Crunchy hazelnuts with their sweet nutty flavor will transform your baking and chocolate into something extraordinary. These nutritious nuts also provide an abundance of health benefits.
- Good for Brain Health
Hazelnuts are full of vitamin E, which support healthy brain activity. One serving of hazelnuts provides your entire daily dose of manganese, which supports healthy brain and nervous system function.
They also aid memory and can lower anxiety according to a study by Nutritional Neuroscience.
- Good for Heart Health
A hazelnut-enriched diet lowered LDL cholesterol and reduced inflammation in cholesterol prone adult men in studies done by the American Society for Nutrition.
A six-week study showed that eating nuts improved blood lipids. “An excess amount of blood lipids can cause fat deposits in your artery walls, increasing your risk for heart disease,” states the National Kidney Foundation.
The American Heart Association recommends that most of the daily fats consumed should be monounsaturated fats, such as those found in hazelnuts.
- Helps Lower Weight
People who ate a high amount of tree nuts demonstrated increased weight loss due to a rise in metabolism in this study.
- Lower Risk for Diabetes
Nut consumption was correlated with a decrease in heart disease and Type 2 diabetes in a Louisiana State University study.
- Helps Fight Cancer
Hazelnuts contain phytosterol, which has been found to reduce the risk of cancer in the lungs, stomach, ovaries and breasts. Learn how Cancer survivors with poor eating habits create a high health risk.
Note: Those allergic to tree nuts can also be allergic to hazelnuts. Nut allergies can be very serious and even life-threatening reactions. Take care if you’re not sure if you are allergic. Common symptoms of oral allergy syndrome can be itchiness around lips, tongue and throat, followed by swelling of the throat.
- Hazelnuts bloom and pollinate in the middle of winter. The flower stays dormant until summer when the nut begins to form.
- Hazelnuts are also called filberts. Filberts were named after St Philbert, a 7th-century Frankish abbot. His saint day on Aug 22 coincides with the ripening of the nut. Later, the English changed the name to hazelnut.
- The hazelnut trees produce nuts for up to 80 years.
- The official nut of Oregon is the hazelnut.
- Farmers in the Midwest U.S. are working on developing cultivars of hazelnuts to further help the species fight disease and adjust to multiple climates.
- The hazelnut tree grows well on farms and even helps stabilize sensitive soils, making them environmentally friendly.
Hazelnuts contain fats, making them high in calories (424 calories in half a cup of whole hazelnuts), but they also have many valuable nutrients, making them good for you in moderation.
Half a cup of whole hazelnuts contain good 10.1g protein, and very high daily requirement levels of 208 percent manganese, 58 percent copper, and 50 percent vitamin E. They are high in B vitamins and many other minerals. Also, they contain the highest amounts of important polyphenols with high levels of antioxidant capabilities among all the nut varieties. Here are all the facts about Hazelnut nutrition.
How to Select Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are available year round. In stores, several different forms of hazelnuts can be sold, such as shelled, unshelled, salted, sweetened or ground. Try to buy unshelled (with the outer shell) raw nuts instead of processed ones.
Best to choose raw unshelled hazelnuts; they should be bright brown-yellow color, compact and uniform in size.
Shelled ones should not have any surface cracks, mold or rancid smell. They will be plump, heavy and crisp with the skin remaining without holes or cracks and tight skin intact.
Tips for eating or cooking
- Try them roasted and salted.
- Add hazelnuts to your salads and vegetables.
- A great addition to chocolates, cookies and cakes.
Yummy Hazelnut Recipes: