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Acorns vs. Chestnut — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on April 10, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan
Acorns
vs
Chestnut

Summary

Chesnut is richer in potassium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins B1 and C. They are packed with ellagic and gallic acids, which provide positive health impacts. In comparison, acorns are higher in calories and carbs. They are richer in unsaturated fats, most B complex vitamins, copper, magnesium, and manganese.

Introduction

This article is a comparison between chestnuts and acorns. We will discuss general differences, nutritional content comparisons, and health impacts.

Are acorns and chestnuts the same? This is the most common question related to this topic. The answer is clear. No, they are not the same. Acorns are different from chestnuts; acorns come from the oak tree and are smaller with a lighter color, whereas chestnut comes from the chestnut tree and is larger and has a darker color.

When matured and roasted, chestnuts tend to have a sweeter taste and can be easily eaten. In contrast, acorns contain tannins which give acorns a bitter taste.

Now that we answered the main question about the difference between chestnuts and acorns, we can discuss their nutritional content differences and health impacts.

Nutritional content comparison

In this section, we will compare 100g of each nut.

Calories

Acorns contain nearly 2.7 times more calories compared to chestnuts. Acorns contain 387 calories per 100g, whereas chestnut contains 131 calories per 100g.

Carbs

Acorns contain a higher amount of carbs compared to chestnuts. Acorn contains nearly 40g of carbs, whereas chestnut contains 27g.

Proteins

Considerably, acorns are richer in proteins compared to chestnuts. Acorns contain 6g of protein compared to 2g in chestnuts.

Fats

Acorns are much higher in fats compared to chestnuts. Chestnut contains low amounts of fats, considerably negligible. However, acorns are high in fats, mostly in unsaturated forms.

Minerals

Chestnut is richer in potassium, phosphorus, and iron. In comparison, acorns are richer in manganese, magnesium, and copper.

They are packed with minerals; in the diagram below, we can visualize their difference.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Magnesium +14.8%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +104%
Contains more Copper +31.6%
Contains more Manganese +56.6%
Contains more Calcium +12.2%
Contains more Iron +119%
Contains more Phosphorus +25.3%
Contains more Potassium +32.7%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 13% 30% 45% 34% 48% 0% 14% 207% 175% 0%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 14% 65% 39% 43% 64% 4% 7% 158% 112% 0%
Contains more Magnesium +14.8%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +104%
Contains more Copper +31.6%
Contains more Manganese +56.6%
Contains more Calcium +12.2%
Contains more Iron +119%
Contains more Phosphorus +25.3%
Contains more Potassium +32.7%

Vitamins

Acorns are richer in vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate. In comparison, chestnuts are richer in vitamins B1 and C.

Both their vitamin profiles are rich, and we can see their comparative distribution in the diagrams below.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Acorns
6
:
Contains more Vitamin A +129.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +13.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +149.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +126.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +126.6%
Contains more Folate +128.9%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +32.1%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 3% 0% 0% 0% 28% 28% 35% 43% 122% 66% 0% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 2% 0% 0% 89% 37% 24% 14% 19% 54% 29% 0% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin A +129.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +13.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +149.9%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +126.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +126.6%
Contains more Folate +128.9%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +32.1%

Health impacts

In this section, we will focus on the differences each provides regarding their health impacts.

Antioxidative properties

Chestnuts are packed with gallic and ellagic acids, which have antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic activities. In addition, ellagic acid has neuroprotective properties. (1) (2)
Although chestnuts are packed with vitamin C, however, during the boiling or roasting process, vitamin C properties are lost because ascorbic acid is heat labile. (3)

Metabolic and cardiovascular health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Because the potassium in chestnuts and acorns may decrease arterial blood pressure, eating these foods may reduce the risk of developing arterial hypertension (4).

Chestnuts and acorns have beneficial effects on lipid control. According to this rat study, rats fed chestnut pericarp had significantly lower plasma total cholesterol in comparison to the control group (5). Consuming chestnuts in moderation on a regular basis can help to lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol, which is important for people with coronary heart disease (6).

Chestnuts are high in vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folates, all of which may aid in the prevention of various types of heart disease, such as heart attack and stroke (7).

Tannins and iron absorption

Acorns contain higher amounts of tannins compared to chestnuts. However, acorns and chestnuts contain tannins in uncooked forms. Castalgins form chelates with bioavailable iron that we consume and reduce their bioavailability. Thus it is essential not to eat acorns or chestnuts raw. (8)

Digestion

Section reviewed by gastroenterologist Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan

Acorn extracts have been shown to have beneficial effects on indigestion. One study concluded that after a few months of taking acorn extract, patients experienced improved digestion with reduced epigastric pain and fewer pain episodes. (9)

Allergy

Chestnuts and acorns are tree nuts that can have cross-reactivity in allergic reactions. It is essential to be cautious if you have tree nut allergies. (10)

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: April 10, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan

Infographic

Acorns vs Chestnut infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +207.5%
Contains more Fats +1629%
Contains more Carbs +46.8%
Contains more Other +88.7%
Contains more Water +144.3%
6% 24% 41% 28%
Protein: 6.15 g
Fats: 23.86 g
Carbs: 40.75 g
Water: 27.9 g
Other: 1.34 g
2% 28% 68%
Protein: 2 g
Fats: 1.38 g
Carbs: 27.76 g
Water: 68.15 g
Other: 0.71 g
Contains more Protein +207.5%
Contains more Fats +1629%
Contains more Carbs +46.8%
Contains more Other +88.7%
Contains more Water +144.3%

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +3074.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +743.3%
Contains less Saturated Fat -91.6%
14% 66% 20%
Saturated Fat: 3.102 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 15.109 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 4.596 g
20% 37% 43%
Saturated Fat: 0.26 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.476 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.545 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +3074.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +743.3%
Contains less Saturated Fat -91.6%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Acorns Chestnut
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Acorns Chestnut Opinion
Net carbs 40.75g 27.76g Acorns
Protein 6.15g 2g Acorns
Fats 23.86g 1.38g Acorns
Carbs 40.75g 27.76g Acorns
Calories 387kcal 131kcal Acorns
Calcium 41mg 46mg Chestnut
Iron 0.79mg 1.73mg Chestnut
Magnesium 62mg 54mg Acorns
Phosphorus 79mg 99mg Chestnut
Potassium 539mg 715mg Chestnut
Sodium 0mg 27mg Acorns
Zinc 0.51mg 0.25mg Acorns
Copper 0.621mg 0.472mg Acorns
Manganese 1.337mg 0.854mg Acorns
Vitamin A 39IU 17IU Acorns
Vitamin A RAE 2µg 1µg Acorns
Vitamin C 0mg 26.7mg Chestnut
Vitamin B1 0.112mg 0.148mg Chestnut
Vitamin B2 0.118mg 0.104mg Acorns
Vitamin B3 1.827mg 0.731mg Acorns
Vitamin B5 0.715mg 0.316mg Acorns
Vitamin B6 0.528mg 0.233mg Acorns
Folate 87µg 38µg Acorns
Tryptophan 0.074mg 0.022mg Acorns
Threonine 0.236mg 0.071mg Acorns
Isoleucine 0.285mg 0.079mg Acorns
Leucine 0.489mg 0.118mg Acorns
Lysine 0.384mg 0.118mg Acorns
Methionine 0.103mg 0.047mg Acorns
Phenylalanine 0.269mg 0.084mg Acorns
Valine 0.345mg 0.112mg Acorns
Histidine 0.17mg 0.055mg Acorns
Saturated Fat 3.102g 0.26g Chestnut
Monounsaturated Fat 15.109g 0.476g Acorns
Polyunsaturated fat 4.596g 0.545g Acorns

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Acorns Chestnut
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
25%
Acorns
20%
Chestnut
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
56%
Acorns
50%
Chestnut

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Chestnut
Chestnut is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 2.842g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Acorns
Acorns contains less Sodium (difference - 27mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Acorns
Acorns is lower in glycemic index (difference - 54)
Which food is cheaper?
Acorns
Acorns is cheaper (difference - $3)
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar ( g)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Acorns - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170157/nutrients
  2. Chestnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170168/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.