Chestnut | Chestnut Health Benefits, Nutrition and Uses



The chestnuts are the deciduous trees and shrubs in the genus Castanea, it is belonging to beech family Fagaceae. The Chestnut tree are native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The name Chestnut also refers to the edible nuts they produce. This chestnut is different than water chestnut, sweet chestnut and horse chestnuts.


The growth rates of chestnut trees range from slow for the Chinese chestnut tree to rapid for the American and European variety. Their mature heights range from the tiniest chinkapin species, which are frequently shrubby, to the C. dentata, a monster of former American forests that might reach a height of 60 metres. Between these two extremes, the Japanese chestnut (C. crenata), the Chinese chestnut (C. mollissima), the European chestnut (C. sativa), and the American chestnut (C. robur) are all to be found.

Simple, ovate or lanceolate, the leaves are 10–30 cm long, 4–10 cm wide, and have shallowly rounded sinuates between their sharply pointed, widely spaced teeth.

The blooms appear in late spring, early summer, or even into July, following the leaves. They are organised in two different kinds of long catkins, both of which are produced on every tree. Only male flowers, which mature early, make up some catkins. Eight stamens, or 10 to 12 for C. mollissima, are present in each flower.

A 5–11 cm in diameter spiny (extremely sharp) cupule, sometimes known as a "bur" or "burr," houses the fruit. Depending on the many species, variations, and cultivars, the burrs, which are frequently found in pairs or clusters on the branch, can contain one to seven nuts. The burrs change colour to a yellow-brown colour and split open into two or four sections as the fruits mature. Although they can hang on the tree for a longer period of time than they can hold the fruit, they often only fully open and release the fruit once it has hit the ground; this opening is somewhat influenced by soil humidity.

The chestnut fruit features a hilum, which is a light brown attachment scar, at one end and a pointy end with a little tuft at the tip (called a "flame" in Italian). The fruit is often flattened on one or both sides. Two skins cover it. The first one is a pericarpus, which is a firm, shiny, brown outer shell or husk; the industry refers to this as the "peel." A different, thinner skin layer known as the pellicle or episperm lies beneath the pericarpus. Following the grooves that are typically found at the fruit's surface, the pellicle sticks firmly to the seed. Depending on the species and type, these grooves come in a variety of diameters and depths.

Chestnut Nutrition

Since they have little protein or fat and mostly carbohydrates, chestnuts deviate from the usual for gourmet nuts. Compared to walnuts, almonds, other nuts, and dried fruit, fresh chestnut fruits have a dietary energy content per 100 g of edible components that is substantially lower at 820 kJ (200 kcal) (about 2,500 kJ or 600 kcal per 100 g).

60 percent of a 100-gram serving of raw chestnuts has 200 calories, 44 grammes of carbohydrates, 2 grammes of protein, and 1 gramme of fat (table). Chestnuts provide high amounts of nutritional minerals and B vitamins.

They have a comparable carbohydrate content to wheat and rice. As-is, chestnuts have twice as much starch as potatoes. They include about 8% of different sugars, primarily sucrose, glucose, and fructose, as well as smaller amounts of stachyose and raffinose, which the lower stomach ferments and releases gas from.

Chestnuts are one of the few "nuts" that contain vitamin C; a 100-gram serving has 48% of the daily recommended amount. When cooked, the amount of vitamin C drops by about 40%. About 52% of the weight of fresh chestnuts is made up of water, which evaporates very quickly during storage. At 20 C (68 F) and 70% relative humidity, they can lose as much as 1% of their body weight in a single day.

Chestnut Nutritional value per 100 g




200 kcal


44 g


1.6 g

FAT (Total)

1.3.4 g

Vitamins Quantity %DV†

Vitamin A


Thiamine (B1)


Riboflavin (B2)


Niacin (B3


Vitamin B6


Foliate (B9)


Vitamin C


Vitamin E


Vitamin K


Minerals Quantity %DV†


















Culinary Uses

Although the fruit can be peeled and eaten fresh, it can be astringent if the pellicle is left on.

Roasting the fruit is another way to consume it that does not entail peeling. To avoid fruit explosion due to expansion during roasting, the fruit must be scored beforehand. Once cooked, it has a texture that is somewhat like to a baked potato and tastes delicate, sweet, and nutty. This style of cooking, where the scored chestnuts may be fried along with a little sugar, is well-liked in many nations.

Chestnuts can be dried and ground into flour, which can then be used to make pasta, polenta (also known as pulenda in Corsica), bread, cakes, pies, pancakes, and sauces. Chestnut flour can be used to make chestnut cake. The flour is cooked into fritelli, which are similar to doughnuts, and used to make necci, pattoni, castagnacci, and cialdi in Corsica. The flour may be a lighter shade of beige, like that from Castagniccia, or it may be deeper. It is an effective way to store a wholesome meal for a long time. For up to two weeks, chestnut bread can be kept fresh.

The nuts can also be prepared in sweet or savoury recipes as candied, boiled, steamed, deep-fried, grilled, or roasted foods. In addition to other delicacies, they can be used to fill vegetables and birds. They come in fresh, dried, ground, and canned forms (whole or in puree).

Chestnuts that have been coated in sugar syrup and then iced are known as candied chestnuts or marrons glacés in French or kestane şekeri in Turkish ("sugared chestnuts").

Health Benefits of Chestnut

Chestnuts contain a lot of vitamin C. 35 to 45% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is provided by half a cup of raw chestnuts. They lose some vitamin C after being boiled. They still provide between 15% and 20% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. To keep their vitamin C content when cooked, chestnuts can be dried in a food dehydrator or roasted at low heat. Chestnuts maintain a high quantity of antioxidants even after roasting. When food is cooked, two antioxidants—gallic acid and ellagic acid—become more concentrated.

Even after being boiled or roasted, chestnuts still contain between 15 and 20% of the daily requirement for vitamin C.  To keep more vitamin C while cooking, chestnuts can be roasted at lower temperatures or dried in a food dehydrator.

Chestnuts have these significant health benefits:

Improve Heart Health

Antioxidants and minerals like magnesium and potassium help lower your risk of cardiovascular issues like heart disease or stroke. Chestnuts are a great source of these minerals, which can help your heart health.

Improve Digestion

Chestnuts is good for digestive system. These nuts are a wonderful source of fibre, which promotes regularity and the development of good bacteria in your digestive system. Chestnut are gluten-free, and it is a good option for those with celiac disease..

Control Blood Sugar

Chestnuts contain fibre that can help maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Consuming foods high in fibre helps your body absorb carbs gradually. This helps keep blood sugar levels from rising suddenly, which is dangerous for diabetics. Chestnuts also have a low 54 glycemic index score. Your blood sugar levels won't be considerably impacted by eating items with a lower glycemic index rating.

Lowers Inflammation

Our body uses inflammation to repair itself and ward off pathogens. When inflammation persists at a low level for an extended period of time, chronic inflammation results. Chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are caused by it.

An anti-inflammatory is a chestnut. It aids in lowering bodily inflammation. Gallic acid, ellagic acid, and other polyphenols can all be found in chestnuts. These are anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Additionally, they support the elimination of free radicals. The main factor for persistent inflammation is free radicals. Additional studies have shown that antioxidants in chestnuts, like tannins and flavonoids, can also aid to reduce inflammation.

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