Is there any food more synonymous with Christmas than chestnuts? This December 14, it’s time to celebrate Roast Chestnuts Day – and it’s not just about their nostalgic flavour; it’s worth enjoying a handful of these nuts for their impressive health benefits. Here are 3 reasons to follow Nat King Kole's lead and get some chestnuts roasting on an open fire this festive season!
Chestnuts are loaded with a number of antioxidants, which are known for fighting inflammation in the body – inflammation, of course, is the culprit for a number of diseases from irritable bowel syndrome to arthritis and even some cancers. Some of these impressive antioxidants in chestnuts include alkaloids, tannings, ellagic and gallic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C and polyphenols. Lutein and zeaxanthin are known to reduce cellular damage in the eyes – research shows they may even prevent damage from blue light coming from our screens. Antioxidants on the whole fight free radicals in the body, thereby preventing oxidative stress, which is known to increase our risk for a number of diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease. Gallic acid and ellagic acid are especially helpful in fighting insulin resistance, and some studies show they may even slow the growth of tumours.
Boost your heart health
The antioxidants we mentioned above – gallic and ellagic acid – have also been found to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. But it’s not just the antioxidants that protect our heart – the potassium in chestnuts has impressive benefits. Just 2 tablespoons provides over 10% of our daily needs for potassium, and this nutrient is known to regulate blood pressure and protect the heart. Research shows that a diet that hits potassium targets reduces the chance of developing heart disease by a whopping 27% - and it’s important to include a variety of different potassium-rich sources to ensure you’re getting a good amount. This could also include lentils, potatoes, bananas, avocados, spinach and broccoli.
Promote healthy blood sugar levels
High blood sugars are a known accompaniment to diabetes – and prolonged high blood sugar is known to increase the risk for complications for diabetics, which could include heart disease and stroke. While chestnuts are known to have a higher carbohydrate content than other nuts, they’re loaded with fibre and antioxidants, both of which play a role in preventing blood sugar spikes. Fibre slows the absorption of the sugars, while antioxidants like gallic acid increase insulin sensitivity, making our blood sugars less likely to spike. But remember to enjoy these nuts in moderation!
Keen to make this festive season a fun, stress-free and healthy one? If you’ve recently given sugar the flick, you may be dreading the agility trials of all the Chrissy and New Years’ parties on the way – dodging the sugar-laden desserts and deep-fried lunches could be considered an extreme sport! That’s where we come in – we’re all about enjoying delicious, indulgent foods – minus the sugar crash. This festive season, you might even find you enjoy the healthy stuff more than the ultra-processed stuff.
We released our Holiday Entertaining Guide for this very purpose – it’s loaded with recipes for delicious cakes, exciting cocktails and comforting, traditional meals to line the table with this festive season. Now you can enjoy the festive season and enjoy some mouth-watering meals at the same time – we swear, they’re not mutually exclusive! Check out our eBook HERE. It’s loaded with 51 fun recipes that transport you back to those childhood family feasts – minus the sugar crash, of course! We've got mains, sides, desserts and festive drinks to mark the occasion.
If you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
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