4 Surprising Health Benefits of Chestnuts


Chestnuts roasting on an open fire means one thing: Christmas. It’s literally the first line of the “The Christmas Song,” but the holiday staple deserves a spot in more than just carols and stuffing. These starchy nuts pack in a surprising dose of fiber, vitamin C, and important minerals like copper and potassium. Here’s exactly what’s inside those tough hulls.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 ounce, roasted

  • 70 calories
  • 0.6 g total fat
  • 15 g carbohydrates
  • 1.4 g dietary fiber (5%)
  • 3 g sugar
  • 0.9 g protein
  • vitamin C 12% DV
  • vitamin B-6 5% DV
  • copper 7% DV
  • manganese 17% DV
  • potassium 4% DV
  • magnesium 2% DV

Health Benefits Of Chestnuts

Unlike most other nuts, chestnuts contain little protein or fat and chiefly provide complex carbs. That doesn’t mean they skimp on essential nutrients: Chestnuts supply vitamins and minerals that benefit your body from head to toe.

The Fiber Improves Digestion

Just 10 roasted chestnuts include 17% of what you need for the day — a major plus considering most of us don’t get nearly enough. Americans eat on average about 16 grams of fiber per day, half of the recommended amount of 25 to 30 grams. Fiber in plant-based foods like nuts can help maintain GI health, lower LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels, and contribute toward a healthy weight by filling you up, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The Complex Carbs Will You Keep You Energized Longer

While almonds and peanuts pack in the protein, chestnuts predominantly contain complex carbohydrates, which your body digests slowly for a stable energy source. Foods high in fiber and complex carbs also have a less immediate effect on blood sugar, reducing potential spikes, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Nutrition Source states.

It’s important to score chestnuts before roasting so they don’t explode from internal pressure. LISA HUBBARDGETTY IMAGES

The Vitamin C Contributes To Healthy Tissues

While it’s more famous for boosting your immune system, vitamin C actually supports the formation of blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen throughout your body. The antioxidant also protects your cells against the damaging effects of free radicals and aids in the absorption and storage of iron.

Copper Helps Form Red Blood Cells

Like vitamin C, this trace mineral supports the health of your blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones and assists in iron absorption, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. About 10 roasted chestnuts supply 21% of the recommended daily amount.

How to Eat Them

“While they’re lower in fat and protein compared to other tree nuts and legumes, chestnuts make for an easy-to-use ingredient that’s also nutritious and, despite their association with the whole ‘holiday feast’ season, actually relatively low in calories,” says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “They’re great for grinding into flour; using as a swap for croutons in salads; topping soups, stews, and stir frys; or eating as a snack in their own right.”

To get the best benefits, skip the sweetened chestnut purees or syrup-filled jars and choose pre-cooked kinds without added ingredients. Or buy ’em fresh and try roasting or boiling the nuts yourself. (FYI: Water chestnuts and horse chestnuts are different things altogether.)

Besides the traditional salads, stuffings, and soups, chestnuts pair well with pretty much all of your favorite fall and winter flavors, including apples, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turkey, pork, sage, thyme, and mushroom.

Important Notice: This article was originally published at www.goodhousekeeping.com b Caroline Picard where all credits are due.


The watching, interacting, and participation of any kind with anything on this page does not constitute or initiate a doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Farrah®. None of the statements here have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products of Dr. Farrah® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information being provided should only be considered for education and entertainment purposes only. If you feel that anything you see or hear may be of value to you on this page or on any other medium of any kind associated with, showing, or quoting anything relating to Dr. Farrah® in any way at any time, you are encouraged to and agree to consult with a licensed healthcare professional in your area to discuss it. If you feel that you’re having a healthcare emergency, seek medical attention immediately. The views expressed here are simply either the views and opinions of Dr. Farrah® or others appearing and are protected under the first amendment.

Dr. Farrah® is a highly experienced Licensed Medical Doctor certified in evidence-based clinical nutrition, not some enthusiast, formulator, or medium promoting the wild and unrestrained use of nutrition products for health issues without clinical experience and scientific evidence of therapeutic benefit. Dr. Farrah® has personally and keenly studied everything she recommends, and more importantly, she’s closely observed the reactions and results in a clinical setting countless times over the course of her career involving the treatment of over 150,000 patients.

Dr. Farrah® promotes evidence-based natural approaches to health, which means integrating her individual scientific and clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. By individual clinical expertise, I refer to the proficiency and judgment that individual clinicians acquire through clinical experience and clinical practice.

Dr. Farrah® does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of any multimedia content provided. Dr. Farrah® does not warrant the performance, effectiveness, or applicability of any sites listed, linked, or referenced to, in, or by any multimedia content.

To be clear, the multimedia content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any website, video, image, or media of any kind. Dr. Farrah® hereby disclaims any and all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the content, which is provided as is, and without warranties.