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Can You Eat Acorns?

A group of acorns hang from a tree.

You’re walking along a trail with your kiddo or dog, and all of a sudden, you hear a crunch. Someone has decided to bite straight into an acorn. Now, it’s time to freak out.

But can you eat acorns? Are they safe? As it turns out, the answer is both yes and no.

While raw acorns are abundant during the fall, they’re not safe to eat straight from the tree or the ground for dogs or humans. Acorns are filled with tannins which are antinutrients, a compound that can compromise your absorption of good nutrients. They’ve also been linked to cancers, and if too many are consumed, it could damage the liver.

Zozen Nut Gatherer

If you do want to collect and then prepare acorns, this collector can make it easy.

Symptoms of eating acorns include vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and general stomach upset. If you see your child or dog accidentally consume acorns, it’s best to contact your doctor, local Poison Control, or veterinarian to find out the next best course of action.

But that doesn’t account for the yes bit of the answer. You can consume acorns…when they’ve been cooked. You need to leach the acorns before eating in order to rid them of that tannin content we mentioned earlier. Once that’s done, they’re totally safe to eat.

If you’ve got outdoor plans this fall, be sure to stay on the lookout for acorns if you’ve got kids or pets.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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