Top Chestnut Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/12/22 •  10 min read

Want to see chestnut benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are the pros and cons of chestnuts and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

chestnut benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on chestnut benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn about all chestnut benefits and side effects such as chestnut health benefits and/or risks, chestnut water footprint and/or chestnut carbon footprint, chestnut sustainability, if chestnuts are vegan, and more. 

After learning if chestnuts are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about chestnut benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer must know.

Must-Know Chestnut Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Chestnut health benefits may include:

Chestnuts are also…

Environment

Water footprint: moderate, it takes 2,750 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of chestnuts / 330 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of chestnuts

Carbon footprint:: moderate, 2.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tree nuts, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 kilometers

Destruction: low, chestnut production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Chestnuts are…

Animals

Kills: none, chestnut production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, chestnut production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly killed or harmed: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from chestnut production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Chestnuts are…

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Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Chestnuts…

The world’s top chestnut producing country is China, followed by Spain and Bolivia.

The world’s top chestnut exporting country is Italy, followed by Spain, Portugal, China, Greece, France, Chile, Turkey, Japan and Germany.

Yes! Chestnuts are high in vitamin C, potassium, copper, magnesium, amino acids and antioxidants.

chestnuts are alkaline.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are chestnuts alkaline or acidic?

Chestnuts are alkaline.

What is the pH level of chestnuts?

Chestnuts have a 7.5 pH level, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

chestnuts are gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Are chestnuts gluten free?

Yes, chestnuts are gluten free. Chestnuts do not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

chestnuts are a common food allergen: tree nuts.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are chestnuts a common food allergen?

Yes, chestnuts are a common food allergen: tree nuts. Many people experience allergic reactions to chestnuts.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

chestnuts have a moderate water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do chestnuts have a high or low water footprint?

Chestnuts have a moderate water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of chestnuts?

It takes 2,750 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of chestnuts / 330 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of chestnuts.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

chestnuts have a moderate carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do chestnuts have a high or low carbon footprint?

Chestnuts have a moderate carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of chestnuts?

It takes around 2.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of tree nuts, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

chestnuts are moderately sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are chestnuts eco friendly? Are chestnuts sustainable?

Chestnut production is moderately sustainable. Be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

chestnuts are vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Are chestnuts vegan?

Yes, chestnuts are vegan. Chestnuts are nuts and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

chestnuts are a product that may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are chestnuts a product that has labor issues?

At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding chestnut farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Chestnuts may or may not have labor issues.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

This post was all about chestnut benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Chestnuts and the Introduction of Chestnut Blight – CT.gov

Nuts, chestnuts, european, boiled and steamed – FoodData

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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