Portuguese chestnut: 11 benefits and recipes

Did you know that the Portuguese chestnut is a food rich in nutrients, helps with weight loss and optimizes thyroid function?

In addition to these benefits, the consumption of this type of chestnut is also related to heart health, helping the body to fight various diseases that affect the cardiovascular system.

For those who don’t know it yet, the Portuguese chestnut is much sought after to be used in New Year’s Eve festivities.

Therefore, in this article, you will learn about the benefits and also some recipes made with this oilseed. Check out!

What are the benefits of Portuguese nuts?

In addition to being a healthy option for celiacs, as it does not contain gluten, the nut tree also helps in the treatment of gastrointestinal problems.

Check out these and other proven benefits of the oilseed below!

1. Rich in healthy nutrients

According to the technical bulletin of Portuguese nuts, produced by the Department of Agriculture and Supply of the State of São Paulo, it is possible to find healthy nutrients such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. In addition, this oilseed is a healthy source of fiber and carbohydrates. ( 1 )

Among these nutrients, carbohydrates, potassium and vitamins C and B stand out.

2. Helps to lose weight

This oilseed is also less caloric, as it has less oil than other types of nuts . ( 1 )

In addition, the Portuguese has a larger size, bringing more satiety to those who consume it.

Finally, according to the aforementioned technical bulletin, agronomists and researchers pointed out that the consumption of this type of nuts is associated with the prevention of obesity. ( 1 )

3. Acts on thyroid balance

Some studies also point out the composition of these nuts as a factor for the proper functioning of the thyroid. And this effect is even more present in preventing weight swing. ( 1 )

4. Prevents the appearance of tumors

Due to its antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties , this oilseed can prevent the appearance of tumors in the body. ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

5. Protect the heart

The Portuguese nut can also be used to prevent coronary heart disease, which can be caused by factors such as accumulation of fat, making blood flow impossible. ( 1 , 2 )

6. Fights high blood pressure

Does anyone in the family have hypertension? Family history can lead a patient to present this health problem. But with the help of this chestnut it is possible to control blood pressure .

This benefit is due to the antioxidant action and the presence of folic acid in the composition of the fruit. ( 1 , 3 )

7. Prevents stroke (stroke)

Still taking into account the information from the technical bulletin of the Secretariat of Agriculture of São Paulo, it is possible to say that the daily consumption of this food can help prevent stroke, popularly called by the acronym AVC.

This is due to the composition of the chestnut, which has medicinal properties capable of improving blood flow to the brain.

According to a study carried out in the city of Porto, Portugal, this benefit occurs because the nut tree combines “beneficial preventive neuroprotective effects with a high antioxidant activity”. ( 1 , 3 )

8. Helps to prevent and treat diabetes

In fact, this food itself does not act directly on diabetes, but brings antioxidants that help prevent and reduce risks during the treatment of the disease. ( 1 , 4 )

9. Protects against gastrointestinal diseases

The consumption of Portuguese nuts is also good for the digestive system , due to the fiber and rich collection of minerals present in the composition of this oilseed. Thus, it is possible to affirm that its consumption is able to protect the body from gastrointestinal diseases. ( 1 )

10. Does not contain gluten

A great advantage for people who have gluten allergy (celiac) is that Portuguese does not contain this substance. ( 1 )

For this reason, the flour from this chestnut can be used in the production of bread , pasta and cakes, replacing wheat flour.

11. Improves immunity

As this oilseed is rich in vitamin C , it ends up becoming a food that helps improve the immune system. ( 1 )

Recipes: learn to prepare this oilseed

Now that we’ve shown you the great benefits of this natural food, it’s time to give those good old cooking tips.

Many people love the taste of this variety of nuts, but they don’t know how to use it in the kitchen.

So, pay attention to the tips and recipes below to learn the correct ways to prepare Portuguese nuts.

How to cook?

This cooked oilseed is a great choice for meals, especially for dinner. To prepare it, there is no secret. Check out:

  1. First, wash 1/2 kg of Portuguese chestnuts
  2. Then, with a sharp knife (and very carefully) cut a small piece from the ends of the chestnuts so that it catches the salt
  3. In the pressure cooker, place the chestnuts with the tips cut off, cover with water (3 fingers above the chestnuts) and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and leave for 20 minutes after getting pressure
  4. Finally, remove from the pan, wait for it to cool a little, peel and serve.

How to make roast?

On the other hand, you can also make roasted chestnuts. In this format, they are crunchy, tasty and perfect to make that delicious Sunday farofa. See the recipe:

  1. Make a shallow cut in the 1/2 kg shells of Portuguese nuts
  2. Then wash the oilseeds under running water
  3. Afterwards, place all the chestnuts on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 40 minutes
  4. Then remove and wait for it to cool a little
  5. Finally, peel (still a little hot for ease) and serve. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top if you like.

How to make Portuguese chestnut farofa?

This farofa recipe is a success, because it is tasty and nutritious. No wonder that it is so common for people to prepare this recipe at Christmas and New Year. Learn the recipe:

  • First, bake 300 g of nuts (as we taught in the previous topic). Coarsely peel and chop, but do not leave too large pieces. Reserve
  • In a hot skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter and gradually add 300 g of cassava flour. Stir until the flour is toasted and it turns the slightly yellowish color of the butter. Reserve
  • In the same skillet, add another 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 chopped onion. brown the onions
  • With the golden onions, add 1/2 cup of chopped black olives, chestnuts, parsley and salt to taste. Mix
  • Finally, add the flour and saute until everything is well mixed and share the flavors.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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