What happens if you eat chestnuts raw?

Answered by Frank Schwing

Eating raw chestnuts can have some negative effects on your health due to the high levels of tannic acid present in them. Tannic acid is a specific type of tannin, which belongs to a larger group of compounds called polyphenols.

When you consume raw chestnuts, the tannic acid can cause stomach irritation. This can result in symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. The acidic nature of tannic acid can irritate the lining of your stomach, leading to discomfort and digestive disturbances.

In addition to stomach irritation, consuming high levels of tannic acid can also have more serious consequences for your liver and kidneys. Tannic acid has been found to have hepatotoxic (liver-damaging) and nephrotoxic (kidney-damaging) effects in studies conducted on animals.

Liver damage can occur due to the toxic effects of tannic acid on liver cells. This can lead to inflammation, impaired liver function, and even liver failure in severe cases. Kidney damage can result from the accumulation of tannic acid in the kidneys, which can cause oxidative stress and cellular damage.

It is important to note that these potential health risks are associated with consuming high levels of tannic acid, which are more likely to be present in raw chestnuts. Cooking chestnuts can help reduce the levels of tannic acid, making them safer to consume.

If you have accidentally eaten raw chestnuts or are experiencing any discomfort after consuming them, it is advisable to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can assess your symptoms and provide appropriate treatment if necessary.

Eating raw chestnuts can be harmful due to the high levels of tannic acid they contain. Stomach irritation, liver damage, and kidney damage are potential risks associated with consuming high levels of tannic acid. It is best to cook chestnuts before consuming them to reduce the levels of tannic acid and avoid these health risks.