Can You Eat Acorns? Nutrition, Benefits, and Dangers

Acorns may have several health benefits, as long as they’re properly prepared and not eaten raw.
May improve gut health
The bacteria in your gut play a key role in your overall health. An imbalance of these bacteria has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and bowel diseases (, , , ).
Acorns are a great source of fiber, which nourishes your beneficial gut bacteria (, ).
Additionally, acorns have long been used as an herbal remedy to treat stomach pain, bloating , nausea, diarrhea, and other common digestive complaints ().
In a 2-month study in 23 adults with persistent indigestion, those who took 100 mg of acorn extract had less overall stomach pain than those who took a cornstarch capsule ().
However, this study used highly concentrated extract. It’s not known whether whole acorns would have the same effect.
More research on their digestive effects is needed.
Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals ().
Research suggests that diets high in antioxidants may help prevent chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes , and certain cancers (, , ).
Acorns are rich in antioxidants like vitamins A and E, as well as numerous other plant compounds ( 1 , 25 , , ).
One animal study noted that an antioxidant-rich acorn extract reduced inflammation in rats with reproductive damage ().
That said, human research is needed.
Abundant in the wild
Over 450 species of oak worldwide produce acorns. These are mainly in the Northern Hemisphere ( 1 ).
From fall to early spring, you can find hundreds — if not thousands — of mature acorns on the ground below these trees. These nuts are considered safe to forage, but you should watch out for rotten ones. Green, unripe specimens should likewise not be gathered.
If collected in the wild, acorns can be a free, nutritious, and sustainable local food choice. Summary Acorns, which are loaded with fiber and antioxidants, may have several benefits. These include improved gut health and a lower risk of chronic illnesses.

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