According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), chestnuts are regarded as “fruit for the kidney and patients with renal diseases.” It is a warming food that nourishes the qi of the gastrointestinal system, spleen, and kidneys. Kidney nourishment is especially important for those who have a sore lumbar spine, frequent urination at night, or loose teeth.
Chestnuts are also used in TCM to improve circulation, and are eaten daily by the elderly in China to prevent and treat high blood pressure, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and osteoporosis. Additionally, the chestnut is high in carbohydrates. Its energy warming quality is good for suppressing and combating colds. It is also used as a tonic food during the autumn and winter.
Before chestnuts can be cooked to make delicious dishes, the shell has to be removed. After washing and drying them, slice each side of the shell and microwave on high for 2 minutes. After letting them cool a little, the shell can easily be removed.
The Chinese recipe “Chestnuts fried with sugar” involves frying them in a cauldron of sand drizzled with sugar syrup. The purpose of the sand is to heat them evenly and also to retain their inherent sweetness. When they are finished cooking, chew them slowly. If you eat too many at once, you can harm your spleen and stomach. They might not taste sweet at first, but the sweetness will eventually come out. This unique sweet flavor is known as the “flavor of happiness.” Other recipes using chestnuts include pork shoulder soup and fried chicken with chestnuts.
Eating chestnuts raw can be just as beneficial to one’s health as eating them cooked. According to TCM, eating raw chestnuts can cure lower back and leg problems caused by weak kidneys. Every morning and evening, the patient should slowly chew a few chestnuts until they become a white pulp, and then slowly swallow. Eaten with pig kidney porridge, over time, the patient’s physical condition will surely improve.
About 5 to 10 chestnuts a day is considered enough. Since a child’s digestive system is less developed, children should eat fewer chestnuts. Chestnuts are also high in sugar content, so those with diabetes should avoid eating too many.