The chestnut is a plant native to the Mediterranean and is extremely widespread throughout the Italian territory, especially in the Alps and the Apennines, especially between 300 and 1000 meters.
It is a tall tree, which can reach up to thirty meters, which has broad, lanceolate leaves with rather serrated margins.
The development of the chestnut is particularly slow and manages to reach all its extraordinary beauty once at least fifty years have passed (it is a plant that can reach over a thousand years of life).
The chestnut tree is part of the Fagaceae family.
Chestnuts are made up of about 50% water, 45% carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibers and ashes; it should also be emphasized the presence of minerals, including sodium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese.
As far as vitamins are concerned, we can underline the presence of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C and D.
Among the amino acids, however, the presence of aspartic acid, serine, threonine, leucine, proline, alanine, glycine and glutamic acid can be highlighted.
The leaves of the Chestnut plant are extremely rich in beneficial properties and are able to carry out an adjuvant action or even be associated with other plants such as, for example, Eucalyptus, but also Thyme and Drosera, to counteract whooping cough or pertussoid forms.
The chestnut buds, on the other hand, are characterized by acting on the different lymphatic vessels, performing a substantially drainage action on the lymphatic circulation.
Chestnuts do not contain gluten and, for this reason, they can also be consumed by all those people who have celiac disease.
The chestnut is extremely digestible and is characterized by being suggested in all those cases of anemia and inappetence, especially by means of the abundant presence of fibers that are very useful for the functionality of the intestine.
The chestnut is also extremely useful in cases of pregnancy, especially due to the presence of folic acid, being able to carry out a preventive function in the formation of various malformations at the fetal level.
Since they are extremely rich in minerals, chestnuts are also indicated to counteract chronic fatigue, as well as to all those people who have to recover their strength following the flu.
The potassium contained in chestnuts, on the other hand, proves to be quite useful for strengthening muscles, while phosphorus plays a supportive action as regards the formation of nervous tissue; sulfur has a purely antiseptic and disinfectant action, while sodium is extremely useful for digestion and, finally, magnesium is able to actively act on the regeneration of nerves.
Finally, thanks to the good quantity of phosphorus vitamin Bee present in chestnuts, the latter are able to contribute to the maintenance of a good nervous balance and, due to the presence of sugars, can represent a good alternative food for all those children suffering from a milk allergy.
Chestnuts represent the fruit of the chestnut tree and are completely healthy and nutritious, so much so that in the past they were used as a fundamental food for the people, to the point of being considered as the "bread of the people".
Especially thanks to their content in complex carbohydrates, chestnuts can be considered a real staple food, which has the particular characteristic of being able to replace the most important cereals.
Even the Greek historian Xenophon, who lived between 430 and 355 BC, said that the chestnut tree could be compared to a sort of "bread tree".
From chestnuts it is also possible to obtain the homonymous flour, which is the basic ingredient for a large number of desserts, but also many polenta.
From a nutritional point of view, chestnuts correspond to a qualitatively important food, above all thanks to the high percentage of starches that are integrated with a good content of fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins.
These are characteristics that, accompanied by an excellent degree of digestibility, allow chestnuts to be considered a valid food also for athletes.
During cooking, much of the starch is reduced to simple sugars, giving the chestnuts a traditional sweet taste and are not recommended for those suffering from diabetes.
Especially because of their remarkable nutritional value, within the popular pharmacopoeia they are recommended in cases of avitaminosis, anemia and debilitation.
The infusion and decoction, which are extremely rich in tannins, are very useful for fighting bronchitis and diarrhea.
Thanks to the antiseptic action that chestnuts are able to carry out, infusions of chestnut leaves to gargle, being an excellent remedy to counteract inflammations that affect the throat and mouth.
Chestnut boiling water is a good fertilizer for chestnut plants.