What are chestnuts?

Chestnuts are the fruit of trees of the genus Castanea, belonging to the beech family. There are four main species in the beech tree family: Castanea sativa vulgaris in Europe, Castanea dentata in North America, and in China and Chinese chestnut Castanea crenata in Japan.


What are the nutritional properties of chestnuts?

100 g of chestnut (Castanea vulgaris) provide 165 calories broken down as follows:

  • 84% carbohydrates
  • 7% protein
  • 9% lipids

In particular, 100 grams of chestnut (Castanea vulgaris) provide:

  • 55.8 g of water
  • 2.9 g of protein
  • 1.7 g of lipids
  • 25.3 g of starch
  • 8.9 g of soluble sugars
  • 4.7 g of fiber, of which
    • 0.37 g of soluble fiber
    • 4.33 g of insoluble fiber

Among the vitamins and minerals, 100 g of chestnut (Castanea vulgaris) provide:

  • 1.11 mg of niacin
  • 0.28 mg of riboflavin
  • 0.08 mg of thiamine
  • 395 g of potassium
  • 30 mg of calcium
  • 81 mg of phosphorus
  • 9 mg of sodium
  • 0.9 mg of iron
  • 0.4 g of copper


When should you not eat chestnuts?

There is no conditions in which the consumption of chestnuts could interfere with drugs or other substances.


Seasonality of chestnuts

In most regions the season of chestnuts is from October to December.


Possible benefits and drawbacks of chestnuts

The high content of fiber which is a characteristic of chestnuts makes for a low-glycemic index food, suitable to avoid dangerous spikes in blood sugar concentrations. In contrast to other nuts these fruits are less rich in oxalate, a molecule that can promote the formation of kidney stones. The chestnut’s strength is the lipid content which is lower than that of other nuts making it a good source of essential fatty acids. This is important for proper development during childhood to stay healthy in adulthood, especially linoleic acid. Chestnuts are also a source of oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fatty acid that is attributable for several health benefits associated with the consumption of olive oil.

Chestnuts can be sources of allergens.