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Chestnut vs Hazelnut - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on April 01, 2021
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Chestnut
vs
Hazelnut

SUMMARY

Hazelnuts contain more vitamins, minerals, protein, and less sodium than chestnuts. On the other hand, chestnuts are lower in sugars in calories and have a higher level of Vitamin C. Hazelnuts contain 74 times more Vitamin E and eight times more zinc than chestnuts.

Introduction

Hazelnuts are the nuts of the hazel tree, while chestnuts are a genus of plants. The name chestnut refers to the edible nuts they produce. This article will explore all aspects of hazelnut and chestnut, focusing on their health impact and nutrition.

Varieties

Hazelnuts are the fruit of the hazel; they include any nuts of the genus Corylus, also known as filberts or cobnuts. Hazelnut has slight notes of musty and earthy. The chestnuts are a group of eight or nine species of trees and shrubs in the genus Castanea. Hazelnuts are bigger than chestnuts. Chestnuts have a slightly sweet flavor, more like sweet potato than another type of nut. Chestnuts are native to the Northern Hemisphere.

Uses

Hazelnuts are used in desserts, baking, and in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles. The oil from hazelnut is used as a cooking oil. The most popular hazelnut products are chocolate bars, hazelnut cocoa spread, Nutella, and Frangelico liqueur. Chestnuts may be great to make winter soup in desserts. They are used in baked cakes, salads or mixing into stuffing with cranberries or apples [1] [2].

Nutrition

The nutritional profile of these nuts is very different. Both are rich in micronutrients; however, we created the nutritional infographic to understand the difference better. Have a look below.

Micronutrients

Overall, hazelnuts are more affluent in micronutrients than chestnuts. Hazelnuts contain seven times more protein and nine times more fiber than chestnuts. The level of fats in hazelnuts also is higher. Chestnuts contain fewer sugars than hazelnuts. Both nuts contain no cholesterol [3].

Calories

In general, hazelnuts contain more calories than chestnuts. Each hazelnut has about 628 calories per 100 g, while each chestnut contains 131 calories per 100 g [4].

Vitamins

The vitamin content of hazelnut is higher than that of chestnuts. Hazelnuts contain five times more Vitamin B1, three times more Folate, and two times more Vitamin B6 than chestnuts. Vitamin K, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin B5 are also higher in hazelnuts than in chestnuts. On the other hand, chestnuts contain more Vitamin C. The amount of this Vitamin C is four times higher in chestnuts. Both nuts lack Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B9 entirely, and both are equal in Vitamin B2 [5] [6].

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin C +323.8%
Contains more Vitamin A +17.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +334.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +146.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +190.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +141.6%
Contains more Folate +197.4%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.113
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 0% 0% 89% 37% 24% 14% 19% 54% 29% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 301% 0% 21% 161% 27% 34% 56% 130% 85% 0% 36%
Contains more Vitamin C +323.8%
Contains more Vitamin A +17.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +334.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +146.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +190.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +141.6%
Contains more Folate +197.4%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.113

Minerals

Overall, hazelnuts have a higher mineral summary than chestnuts. It contains two more magnesium, two phosphorus, and eight times more zinc than chestnuts. The levels of iron, calcium, and copper are also higher in hazelnuts. Moreover, this nut has less sodium than chestnut. The amount of potassium is equal in these nuts [7].

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +147.8%
Contains more Iron +171.7%
Contains more Magnesium +201.9%
Contains more Phosphorus +192.9%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +880%
Contains more Copper +265.5%
Equal in Potassium - 680
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 14% 65% 39% 43% 64% 4% 7% 158%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 35% 177% 117% 125% 60% 0% 67% 575%
Contains more Calcium +147.8%
Contains more Iron +171.7%
Contains more Magnesium +201.9%
Contains more Phosphorus +192.9%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Zinc +880%
Contains more Copper +265.5%
Equal in Potassium - 680

Potassium

Potassium is an essential mineral, helping to reduce the risk of kidney stones and helps to normalize water balance and blood pressure in the body. In this case, these nuts have an equal potassium level. Both contain 715 mg potassium per 100g [8].

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is the relative ranking of carbohydrates in food. The difference between the glycemic indexes of these nuts is vast. The estimated glycemic index of chestnuts is 52, whereas the glycemic index of hazelnut is about 15. Hazelnuts are considered a low glycemic index food. The acidity (pH) of these nuts is almost equal; it is 5.9 – 6.3.

Health Benefits

Weight Loss

In low-calorie and low-fat diets, chestnuts are a good choice; they contain low calories and fats.

Unlike chestnuts, hazelnuts have more calories and fats; despite that, hazelnuts can also be used in some diets. If you are on a low carbs diet, such as the Keto diet, hazelnuts are the better choice. Moreover, they have a low glycemic index, suitable for low GI or Medium GI diets [9] [10].

Cardiovascular Health

Research shows that eating nuts may be suitable for your heart [11]. Antioxidants and minerals may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues, such as heart disease or stroke. Hazelnuts and chestnuts are rich in potassium, which is required to keep the heart beating by keeping electricity flowing throughout the human body. Moreover, hazelnuts are also high in antioxidants, such as oleic acid, phytosterols (mainly b-sitosterol), vitamin E, and squalene, which may lower cholesterol levels in the blood [12] [13].

Cancer

Chestnuts are a great source of Vitamin C, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and tannins, which have potent antioxidant effects on the human body. According to one study, chestnuts may cure stomach cancer, epistaxis, and hemafecia. On the other hand, hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin E, an excellent dietary source of natural antioxidants. Research shows that some neolignans (cedrusin and balanophonin, and gallic acid) can inhibit the growth of human cancer cells. Besides, hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin B6, which may help fight several types of cancer [14] [15].

Improve Brain Function

First of all, hazelnuts are rich in the Vitamin B family, directly linked to proper neurological development and function. According to researchers, the micronutrients and antioxidants in hazelnuts may protect the brain from oxidative stress. Besides, the tocotrienol-rich products can help to protect brain cells from diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Moreover, hazelnuts and chestnuts are rich in potassium, increasing blood flow to the brain and promoting good nervous system health [16] [17].

Boost Immune System

Research shows that vitamin C may help people to recover more quickly from the common cold.

The high level of vitamin C makes chestnuts an ideal boost to your immune system. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells production and acts as an antioxidant, reducing the risk of formation of free radicals and neutralizing them before they cause healthy cells to mutate or induce oxidative stress near vital organs [18] [19].

Diabetes

According to studies, nuts, such as hazelnut or chestnut, can help to reduce blood sugar levels.

Research shows that oleic acid in hazelnuts has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity in 11 people with type 2 diabetes. Results show that a diet rich in these nuts can reduce HDL-C concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes [20].

Improving Hair and Skin Health

Hazelnuts are rich in zinc, which is an essential mineral for human health. This mineral may help to promote the formation of collagen to make healthy hair growth. By using hazelnut oil for scalp massages, you may stimulate the hair follicles and nourish them. Moreover, hazelnuts are a great source of Vitamin E, which can help your skin look young and vibrant. On the other hand, chestnuts are rich in Vitamin C, decreasing oxidative stress and keeping your skin healthy [21] [22].

Pregnancy

Studies show eating nuts during early pregnancy provides long-term benefits for a child's motor and cognitive development. Moreover, hazelnuts are a great source of omega-3s, which are essential during pregnancy. On the other hand, chestnuts contain folic acid, which can help to prevent congenital disabilities in newborns. Nevertheless, eat chestnuts in moderation to avoid excessive weight gain, which is undesirable during pregnancy [23].

Downsides and Risks

Allergy

Patients that are allergic to tree pollen allergy have an allergy to hazelnuts. The symptoms are common and usually include itching, swelling, burning in the mouth and throat.

In cases of allergy to chestnut, the allergen responsible for the reaction is likely to be one of the lipid transfer proteins—30% of patients with chestnut-allergic experience severe anaphylactic episodes of ingestion. Symptoms usually include wheezing, throat swelling, and breathing difficulty [24].

References

  1. http://www.fao.org/3/x4484e/x4484e03.htm
  2. https://journals.ashs.org/horttech/view/journals/horttech/10/2/article-p296.xml
  3. Nuts: source of energy and macronutrients
  4. https://sci-hub.se/10.1017/S095442241100014X
  5. http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/SERVER/APJCN/17/s1/329.pdf
  6. https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2009.02155.x
  7. https://sci-hub.se/https://doi.org/10.1016/S0048-9697(02)00611-3
  8. https://sci-hub.se/10.1017/BJN20061862
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32006366/
  10. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2011/357350/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24398275/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27897978/
  13. https://sci-hub.se/10.1016/b978-0-12-375688-6.10072-6
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133749/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4127821/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790869/
  17. http://www.bourre.fr/pdf/publications_scientifiques/259.pdf
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17636648/
  19. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814611003943
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793377/
  21. A potential medicinal importance of zinc in human health and chronic disease
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
  23. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.200710-1544OC
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811165/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: April 01, 2021

Infographic

Chestnut vs Hazelnut infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Chestnut Hazelnut
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Chestnut Hazelnut Opinion
Net carbs 27.76g 7g Chestnut
Protein 2g 14.95g Hazelnut
Fats 1.38g 60.75g Hazelnut
Carbs 27.76g 16.7g Chestnut
Calories 131kcal 628kcal Hazelnut
Starch g 0.48g Hazelnut
Fructose g 0.07g Hazelnut
Sugar g 4.34g Chestnut
Fiber g 9.7g Hazelnut
Calcium 46mg 114mg Hazelnut
Iron 1.73mg 4.7mg Hazelnut
Magnesium 54mg 163mg Hazelnut
Phosphorus 99mg 290mg Hazelnut
Potassium 715mg 680mg Chestnut
Sodium 27mg 0mg Hazelnut
Zinc 0.25mg 2.45mg Hazelnut
Copper 0.472mg 1.725mg Hazelnut
Vitamin A 17IU 20IU Hazelnut
Vitamin E mg 15.03mg Hazelnut
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 26.7mg 6.3mg Chestnut
Vitamin B1 0.148mg 0.643mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B2 0.104mg 0.113mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B3 0.731mg 1.8mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B5 0.316mg 0.918mg Hazelnut
Vitamin B6 0.233mg 0.563mg Hazelnut
Folate 38µg 113µg Hazelnut
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K µg 14.2µg Hazelnut
Tryptophan 0.022mg 0.193mg Hazelnut
Threonine 0.071mg 0.497mg Hazelnut
Isoleucine 0.079mg 0.545mg Hazelnut
Leucine 0.118mg 1.063mg Hazelnut
Lysine 0.118mg 0.42mg Hazelnut
Methionine 0.047mg 0.221mg Hazelnut
Phenylalanine 0.084mg 0.663mg Hazelnut
Valine 0.112mg 0.701mg Hazelnut
Histidine 0.055mg 0.432mg Hazelnut
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 0.26g 4.464g Chestnut
Monounsaturated Fat 0.476g 45.652g Hazelnut
Polyunsaturated fat 0.545g 7.92g Hazelnut

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Chestnut Hazelnut
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
22
Chestnut
71
Hazelnut
Mineral Summary Score
49
Chestnut
144
Hazelnut

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
12%
Chestnut
90%
Hazelnut
Carbohydrates
28%
Chestnut
17%
Hazelnut
Fats
6%
Chestnut
280%
Hazelnut

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut contains less Sodium (difference - 27mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is lower in glycemic index (difference - 39)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Hazelnut
Hazelnut is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Chestnut
Chestnut is lower in Sugar (difference - 4.34g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Chestnut
Chestnut is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 4.204g)
Which food is cheaper?
Chestnut
Chestnut is cheaper (difference - $0.2)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Chestnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170168/nutrients
  2. Hazelnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170581/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.