Why Are Exotic Hazelnuts So Good For Us?

Nutritious hazelnuts are uniquely delicious nuts often found in baking and chocolate giving an exotic sweet crunchiness.   This superfood has health benefits too from being helpful for the heart to lowering diabetes risk to even helping with weight loss.

5 Health Benefits of Hazelnuts

  1. Helpful 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.” ~ National Kidney Foundation
    The American Heart Association recommends that most of the daily fats consumed should be monounsaturated fats found in hazelnuts.

  2. Cancer Fighter

    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 create a high health risk.

  3. Great for Brain Health

    They are full of Vitamin E which supports healthy brain activity. One serving of the small round tree nut provides your entire daily dose of manganese, which supports a healthy
    Also, hazelnuts aid memory and can lower anxiety according to a study in Nutritional Neuroscience.

  4. Helps Lower Weight

    People who ate a high amount of tree nuts demonstrated more weight loss due to a rise in metabolism as seen in studies.

  5. Lowers Diabetes Risk

    It was found that the effect of nut consumption was that there was a decrease in heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes, in a Louisiana State University study.

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.  The common symptom is oral allergy syndrome which can be itchiness around lips, tongue, and throat that is followed by swelling of the throat making breathing difficult. 

Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts blossoming

History

  • In 2838 B.C., they were used as a tonic and medicine in China.
  • In Turkey, harvesting this nut began 2,300 years ago and to this day Turkey is the world’s main hazelnut exporter.
  • Today, they’re also grown in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and many other parts of the world, and demand has grown substantially. 

Hazelnut Trivia

  • It blooms and pollinates in the middle of the winter! Then the flower stays dormant until summer when the nut begins to form.
  • Do you wonder why hazelnuts are also called filberts? Filberts were named after St Philbert, a 7th-century Frankish abbot. He had a day on August 22 which coincides with the ripening of the nut.  Later, the English changed the name to hazelnut.
  • The hazelnut trees produce nuts 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. 
Organic hazelnuts just harvested

Nutrition

Hazelnuts do 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 as long as you don’t eat too many.

Half a cup of whole hazelnuts contain good 10.1g protein, and very high daily requirement levels of 208% Manganese, 58% Copper, and 50% 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 the Best Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are available during the market year around. In the stores, several different forms of hazels can be sold such as shelled, unshelled, salted, sweetened, or ground, etc. 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, molds, and no 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 hazelnuts

  • Try them roasted and salted.
  • Add hazelnuts to your salads and vegetables.
  • They are a great addition to chocolates, cookies, and cakes.

Yummy Hazelnut Recipes for You 

hazelnuts
Hazelnut Balls

 Pear Hazelnut Crumble – This is a very yummy crumble, the pears and hazelnuts go very well together.

 Sweet Hazelnut Balls – These are a very tasty healthy treat to have your cupboard and so easy to make. They are vegan and gluten-free too.

100+ Superfoods

Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.

READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.

Diana Herrington

Diana has been writing about natural health and wellness for over 20 years. Having used foods to heal her own body, she now shares her wisdom with others.

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