It is winter season and Christmas is near. One popular treat is Chestnuts, and it is especially tasty for me during family gatherings and celebration time.

A lot of people ask me how fattening Chestnuts might be (known also by Kastana). Good news for everyone.  Chestnuts are relatively low in calories compared to other seeds and nuts, which are high in calories, protein, and fat.

One handful of chestnuts or about 30 grams, or 4 pieces) contain 80 calories mostly from carbs. It is a sodium- free food, rich in folate, high in dietary fiber and has no cholesterol or trans-fat.

Kastanas are a good source of dietary fiber (they provide 8 grams per 100 g which is a high content.) A fiber diet helps lowering blood cholesterol levels by limiting excess cholesterol absorption in the intestines.

Chestnuts contain unsaturated fatty acids and are part of the Mediterranean Diet, which is rich in dietary-fiber, healthy fatty acids and antioxidants. This diet prevents coronary artery diseases and strokes by favoring a healthy blood lipid profile.

Another benefit of Chestnuts is that they are rich in folates, which is quite a unique feature for nuts and seeds. Adequate consumption of food rich in folates during the pre-conception period prevents neural tube defects in the fetus. So Kastana are excellent for pregnant women.

Those tasty healthy kinds of nuts are also extremely high in Potassium which helps in flushing the extra sodium content out of your system.  This is what tends to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. They also contain a good amount of Magnesium and Phosphorus that are important to help with bone metabolism.

I love Kastana in winter and especially in December when my Christmas spirit is at an all-time high! Roasting them is really my preferred method of cooking, but you can also boil, steam or grill them. Once you have picked out the best method, you can enjoy them with cream cheese, labneh, ranch or tabasco sauce. Some people enjoy eating chestnuts with melted chocolate as a dessert.

Choose your favorite way of eating those healthy winter nuts.

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