How many of us, as children, sang nice songs about chestnuts, and how many of us, even as adults, joyfully wait for the moment to sit down at the table and eat these sweet and fragrant fruits? From today there is a good news that will delight many ... chestnuts are not only a pleasure for the palate but are also healthy, with benefits for the overall health of the body and for the heart. This is what emerges from a research that recently appeared in the journal Biomedicines thanks to the work of a Portuguese team (Rodrigues et al, Biomedicines, Apr 2020).
Chestnuts can be eaten fresh, boiled, roasted, alone or in culinary preparations such as soups. These fruits are low in fat, and those present are mainly good fats belonging to the family of polyunsaturated fatty acids, beneficial for the heart. But chestnuts are also abundant in vitamins and minerals, especially tocopherol, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, provide energy and proteins. To carry out the experiment, the researchers assumed that an adult, with a body weight of 70 kg, could eat an average of 150 grams of chestnuts per serving during the chestnut period. This amount corresponds to about 200 mg of chestnuts for a mouse. The scientists then analyzed the effects of supplementing the diet of a mouse population with either 200 mg or 400 mg of chestnuts. After 5 weeks of this type of feeding, what emerged was that both 200 mg and 400 mg of chestnuts were found to be useful in lowering total cholesterol, compared to the control group that had not received the chestnuts. Not only that, in the group that received 400 mg of chestnuts what emerged was that abdominal fat had significantly reduced. Abdominal fat is a very dangerous type of fat, as it can increase inflammation levels and the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
So chestnuts can become a food with unsuspected health properties, but the important thing is never to overdo the quantity and include them in a varied and healthy diet that also includes moderate physical activity, since these fruits also provide energy.