Acorns are the nut-like seeds of oak trees, and while they are not a typical food in modern Western diets, they have been a traditional food source for many cultures around the world for centuries.
So, can you eat acorns? The short answer is yes, but it’s important to note that not all acorns are edible.
Some species of oak trees produce acorns that are bitter or toxic, while others produce acorns that are safe to eat.
If you’re planning on harvesting acorns for food, it’s crucial to identify the species of an oak tree and make sure that the acorns are from a safe and edible variety.
Acorns are a good source of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
They are particularly high in B vitamins, except vitamin B-12, as well as copper, manganese, and magnesium.
They also provide a decent amount of fiber, which can help with digestion and weight management.
Acorns also contain plant compounds called tannins, which have been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Some studies have also suggested that acorns may have potential health benefits for conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and inflammation.
To prepare acorns for eating, you’ll need to remove the hard outer shell and then either roast the nuts or grind them into flour.
Roasted acorns have a nutty flavor and a texture similar to chestnuts, while acorn flour can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in recipes.
Acorns Quick Nutrition Facts
Here's a quick nutrition overview for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of acorns:
- Energy: 387 calories
- Carbs: 40.8 grams
- Protein: 6.15 grams
- Fat: 23.9 grams
- Saturated Fat: 3.1 grams
Jump to a section where you can learn more about acorns nutrition value, including macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein quality, and more.
Health Benefits of Acorns
Thanks to a significant amount of specific vitamins and minerals, acorns could provide several health benefits.
Continue reading to discover the potential benefits of consuming acorns.
They May Improve the Nervous System Health
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is important for the normal development of the brain in children and adults. It can also keep the immune system and nervous system healthy and, thus, reduce the risk of several diseases.
It can also help in the formation of red blood cells and, thus, improve the bodily functions involved in the transportation of oxygen in the form of oxyhemoglobin.
Vitamin B6 can help release sugar from the fats stored in the body to meet the need for energy supply in the future.
This action of vitamin B6 can be beneficial in the management of diabetes.
It can regulate the amount of fat that can be converted into a usable form of energy, especially in the absence of a ready supply of carbohydrates from dietary sources.
This can ensure the body receives a steady supply of glucose, which is its primary source of fuel and protect patients against serious complications of diabetes.
They May Improve the Availability of Iron
Vitamin B9 or folate works closely with other nutrients, especially vitamin B12, and helps the body make red blood cells by improving the availability of iron.
It plays a key role in cellular division. It can regulate the processes involved in cell division.
This can reduce the risk of cancer that can occur due to the uninhibited division of cells resulting in the formation of a large number of cells that fail to mature completely.
It also aids in the production of the body’s genetic material, such as DNA and RNA. It is especially important to ensure that the body is not deprived of this nutrient when tissues and organs are growing rapidly, such as during pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence.
Vitamin B9 plays a key role during pregnancy by regulating the replication of DNA and RNA, thereby supporting the proper growth and development of the fetus.
It can also help in the normal growth and development of children.
May Improve Normal Nerve and Brain Function
Manganese is also needed for normal nerve and brain function. When combined with other nutrients like calcium and zinc, manganese can support the bone formation processes and improve bone mineral density.
It is a vital nutrient that helps in the formation of connective tissue, blood clotting factors, bones, and reproductive hormones.
Manganese also supports the metabolism of fat and carbohydrate and enhances calcium absorption. It can help with blood sugar regulation, thereby improving glycemic control in patients with diabetes.
This is especially important for postmenopausal women and older men who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis due to the decline in bone mineral density.
Manganese is an integral part of the body’s antioxidant mechanisms. It helps in the synthesis of an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body and prevents oxidative stress linked to the high risk of cancer, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes.
It can also reduce inflammation and hence, can be useful as a potential therapeutic agent for the management of inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
They May Prevent Infections
Copper can support the defense mechanisms of the immune system involved in infection prevention.
It is needed by the body for several functions, including the formation of red blood cells.
Copper can also support nerve functions and improve the transmission of signals between different parts of the body.
It can keep the nerve cells healthy and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Copper is also needed for the optimal functioning of the nervous system. It can improve mood by regulating the balance of hormones in the brain.
It also helps in the formation of collagen, a protein that makes up our skin, bones, and other tissues. It protects the cells from damage and improves the absorption of iron in the body, thereby increasing the availability of this vital nutrient.
Copper is also needed for regulating carbohydrate metabolism. It can help to convert sugar into a usable form of energy, thus ensuring the body receives a steady supply of fuel to perform its critical functions.
Acorns Nutrition Facts
Continue reading to find out the following acorns nutrition information:
- Vitamin Content
- Mineral Content
- Amino Acid Profile
- Fat Breakdown
- Carbohydrate Breakdown
Macronutrients, often called macros, are most commonly used term when it comes to eating a healthy diet or losing weight. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Macronutrients provide energy to your body and allows it to function properly. The following table contains the information on acorns macronutrients, while reading further will give you a better understanding on each of these macronutrients.
|Carbohydrate||14% DV||40.8 g|
|Protein||12% DV||6.15 g|
|Fat||31% DV||23.9 g|
Acorns are excellent source of Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).
Here's the full acorns vitamin content per 100g:
|Vitamin A||1% DV||39 IU|
|Vitamin C||0% DV||0 mg|
|Vitamin D||0% DV||0 µg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||9% DV||0.112 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||9% DV||0.118 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||11% DV||1.83 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||14% DV||0.715 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||31% DV||0.528 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||22% DV||87 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0% DV||0 µg|
|Vitamin E||0% DV||0 mg|
|Vitamin K||0% DV||0 µg|
Acorns are excellent source of Copper, and Manganese.
They also contain a good amount of Magnesium, and Potassium and some Iron, Phosphorus, and Zinc.
Here's the full acorns mineral content per 100g:
|Calcium||3% DV||41 mg|
|Copper||69% DV||0.621 mg|
|Fluoride||0% DV||0 mg|
|Iron||4% DV||0.79 mg|
|Magnesium||15% DV||62 mg|
|Manganese||58% DV||1.34 mg|
|Phosphorus||6% DV||79 mg|
|Potassium||11% DV||539 mg|
|Selenium||0% DV||0 μg|
|Sodium||0% DV||0 mg|
|Zinc||5% DV||0.51 mg|
Protein and Amino Acid Profile
Acorns contain 6.2 g of protein per 100 g, or in other words, acorns provide 1.59 g of protein per 100 kcal.
Unlike the most other plant proteins, protein in acorns contains all nine essential amino acids, so acorns are considered a complete protein source.
|Histidine OK||23% DV||0.17 g|
|Isoleucine OK||19% DV||0.285 g|
|Leucine OK||17% DV||0.489 g|
|Lysine OK||17% DV||0.384 g|
|Methionine OK||9% DV||0.103 g|
|Phenylalanine OK||18% DV||0.269 g|
|Threonine OK||21% DV||0.236 g|
|Tryptophan OK||25% DV||0.074 g|
|Valine OK||18% DV||0.345 g|
Around 56% of the calories in acorns are from fat. Acorns have 23.9 grams or 31% of recommended daily values per 100g.
Saturated fat and trans fat can increase cholesterol levels and increase the heart disease risk.
Acorns fat content mostly consists of healthy unsaturated fats.
According to FDA, dietary cholesterol should be kept below 300 mg per day. Luckily, acorns is cholesterol free.
Acorns do not contain trans fats. Trans fats should be kept as low as possible.
|Total Fat||31% DV||23.9 g|
|Saturated Fat||16% DV||3.1 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||do not have a %DV||15.1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||do not have a %DV||4.6 g|
|Trans Fats||do not have a %DV||0 g|
|Cholesterol||0% DV||0 mg|
42% of the calories in acorns come from carbohydrates.
Carbs in acorns are mostly starch (100%), followed by fiber and sugars.
When it comes to sugars, acorns are almost sugar-free.
|Total Carbohydrate||15% DV||40.8 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0% DV||0 g|
|Sugars||0% DV||0 g|
Holy Peas has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals, associations and government institutions. Read more about our process.
Acorns Nutrients, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Listing of vitamins, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School
Appendix 7. Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. (n.d.).
International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values 2021: a systematic review
Health Claim Notification for Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, and Trans Fat, and Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Nutrient Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences Engineering, and Medicine
Protein And Amino Acid Requirements In Human Nutrition, WHO
Nutrition Facts Labeling RDIs Nutrients, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Nutrition Facts Labeling DRVs Food Components, U.S. Food and Drug Administration