Chestnuts are the fruit of the
chestnut tree, which grows in temperate climates and from which the main
processed product is honey. The most well known chestnuts in the region of
Messinia are those from Taygetos and Ambeliona while the varieties grown in the
region are the European and Parnona. Every year on 28 October the people of the
village of Ambeliona, which is situated near the Neda river, hold a chestnut
festival where they prepare dishes with this local product.
Chestnuts contain vegetable proteins, carbohydrates and vegetable fats. Chestnuts have less fat than other nuts, but their fat is "good" fat, that is, monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fat. Vitamins in chestnuts include A, B, and E. Vitamin E is an extremely potent antioxidant, which safeguards cells and genetic material from free radicals. Moreover, chestnuts have a large amount of folic acid, a substance necessary for women undergoing their first months of pregnancy or intend to become pregnant and for people with an increased risk for coronary heart disease. Furthermore, chestnuts contain minerals and trace elements, which have been linked to numerous health benefits.