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At one time, one in every four hardwood trees in some parts of the United States was an American Chestnut. That situation changed with a blight that first arrived in 1904 on some Chinese Chestnut trees, which had resistance to the blight, though the American species did not. This blight virtually wiped out the American Chestnut by the 1940s. Today the chestnuts we eat are from a European variety, though efforts are ongoing to develop a blight-resistant American Chestnut so that the tree can be reintroduced to the United States.
Chestnuts are unusual nuts—they are low in fat and have a high starch content, and they provide vitamin C. They served as a staple food for the poor in many parts of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, when they were made into breads and soups as well as being eaten roasted.
Nutritionally, chestnuts are lower in calories than most nuts, primarily because they are lower in fats. They are a good source of carbohydrate, and they provide fiber and protein. Chestnuts are also a source of the minerals calcium, potassium, and iron.
Nutritional Facts :
One ounce of raw European chestnuts (2˝ nuts) provides 60 calories, 12.9 g carbohydrate, 0.7 g protein, 0.6 g fat, 2.3 g dietary fiber, 8 IU vitamin A, 12 mg vitamin C, 18 mcg folic acid, 147 mg potassium, 26 mg phosphorus, 8 mg calcium, and 9 mg magnesium.

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