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The Nutrient-Rich Alkalizing Nut That’s In Season For The Holidays

chestnuts

Nuts are delicious, natural, and convenient, but most varieties are acidifying. While acidifying foods are not off-limits in the Save Our Bones Program, it’s a bonus to find a nut that’s both rich in bone-healthy nutrients and alkalizing.

Chestnuts, which are in season now, might rank high on your list of holiday foods. But they do not have to be relegated to the holidays only. With no less than 8 Foundation Supplements, chestnuts have a place in a bone-healthy diet. And in case you’re not sure how to select or prepare them, today we’ll discuss some practical ideas and ways to enjoy this unique nut.

The Nutritional Profile of the Chestnut

I have mentioned in previous posts how fascinating it is that some of the humblest foods offer the most bone-building nutrition. The chestnut is no exception.

If you have a chestnut tree in your neighborhood, you are familiar with the mess that litters the yard and road when the nuts fall to the ground. But if people were more aware of how healthy this little nut is, they would be spreading sheets under the tree to catch the bounty!

Let’s take a look at what the chestnut can do for your bones, and which Foundation Supplements it offers.

Just How Alkalizing is the Chestnut?

While some other nuts such as almonds are alkalizing, chestnuts are the most alkalizing nut of all. This is due in part to their high water content – if you’ve ever eaten a chestnut, you know its texture is soft and chewy. When they’re roasted, the texture is more like a potato than a nut.

It’s this high percentage of water that makes chestnuts both low-fat and low-calorie. Amazingly, 1 cup of roasted chestnuts contains a mere 350 calories and 3.15 grams of fat. To compare, a cup of roasted cashews (acidifying) has 786 calories and 63.5 grams of fat, and a cup of roasted peanuts (also acidifying) has 73 grams of fat and 854 calories. That’s a big difference!

Eight Foundation Supplements in Chestnuts!

If you have the Save Our Bones Program, you are aware of the list of Foundation Supplements. These are nutrients that your bones crave in order to be strong, flexible, and fracture-resistant. Chestnuts have 8 of these crucial nutrients.

  • B Vitamins: B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), and B6 (pyridoxine). These B vitamins are part of the “B complex” vitamins. They work synergistically to help metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and they enhance nerve and brain function.
  • Folate is also a B vitamin, Vitamin B9, so it works with the other “Bs.” Folate also converts homocysteine, and amino acid, into other types of amino acids – an important role, considering high homocysteine levels are associated with increased hip fracture risk.1
  • Pantothenic Acid is, once again, among the B vitamins (Vitamin B5). Pantothenic acid is a component of coenzyme A (CoA) that helps transport healthy fatty acids into cells.
  • Vitamin C needs no introduction to Savers, who are well aware that Vitamin C is both a vitamin and antioxidant that is vital for strong bones and healthy immunity. Interestingly, Vitamin C also helps pantothenic acid transport fatty acids into cells for energy conversion.
  • Vitamin K tends to be ignored by the Medical Establishment with regards to bone health, despite studies going all the way back to 1999 that show it decreases fracture risk.2 But Vitamin K is necessary for a process called carboxylation, which binds calcium to the bone matrix.
  • There’s no doubt that chestnuts can be enjoyed by anyone following the Save Our Bones Program. If you’ve never bought or prepared chestnuts, here’s information on…

    How to Choose, Store, and Prepare Chestnuts

    Whether you’re gathering chestnuts outdoors or buying them in the grocery store, the selection of good ones is the same. Look for firm, shiny nuts without pits or broken skin. Make sure they do not rattle – that means the nut inside has dried out or rotted.

    Refrigerate your chestnuts if you aren’t going to prepare them right away – unlike many nuts, they’re highly perishable. You can even freeze them.

    One of the best ways to enjoy chestnuts is fresh from the roasting pan while they are still warm. You don’t have to have an open fire to make wonderful tasty chestnuts.

    How to Roast Chestnuts

    1. With a small, sharp, serrated knife, cut a shallow slit in the rounded side of each chestnut shell (you don’t have to cut an X shape).
    2. Squeeze the nut slightly to open the slit.
    3. Place the nuts in a saucepan and cover with cold water; add a pinch of sea salt.
    4. Bring them to a boil; as soon as the water boils, drain the nuts.
    5. Pour drained nuts into a cast iron skillet; place skillet into a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes.
    6. Put roasted chestnuts into a bowl, cover with a towel, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Open the shells along the slit and enjoy!

    Remember, chestnuts are not dry and crunchy; they have a potato-like texture that goes well with a little sea salt for a 100% alkalizing treat.

    Enjoy!

    References

    1 McLean, Jacques, Selhub, et al. “Homocysteine as a predictive factor for hip fracture in older persons.” New England Journal of Medicine. 2004.
    2 Feskanich D. et al. “Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: a prospective study.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999

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21 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. melody January 6, 2014, 4:12 am

    I live in South Africa and chestnuts are not available here,my son bought a bag pre packed and cooked from the U.K. Cooking instructions place bag in boiling water for 5min open and serve,will these nuts still have all the nutrients? Thanks Vivien for all your informative emails warmest regards Melody

  2. shula December 11, 2013, 3:30 pm

    good to know this information about chestnuts. Confused about the water-alkalizing effect on them. If the water is what makes them alkaline, maybe we can eat all nuts with water, and thus turn all of them into alkalizing nuts?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 12, 2013, 8:03 am

      I am sorry for any confusion, Shula! The pH level of individual foods is determined by burning them and testing the ashes for a PH reading. The water content of chestnuts is just one aspect of their alkalizing nature; it is not *the* thing that makes them alkaline. The bottom line is that the ash residue of chestnuts has an alkaline pH, and the ash residue of many other nuts is acidic. :)

      And I’m afraid you can’t make other nuts – or any food – alkaline by adding water. :)

  3. dora nini December 8, 2013, 11:05 am

    Thank you and I would like to share some of my concerns with Mrs. Vivian Goldschmidt, about just being diagnosed with osteoporosis and naturally treatment. Thank you and all the best. Dora

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 8, 2013, 4:26 pm

      Welcome, Dora! You have come to the right place if you are looking for drug-free options for managing your osteoporosis! Feel free to participate in the conversations and look over everything on the site. You are welcome to contact customer service (support@saveourbones.com) with any questions you may have. :)

  4. Joan December 7, 2013, 5:04 pm

    Received my book Vivian very pleased with it,like the tip on eating alkalising food before we go out to eat great tip for me as I always find it dufficult to get that kind of food when I eat out and about eating an apple also makes since.

  5. B Ean December 7, 2013, 5:42 am

    The chestnuts can also be taken steamed.

  6. Patty December 6, 2013, 6:21 pm

    I have a chestnut tree in my yard. How do I know if it is an edible chestnut?

    • Jackie December 7, 2013, 1:58 pm

      The difference between edible and non edible (horse chestnuts) are the leaves in which the non edible has five lobes and the fruit itself which isn’t as spiky as the edible.

  7. Kathleen December 5, 2013, 10:13 pm

    Sounds like a good snack, I love popcorn also. I know corn is acidifying but is popcorn ok to eat on occasion?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 6, 2013, 7:12 pm

      Like all acidifying foods, Kathleen, popcorn is fine in moderation. :) Just make it part of your 20% acidifying foods for the day!

  8. Renee December 5, 2013, 1:11 pm

    One more tip. I like mine a little over cooked a little crusty. They taste better this way.
    Enjoy :-)

  9. Renee December 5, 2013, 1:08 pm

    I love Chestnuts, when we were children we ate them all the time.
    I did not know they are alkaline. Thanks for the tip. We broiled them without boiling them. We would slit them in the middle and put them on an open fire or in a toaster oven. You can tell from the beautiful smell when they are done and ready to eat. I live in California now, we rarely see chestnuts to purchase these days.
    Happy Holidays to all of you.
    Renee

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 5, 2013, 2:22 pm

      And Happy Holidays to you and yours, Renee :)

  10. Jean December 5, 2013, 11:06 am

    We had a huge tree in our backyard when I was a child, We called the nuts it produced “horse chestnuts” and thought them to be inedible, but we collected them, took them out of their prickly shells, and carved them, and generally made lots of stuff for our dolls. Now I’m wondering if they were “American Chestnuts” as posted by another person. The tree was my favorite to climb, but it’s now long gone. Thanks for the instructions; guess I’ll try some!

  11. Carol Carbery December 5, 2013, 10:33 am

    Thanks for the information on Chestnuts.
    I was born in the West Indies and I remember eating chestnuts as a child. I had forgotten about these nuts so I will see if we can get them in Canada.

    I will remember to check to see that they look and feel good before buying.
    Thanks again

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 6, 2013, 7:11 pm

      I hope you are able to find chestnuts this season, Carol!

  12. Nu Ly December 5, 2013, 5:12 am

    I like chestnut, my families don’t like it. There are so many kind of nutrition, it’s pity to
    abandon it. Since several months ago, I had so many horrible sick, I hardly believe
    I can still alive today, several emergency calls. who give me this power to awake me?
    it’s you, Vivian. Because I owe you a report, I had not finish my duty, How is my
    osteoporosis going on? I should let you know, otherwise wastes your time to give many
    valuable e-mails to me. I go to the long way and make so many mistakes, anyway,
    in here, I wish you and your families have a merry Christmas. Nu Ly

  13. Eugenia K. Bober December 5, 2013, 5:02 am

    Back in the early 1920s, my father would drive the family to the Belleville, Michigan area. There the rural roads were lined with American chestnut trees; remnants of the vast American chestnut forests in Michigan. Chestnuts were free for the picking off the ground along the sides of the right-of-way. We brought home boxes filled with the prickly nuts, about the size of my then 4-year-old fist. The nuts were spread over the attic floor to dry. The prickly skin would split and the brown nuts fell out. We peeled off the shiny brown skin and ate the creamy-white nuts raw. What a marvelous, intense, sweet flavor!!!!

    Unfortunately, some chestnut trees infected with blight were imported from Europe. Disaster!!!!! The blight spread like wild fire across the US killing, in short order, all American chestnut trees.

    I quit buying imported chestnuts. All have been bland and tasteless…. well no, maybe one or two in a bagfull would have the proper American chestnut flavor. This past fall, I have bought what were supposed to be nuts from miracle survivors of Michigan’s original American chestnut trees. Nope. Imposters!!!! They are tasteless like the European imports.

    Great-grandma B. (Yes, I’m 90.)

  14. diane December 5, 2013, 3:25 am

    It is past our season for chestnuts now in Aus. They are yummy,but when on a low carb. plan they seem too high at 11 grams per 30gm of cooked nut.It is good to know
    that they are alkalizing though,so thanks Vivian.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 5, 2013, 2:21 pm

      You’re very welcome, Diane!

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