Are Chestnuts Good for You?

Medically Reviewed on 5/20/2021
chestnut health benefits
Chestnuts are rich in dietary fibers, minerals, good fats, vitamins and antioxidants

Chestnuts are rich in dietary fibers, minerals, good fats, vitamins, antioxidants and other important nutrients. They are also low in fat and high in vitamin C and are more similar to fruits than other nuts. 

These unique nuts have a spiny husk and a dark brown shell, both of which should be removed before eating, and can be eaten raw, roasted, ground into flour or mixed into pastries.

What are the health benefits of chestnuts?

Chestnuts have a ton of health benefits to offer:

Relieves digestive issues

Chestnuts are loaded with dietary fiber, which encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. Dietary fiber also stimulates a wave-like motion in the intestines, helping your body with bowel movements and preventing inflammation and discomfort.

Boosts immune system

The high vitamin C content in chestnuts boosts the immune system by:

  • Increasing the production of white blood cells
  • Identifying and neutralizing free radicals inside the body before they cause oxidative stress in healthy cells

Apart from vitamin C, chestnuts also have antioxidants and other trace minerals like copper which are also great for immune system health.

Prevents heart diseases 

Chestnuts are chock-full of good fats, which help:

These health benefits can help you protect yourself from heart attack, stroke and other heart diseases.

Manages blood sugar levels

Chestnuts have a low glycemic index and are rich in fiber, making them an ideal option for uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Eating a high-fiber diet helps you avoid sudden blood sugar spikes by ensuring that your body absorbs the starches slowly. This is especially beneficial for people with diabetes

Increases bone mineral density

The copper and magnesium in chestnuts play a crucial role in maintaining bone health: 

  • Copper improves the absorption of iron, which helps bone growth and development and boosts the immune system. 
  • Magnesium improves bone mineral density along with other health benefits. 

Chestnuts are therefore helpful in preventing or slowing the onset of many age-related disorders, such as osteoporosis.

Prevents chronic illness

Free radicals in the body can cause healthy cells to mutate, resulting in cancer and other chronic illnesses. Chestnut contains manganese and other antioxidants that fight these free radicals. Manganese also helps prevent blood clotting issues.

Helps control blood pressure

The potassium content in chestnuts can help manage blood pressure by:

  • Controlling the movement of water in the body
  • Alleviating the effects of sodium by increasing blood flow and releasing the pressure on constricted blood vessels and arteries

Chestnuts nutrition facts

Table: Nutritional value per 100 grams of raw chestnuts (Source: USDA National Nutrient database)
Principle Nutritional Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 213 Kcal 11%
Carbohydrates 45.54 g 35%
Protein 2.42 g 4%
Total Fat 2.26 g 10%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary fiber 8.1 g 21%
Vitamins
Folates 62 µg 15.5%
Niacin 1.179 mg 7%
Pantothenic acid 0.509 mg 11%
Pyridoxine 0.376 mg 29%
Riboflavin 0.168 mg 13%
Thiamin 0.238 mg 20%
Vitamin A 28 IU 1%
Vitamin C 43 mg 72%
Electrolytes
Sodium 3 mg 0%
Potassium 518 mg 11%
Minerals
Calcium 27 mg 3%
Copper 0.447 mg 50%
Iron 1.01 mg 13%
Magnesium 32 mg 8%
Manganese 0.952 mg 41%
Phosphorus 93 mg 19%
Zinc 0.52 mg 5%
Phytonutrients
Phytosterols 22 µg --

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Medically Reviewed on 5/20/2021
References
WebMD. Chestnuts: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Uses. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-chestnuts#1

Nutrition and You. Chestnuts Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/chestnuts.html

Rodrigues P, Ferreira T, Nascimento-Gonçalves E, et al. Dietary Supplementation with Chestnut (Castanea sativa) Reduces Abdominal Adiposity in FVB/n Mice: A Preliminary Study. Biomedicines. 2020;8(4):75. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235886/