Among the most typical autumn fruits, the chestnut secures a queen position. This fruit, native to Asia Minor but for centuries linked to traditional Italian cuisine, is appreciated for its characteristic taste and for the ductility with which it can be consumed: boiled, roasted, dried, in the form of jam or flour.
What are the nutritional characteristics of chestnuts?
We asked Sabrina Oggionni, dietitian at Humanitas Gavazzeni.
“Chestnuts are part of the fruit group and some classify them as dried fruit, but compared to the nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc …), they have low fat content. The chestnut has certain nutritional characteristics similar to those of cereals: even though it does not contain gluten, it does have a high content of sugars, especially starch. It is rich in fiber, as well as mineral salts such as potassium and phosphorus, and it contains iron, although in small quantities. Lastly, it contains vitamins B2 and E. It is important to remember that the energy and nutritional characteristics of the chestnut are different from the remaining group of fresh fruit.”
What are the substantial differences between boiled chestnuts and roasted chestnuts?
“Boiled chestnuts are more digestible and mistakenly believed to be of fewer calories: At the same weight, boiled chestnuts contain fewer calories than roasted ones- we are speaking about 120 calories per 100 grams of boiled chestnuts in comparison to 190 calories for those roasted. However, it all depends on the amount of water lost or taken in depending on the type of cooking method used.”
Are there people for whom it is recommended to consume chestnuts?
“The situation should be observed for each separate case with a doctor, however in general there are some diseases or disorders that advise against the consumption of this fruit, such as diabetes, because of their sugar content.”