They are low in fats and calories. Even more so than most other nuts, including pecans and walnuts. Yet they are also bursting with numerous minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, and are considered a low-glycemic food. Not only are chestnuts good for digestive health, but also for blood sugar management.
- They boost the immune system. With the high concentration of vitamin C and other antioxidants, chestnuts can help stimulate the production of white blood cells, while its antioxidant nature seeks out free-radicals to get rid of, leaving your body guarded from pathogens.
- They improve cognitive function. Chestnuts are packed full of B vitamins, including folate, riboflavin and more, which directly affect neurological development. The potassium in chestnuts can also help promote healthy blood flow to the brain, increasing levels in concentration, memory and mood.
- They're good for the heart. Chestnuts contain the good fats that your body, and your heart, needs to function. They help balance cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation, leading to decreased risks in heart conditions.
- They help maintain strong bones. Chestnuts contains 22% of the trace mineral, copper. The body only needs a small amount of copper, which helps enhance bone strength and increase bone mineral density.
Making the Most Out of Chestnuts
Roasting chestnuts is a very popular activity, and it's not just because of a certain song's lyrics. But they can also be prepared a number of ways such as being candied, boiled or even pureed.
However, if you want to roast them, there's a way to do so, even if you lack the fireplace.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, so that the chestnut can separate from its shell.
- Make an incision in the chestnuts. With a serrated knife, slit across the entire middle surface, but do so carefully. This incision will let the steam out from the nuts while they're being heated.
- Quick boil the chestnuts in a pot of water. Once the water begins boiling, remove the nuts to place on a baking pan, the cut-side facing up.
- Start roasting the chestnuts! Put your baking pan full of chestnuts in the oven and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes. The shell will begin to split once they are roasted. Move the pan at times to prevent them from burning.
- Once roasted, wrap up your chestnuts in a clean towel and squeeze slightly to crush the skins. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!
Nutrition from U.S. Doctors' Clinical® for the Rest of Your Year
Roasted chestnuts are great for the holidays, but you're probably not having them daily throughout the year. Certain products from U.S Doctors' Clinical® can get you the nutritional benefits you may be missing out on, from digestive health to improved brain performance. These include probiotic supplements such as Biotix Plus®, cognitive aids such as BrainPower Advanced, or immune-boosting supplements such as ImmuneSpur. Keep your nutritional profile at level, even after the roasted chestnut season is over!