What are Chestnuts?
Chestnuts are edible nuts produced by the trees and shrubs of the Castanea genus, which are commonly found throughout the northern hemisphere. While there are a number of different species of chestnuts, most of them possess similar qualities and nutritional profiles. They should not be confused with horse chestnuts, which are quite different. There are a number of ways in which chestnut trees are used to get health benefits, although the fruit of the tree (the chestnut itself) is arguably the most popular.
Roasted chestnuts are the most popular, but they are also commonly candied, boiled, pureed, ground into flour for bread-making, grilled, steamed, and deep-fried, among many other preparations. They are enjoyed across the world for their unique flavor and praised for their wealth of important nutrients.
Chestnuts provide high levels of dietary fiber, minerals, ‘good’ fats, vitamins, nutrients, antioxidant compounds and other important components that make up a healthy diet. Chestnuts may seem like an average, everyday nut, but they have a number of important health benefits including their ability to improve digestive health, strengthen bones, manage diabetes, protect cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and lower blood pressure. They also increase cognition and prevent chronic illnesses.
Roasted chestnuts are the most popular, but they are also commonly candied, boiled, pureed, ground into flour for bread-making, grilled, steamed, and deep-fried, among many other preparations.
Chestnuts provide high levels of dietary fiber, minerals, ‘good’ fats, vitamins, nutrients, antioxidant compounds and other important components that make up a healthy diet. Chestnuts have many health benefits which includes their ability to improve digestive health, strengthen bones, manage diabetes, protect cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and lower blood pressure. They also increase cognition and prevent chronic illnesses.
Just a century ago, almost 4 billion American chestnut trees dominated forests across the United States. These trees had all kinds of benefits. They were massive and fast-growing with rot-resistant wood that made them the perfect choice for building everything from log cabins to railroad ties. The edible chestnuts from the chestnut trees were even used to help fatten up livestock before going to the market.
In the early 1900s, a type of fungus called Cryphonectria parasitica was accidentally brought into the United States. This fungus was responsible for chestnut blight, a disease that caused widespread destruction of the American chestnut tree. The fungus would enter the tree and produce toxic compounds to lower the pH down to a level that is deadly to plant cells.
While other types of chestnut trees can also be affected by the devastating effects of this fungus, the American chestnut tree is the most susceptible. The introduction of this fungus killed off billions of chestnut tree and brought the chestnut tree close to extinction.
Today, the last remaining stand of chestnut trees is found in Wisconsin with 2,500 chestnut trees in a 60-acre forest, and conservation efforts are in full force to protect the future of the American chestnut tree and the chestnut itself.
Types Of Chestnuts
The main types of chestnuts include:
- American chestnut
- Sweet chestnut (also called Spanish chestnut)
- Chinese chestnut
- Japanese/Korean chestnut
Keep in mind that this type of chestnut is not related to the water chestnut. Water chestnuts are not technically nuts, but are actually a type of aquatic vegetable used in many Asian cuisines.
Similarly, the horse chestnut is also part of another family of plants unrelated to chestnuts, and although its extract is used as a natural remedy, it’s actually considered to be toxic.
Nutrition Value of chestnuts
Chestnuts pack in a hearty serving of fiber along with a good amount of several micro-nutrients, such as manganese, vitamin C and thiamine. Roasted chestnuts commonly spark thoughts of the holiday season and sitting by an open fire. These tree nuts are more than just the topic of song lyrics. Chestnuts are lower in fat than similar nuts such as pecans and walnuts — good news if you have been advised by your doctor to watch your intake. Chestnuts have a pleasing taste and are packed with nutrients.
Chestnuts are probably not what we would call a nutrition powerhouse, but they are still pretty high in manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and copper. They are in fact the only nuts that contain appreciable levels of vitamin C. In 100 grams of chestnuts you’ll find 53 grams of carbohydrates. Of those 53 grams, 11 come from simple sugars, 5 from fiber and the remaining 37 grams is starch. In those same 100 grams of chestnuts, you’ll only get 2.2 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein.
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 131
- Total Fat 1.4 g – 2% RDA
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 27 mg – 1% RDA
- Potassium 715 mg – 20% RDA
- Total Carbohydrate 28 g – 9% RDA
- Protein 2 g – 4% RDA
- Vitamin C 44% RDA
- Calcium 4% RDA
- Iron 9% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 10% RDA
- Magnesium 13% RDA
The fiber content of chestnuts, 3 g per 100 g, is higher than that of walnuts, with 2.1 g per 100 g, pecans, 2.3 g per 100 g, and pistachios 1.9 g per 100 g but about half that of hazelnuts. Their fiber content makes them a low glycemic index food — one that raises blood sugar slowly — says Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., writing for the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry.
Chestnuts provide 195 calories per 100 g serving, mostly coming from their high carbohydrate content, according to a study published in the April 2009 issue of the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.” Chestnuts are high in vitamin C, minerals, such as potassium, copper and magnesium, amino acids and antioxidants. Chestnuts are also low in kidney stone-forming oxalate compounds, with less than 85 mg per 100 g, in comparison to other nuts.
Chestnuts contain high levels of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid, which are beneficial to cardiovascular health and proper neurological development in infants, according to the book “Tree Nuts: Composition, Phytochemicals, and Health Effects.” A study conducted at the CIMO-Escola Superior Agraria, Instituto Politecnico de Braganca, Portugal, also identified four forms of triglycerides in chestnut and researchers note that this was the first such study to do a complete analysis of the triglycerides in chestnuts. Their fat content of 12 percent makes chestnuts a low-fat nut without the health benefits of the high polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts and other nuts eaten for their heart-healthy oils, says naturopath Michael Murray, in his book “The Condensed Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.” Chestnut oil mostly consists of palmitic acid and oleic acid — the fatty acid found in high quantities in olive oil.
Packed with Manganese
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 Center, 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. Add chopped chestnuts to a bowl of oatmeal for a manganese-packed breakfast.
Chestnut is used to preparing pancakes, pasta, polenta, and cakes. However, it is mostly used in culinary as agar to provide thickness to sauces, soups, and stews. The chestnut power is used in the preparation of chestnut flour. It is often added to bakery item to keep it fresh for longer. You can consume it as a raw nut or any other form you like. It is commonly available in the market as roasted, boiled, pureed and candied form. But you can also enjoy this lovely nut by garnishing on a grilled item. When you first consume this nut, you will notice its flavor is quite same as a baked potato. Some countries cooked this nut with a little amount of sugar to use it as dessert.
Health Benefits of Chestnuts
1. Regulates Blood Sugar
Chestnuts are rich in dietary fiber and are low glycemic food, which means that they cause blood sugar to rise slowly as compared to high glycemic foods. This helps prevent the spikes and drops in blood sugar that can be dangerous for diabetic patients, and are often precursors to the development of diabetes in those currently unaffected.
Nutrition Health Benefits of Chestnuts
2. Boosts Immunity
Chestnuts are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants that help boost immunity. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells which is the first line of body defence mechanism. The antioxidants help seek out and neutralise free radicals within the body that can cause healthy cells to mutate or induce oxidative stress near vital organs.
3. Strengthens Bones
Chestnuts contains copper and magnesium which are essential for increasing bone mineral density. Copper is essential in the process by which the body absorbs iron, which is also crucial for bone growth and development. Magnesium is very good for increasing bone mineral density and provides a wide variety of other health benefits.
4. Aids in Digestion
Chestnuts are rich in dietary fiber which adds bulk to the stool and helps stimulate peristaltic motion in the intestines, thus regulating bowel movements and preventing inflammation and discomfort. Dietary fiber can also help optimize the absorption of nutrients, which means getting more out of the food you eat and a better overall nutrient profile.
5. Brain Health
Chestnuts are rich in B vitamins like folate, riboflavin, thiamine) which are directly linked to proper neurological development and function. Potassium present acts as a vasodilator and this increases blood flow to the brain and promote good nervous system health, thus increasing concentration, retention, and memory.
6. Heart Health
Chestnuts contains good fat which help to balance cholesterol, reduce inflammation throughout the body, and lower the risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots building up in the body. All of this lowers the risk of stroke, heart attack, and coronary heart diseases to a greater extent.
7. Controls Blood Pressure
Potassium in chestnuts controls water movement within the body, and also functions as a vasodilator, increasing blood flow and releasing the tension on constricted blood vessels and arteries. This reduction in blood pressure can boost overall cardiovascular health and lessen your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
8. Reduces Cancer Risk
Chestnuts are rich in antioxidants which seek and neutralise free radicals within the body. Free radicals are produced in the body as a result of the natural phenomenon of molecules reacting with active oxygen. An uncontrolled growth of free radicals harm your cells, DNA and are responsible for causing cancer.
9. Thyroid Function
The thyroid regulates the rate at which our body uses energy, makes proteins and controls our body’s sensitivity to other hormones. The ellagic acid in Chestnuts can help support the Thyroid function where one experiences hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid function. Ellagic acid suppresses the hormone secretion thereby bringing a control over the overactive thyroid gland.
10. Reduces Inflammation
Chestnuts have anti-inflammatory properties that make it a great astringent owing to a heavy content of tannin in it. Tannins can allay the skin problems and provide relief from swelling and pain caused due to tear in body tissues.It helps in faster healing of wounds and soothes. This character of Chestnut has been especially effective in treating hemorrhoids.
11. Provide Stable Energy
Chestnut has a high amount of carbohydrates that make it far apart from low carb-containing food. Its 3 ounce of serving contains 45 grams of carbohydrates. It helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system by providing enough energy. Its complex carbs structure offers slow digestion which in turn retains energy level for longer.
12. Ease Respiratory Diseases
Regular consumption of chestnut can prevent you from cold, cough and other respiratory ailments. It has the property of expectorant which can provide you relieve from sinusitis and help you to get rid of chronic throat discomfort. Chestnut is also able to increases the production of fluid and efficiently aids congestion.
13. Foster Pregnancy
Consumption of chestnut during pregnancy is also essential as it provides the necessary nutrients to the body. Its sufficient amount of vitamin and calcium make the balance between electrolytes and prevent the occurrence of an undesirable condition in the mother’s body. It also helps in the promotion of healthy development of fetus by keep mother away from all chronic diseases. It also reduces the stress and contraction caused by nausea.
14. Aids Diabetes
The dietary content of chestnut help in the management of diabetes as it raises the level of blood-sugar level slowly as compared to other glycemic food. The diabetic patient can get benefit from these tiny nuts by involving in their diet after consulting with a doctor.
15. Prevent illness
The anti-oxidant property of chestnut can keep you away from the chronic disease. It restricts the mutation in a cell by removing free-radicals from the body. If you include in your diet plan, it effectively keeps many dangerous conditions at bay.
16. Antioxidant Agent
It has substantial proportions of vitamin C, ellagic acid and gallic acid which made it anti-oxidant in nature agent. It is essential to understand that you are aware of the fact that anti-oxidants are an integral component in cleaning up the body from free radicals and toxins. It put out all the substance that can pose adverse effect your body. It discourages the development of mutation in your cell by providing you excellent response against any foreign invaders.
17. Ease Intestinal Discomforts
Its dietary fiber content works on your gastrointestinal function. It creates soft-consistency in your intestine and helps you to get rid of constipation. This dietary fiber also increases the ratio of bowel movement and lessens the inflammation and discomfort in the gut. It also reduces the level of cholesterol in your blood and helps the body to dissolve the accumulated fat in arteries.
18. Provide Cognitive Therapy
It contains sufficient amount of potassium which is good for your brain functioning. You can add this to your diet if you are in academic phase as it helps you to retain a lot of things in mind. It impacts on your overall neurological development and improves your cognitive skills & ability. It improves your concentration by conducting proper blood flow rate.
19. Maintain Blood Flow Rate
Being rich in potassium it can be beneficial for regulating the blood pressure as it controls the movement of water in your body. It acts as a vasodilator and maintaining the blood flow rate and relieve tension from you contracted blood vessels. That means it improves your overall heart health and in results reduces the prevalence of heart stroke and heart attack.
20. For Diarrhea
For problems relating to Diarrhea and the condition itself, chestnut and specifically the chestnut tree bark has been found to be a very effective remedy. The water in which you boil the chestnuts along with its shell or bark is rich in Tannins. Tannins, when taken in controlled quantities, can relieve you from Diarrhea. A standard 3 spoons of crushed bark or equivalent chestnuts with shells in a liter of water boiled for about 20 minutes and consumed in the form of 2-3 cups in a day is considered safe.
21. The Vital Oxygen Carriers
Iron and copper are two important elements required for blood and its production. Blood basically is a vessel that transports oxygen to various parts of our body. The component called hemoglobin is responsible for this function and is made of iron. In fact, the red color of our blood is owing to the presence of Iron. The other component which transports oxygen to our body is called hemocyanin.
It is composed of Copper which binds oxygen molecule between two of its atoms. Though not as efficient as hemoglobin but hemocyanins are extremely important for this function.Both of these trace metals are present in chestnuts in adequate quantities. In fact, people suffering from anemia can consume chestnuts to alleviate this condition effectively.
22. Balance Electrolyte
The electrolyte is the fluid in our body and is made of sodium, magnesium, potassium and carbonates. An electrolyte as a term means ions that can conduct electricity. In body also, they have a function of transporting neuro-transmissions from the brain to different parts of our body and back. Loss of electrolyte takes place naturally through our excretions and sweating. Mostly it is our diet that balances electrolyte and replenishes the minerals contained in it.
Chestnuts contain safe and reasonable quantities of Potassium and magnesium that are necessary for the electrolyte. The fluid which carries these ions needs water and chestnut is 60% water which can be further increased by boiling it.
23. For Loose motions
Loose motions or dysentery can also be controlled by tannin on chestnuts. The Same concoction that cures diarrhea can also bring a lot of relief from persistent dysentery. In fact, it is more of a folk remedy and a very effective one too. It is better not to administer it to children and infant as even a little mistake in proportions can give them a heavy dosage of tannin. In India, it is used for De-worming as well.
24. Alleviates Stones
Oxalate is an Ion which is associated with increased risk of developing kidney stones. The calcium oxalate is particularly blamed for the gall bladder and kidney stones. The levels of oxalate in our body are determined by the food we eat. This is why a low oxalate diet is recommended to curb the chances of developing stones.
Chestnuts are a low-oxalate food source. The potassium in chestnuts regulates and control the release and distribution of calcium in the body. It ensures the deposition of calcium on bones with a minimum quantity getting into the blood stream thereby preventing stone formation.
25. Astringent Properties
Chestnuts have anti-inflammatory properties that make it a great astringent owing to a heavy content of tannin in it. Tannins can allay the skin problems and provide relief from swelling and pain caused due to tear in body tissues. It helps in faster healing of wounds and soothes. This character of Chestnut has been especially effective in treating hemorrhoids.
Chestnuts vs. Other Nuts
There are a number of nut varieties out there, each with its own unique set of nutrients and benefits to health. Chestnuts are a starchy type of nut, which sets them apart from other nuts that have a higher content of oil and fat. Walnuts, for example, are especially rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Similar to chestnuts, they are also high in manganese and copper but with lower amounts of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Meanwhile, almonds are loaded with vitamin E and protein and contain a good amount of manganese, magnesium and riboflavin.
Other types of nuts aren’t as nutrient-dense, like peanuts, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids but low in most other micro-nutrients.
How to Roast Chestnuts + Chestnut Uses
Roasted chestnuts are one of the most popular chestnut varieties and a sweet and flavorful way to add these delicious nuts to your diet. Here is an easy way that you can enjoy your favorite street vendor snack and start chestnut roasting from the comfort of your own kitchen:
- Start with fresh chestnuts and use a small knife to cut an “X” into each. This allows the steam to escape and prevents the chestnuts from bursting in the oven.
- Layer the chestnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes at 425 F. You’ll know the chestnuts are cooked when the shells crack open and the chestnut has turned a golden brown color.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, peel while they are still warm and enjoy!
If you’re looking for a few other interesting ways to enjoy this sweet snack, you can also try adding cooked chestnuts to desserts, stews and casseroles for a bit of extra crunch and flavor. Chestnut flour, made from ground chestnuts, is a gluten-free flour that can be used to make breads, pancakes and baked goods.
Remember that chestnuts need to be cooked before they can be eaten. Not only does this help remove the shell of the chestnut, but it also lowers the tannic acid content. Tannic acid is a plant compound that has been linked to numerous adverse effects on health and should be avoided.
For more ideas of how to eat chestnuts, here are a few chestnut recipes that you can give a try:
- Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew
- Mushroom, Chestnut & Ale Pie
- Maple Chestnut Pudding Chômeurs
Chestnut Flavor and Texture
The mild flavor of chestnuts makes them versatile for both sweet and savory dishes. The texture of a chestnut resembles that of a potato: a bit crunchy and bitter when raw, cooked chestnuts turn buttery and sweet. The flavor is reminiscent of a sweet potato. They can be added to soups and stews, baked goods, and dishes from stuffing to pasta.
Chestnuts are often sold fresh during the winter months, making them a popular holiday treat. Fresh chestnuts can be roasted, steamed, boiled, deep fried, or even microwaved. Always score the skin of fresh chestnuts before cooking them to allow steam to escape and prevent them from exploding.
Because fresh chestnuts contain a high percentage of water, they are more perishable than most nuts. Keep them refrigerated in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them. If you buy them directly from the producer shortly after harvest, they will last for a few months in proper storage conditions. Chestnuts from the grocery store probably spent some time in the open air and began “curing,” or losing some of their moisture. While this actually makes for better eating, the nuts become more perishable as they dry. Refrigerate store-bought chestnuts promptly and use them within a few weeks. Fresh chestnuts can also be frozen for up to six months.
Dried chestnuts last for many months when kept at room temperature away from sunlight. Store them in an airtight container to keep pests and moisture at bay. Dried chestnuts can be reconstituted in boiling water or ground into flour and used in baked goods.
You might find chestnuts in jars or cans at your gourmet grocer, but don’t confuse the water chestnuts commonly found in the Asian food section of the grocery store. They aren’t the same thing. Canned chestnuts work fine in many recipes, including soups, stuffings, and stews. It’s also possible to purchase chestnut puree, either sweetened or unsweetened, for use primarily in baked goods.
Chestnut flour is used in many baked goods throughout Europe. Because chestnuts are high in carbohydrates and low in fat, the flour resembles other grain flours, like wheat. Chestnut flour is used to make fritters, cakes, pasta, and even polenta.
How To cook Chestnuts
Method 1: Microwaving Chestnuts
- Grab a handful of chestnuts. Five or six at a time will do.
- Chop each chestnut in half. Place it on a cutting board and cut it with a sharp knife. Cutting it in half will help it cook faster.
- Cook them in the microwave on the “potato” setting. The chestnut is similar to the potato when it comes to cooking. This should take between 2-5 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave.
- Serve. Enjoy these chestnuts plain and bite the nut directly off the shell or scoop it out with a small spoon first.
Method 2: Roasting Chestnuts in an Oven
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF (205ºC).
- Cut an “X” shape into the flat side of each chestnut. Use a sharp knife to do this. This will make the chestnuts roast faster, allowing the steam to escape from the chestnuts. You can also just pierce each chestnut several times with a fork.
- Place the chestnuts on a baking sheet. You can also just place them right on the grill, with the cut side facing up. Sprinkle them lightly with water to help them roast.
- Crush their skins. Wait 2-3 minutes for the chestnuts to cool off and then wrap them in a towel and squeeze them until the skin is crushed. Leave them in the towel for another five minutes.
- Peel the nuts. Do this while they’re still warm to make the process easier. Take out the inner skin along with the shell. If any nuts are hard to peel, you can heat them briefly for a few more minutes until they’re ready.
- Serve. Enjoy these nuts on their own while they’re nice and hot.
Method 3: Roasting Chestnuts Over an Open Fire
- Rinse the chestnuts. Rinse them off under cool water to remove any dirt.
- Score the shells. Score the shells before you place them in a pan.
- Put the nuts in a cast iron frying pan. Place the flat sides of the chestnuts down.
- Prepare the fire. Make sure that there’s a bed of glowing coals that you can rest the pan on, whether you’ve lit a fireplace or a campfire.
- Place the pan on the coals for 5 minutes. This should be enough to roast one side of the chestnuts. Lightly shake the pan around every minute or so to distribute the heat.
- Turn the nuts over. After five minutes, use a potholder to remove the pan, roll over the nuts, and place them back on the fire.
- Roast the nuts for another 5 minutes.
- Serve. Once you’ve roasted the nuts, wait 2-3 minutes for them to cool down and enjoy them while they’re nice and hot.
Method 4: Boiling Chestnuts
- Boil a pot of water.
- Cut an X into one side of two cups of chestnuts. Use a sharp knife to cut the “X” shape into the chestnuts. This will make them boil more easily. Boiling chestnuts won’t make them quite as tasty or aromatic, but it’s a great way to quickly soften them.
- Boil the chestnuts for 5-10 minutes.
- Let the chestnuts cool. Wait at least 2-3 minutes until the chestnuts are cool enough for you to handle them.
- Peel the shells and the skins off the nuts.
- Serve. Enjoy these chestnuts plain or with 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and one tablespoon of melted butter.
How To Peel Chestnuts
Chestnuts aren’t so much tough to crack, as tricky to peel. Their shells are much softer and more malleable than other tree nuts, but that means any “cracking” doesn’t work all that well. Plus, they have a hairy skin under their peels that clings something awful to the sweet and tender edible chestnut underneath, a fact made worse by the creviced, folded, brain-like texture of the edible part of the nut. So how to proceed? Cook the chestnuts first, and then keep them warm so that stubborn skin doesn’t re-cling to the nut as it cools.
There are two main ways to prepare chestnuts so their shells and icky hairy skins come off with the minimum of fuss: roasting them or steaming them In either case, you’ll need to cut an “x” or at least a “y” into the chestnut shell. This will let the shell loosen itself from the nut as it cooks.
How to Roast Chestnuts to Peel Them
Preheat an oven to 400F. While the oven heats, cut the “x’s” in the chestnut shells. Set the prepared chestnuts in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet, and cook them until the shells pull apart and the nuts are tender, about 30 minutes.
How to Steam Chestnuts to Peel Them
Bring an inch or so of water in a large saucepan, set the prepared (shells cut) chestnuts in a steamer basket, and put the steamer basket over the boiling water. Cover the pot and steam the chestnuts until the shells pull apart and the nuts inside are tender to the bite (or to a toothpick stuck in their centers), about 20 minutes.
How to Peel Roasted or Steamed Chestnuts
However you’ve cooked them, you’ll proceed the same way now. Wrap the roasted or steamed chestnuts in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm—it will make them easier to peel. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, grab a seat and get to peeling. Pull and snap off the shells, being sure to also take off the skin between the shell and the chestnut. When you’re done, you want a pile of yellowish-white chestnuts (and another of the dark shells and papery skins).
It’s a fine line between the chestnuts being too hot to handle long enough to peel them, and cooling off so much that the skins seem to shrink onto the nuts again. That’s why wrapping them in a towel is key. If they cool off too much, that is, if you find that they become trickier to peel as you go, you can pop them back in the oven or the steamer for a few minutes to re-warm them. You can also microwave them for a minute or two for a similar effect, but know that microwaved chestnuts tend to lose some of their tender texture and harden unpleasantly.
How to Use Peeled Chestnuts
A favorite way to eat chestnuts is simply as you peel them! It’s a fun group activity to sit and peel chestnuts after dinner, treating them as a casual dessert. Chestnuts are also delicious chopped up and added to stuffing or dressing, made into candy or otherwise used in desserts, or whirled into a rich soup.
Negative Effects Of Horse Chestnuts
Cause Renal Dysfunction
People who suffer from kidney disease are advised not to eat horse chestnuts. Medical studies indicate that consuming these nuts may cause renal failure. The symptoms of renal tumors may also be aggravated due to the consumption of these nuts.
Aggravate Bleeding Disorders
These nuts are best avoided if you are taking blood thinning medication. Certain active chemicals which are present in these nuts can increase the risk of bleeding and slow down blood clotting in people who are diagnosed with bleeding disorders. These nuts may also increase the risk of bruising among people who suffer from bleeding disorders like von Willebrand disease and hemophilia.
Severe Allergic Reaction
Beta – Aescin a natural component which is present in horse chestnut can unleash a host of potentially dangerous allergic reactions. These nuts can cause severe skin irritation. Allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma conditions can be aggravated due to consumption of these nuts. Rare cases of acute anaphylactic reaction are also linked to consumption of these nuts.
Eating raw horse chestnuts can cause serious digestive disorders. People who consume these nuts are likely to suffer from severe dysentery. Specific chemical which are present in these nuts can also aggravate the problem of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. These nuts can also cause severe indigestion and heartburn.
Consuming these nuts can cause mild to moderate liver injury. Detailed medical research indicates that eating these nuts can lead to impaired liver function. Additionally, these nuts can also cause abnormal liver enzyme levels which may indicate liver damage.
Diabetics should never consume these nuts. Horse chestnuts are known to cause hypoglycemia or extreme low blood sugar levels. These nuts can interfere with blood glucose regulation as well. People who are taking medication to lower their blood glucose levels should avoid these nuts at all cost.
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