Hello everyone, I am Ruby Agarwal and this is my article on the benefits of hazelnuts.
Hazelnut is a fruit of hazel (Corylus) belonging to the genus of deciduous trees and large shrubs, and belongs to the temperate northern hemisphere.
Also known as cob nut or filbert nut, it is a nut of hazel with a smooth shell of seed which is edible. The brown skin of the seed has a bitter flavour and hence is removed before cooking.
Hazelnut is extensively used in confectionary for its delicious and strong flavour and is cultivated in commercial quantities in Europe, Turkey, and in the American states of Oregon and Washington.
Hazelnuts are valued for their ultra indulgent flavor and upscale appeal, but don’t let their rich flavor fool you. They are also one of the most nutritious nuts.
Hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, dietary fiber, magnesium, and heart healthy B vitamins.
Hazelnut which is a very important nutritional value in a well-balanced diet, has several important health benefits in protecting against diseases, having special combination of oil (especially oleic acid rich oil structure), proteins, carbohydrate, beta-sitosterol, essential vitamins and minerals.
According to results of a research, people who consume hazelnuts or hazelnut oil, have 50% less risk of dying because of hearth attack when compared to those who never consume hazelnuts. It is the most beneficial nutraceutical element for heart health.
A heavenly dessert topped with fresh, salty hazelnuts or a warm hazelnut latte is an irresistible treat. The sugar may not be healthy, but the hazelnuts may be just what the doctor ordered. Hazelnuts are demonstrating some interesting health properties that could make them an ideal snack food.
What are the health benefits of hazelnuts? Let us discuss them:
1. Vitamin E: Vitamin E has been touted as an important antioxidant that may have cardio protective benefits. It is essential for the healthy heart muscles and other muscles of the body as well.
2. It is also necessary for normal functioning of the reproduction system.
3. Vitamin E prevents the disintegration of red blood cells, thus it serves as a protection against deficiency of blood which is called anaemia.
4. Another benefit of Vitamin E which is found in hazelnut is to prevent the factors which prepare the basis for cancer disease. If cancer is already formed in the body, then it fights to defuse the harmful cells.
5. Beta-sitosterol, which is found amply in hazelnut, is an important mean of decreasing cholesterol and preventing cancer (breast cancer and prostate cancer).
6. Hazelnut is a good source for B1, B2 and B6 vitamins. These vitamins are essential in blood formation and mental health, especially for those of children in development
7. They contain calcium which is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
8. Iron, found in substantial amount, helps in blood production function.
9. Zinc, which has an important role in the development of sexual hormones, is present in hazelnuts.
10. Potassium, which is necessary for the stimulation of nervous system and the properly functioning of muscle system, are found too.
11. Antioxidants: Hazelnuts are one of the highest natural sources of antioxidants among “superfoods” and are one of the most antioxidant-rich nuts.
12. Hazelnuts also have one of the highest Proanthocyanidin (PAC) contents among ”superfoods” and the second highest among nuts.The antioxidants found in PACs may have the ability to strengthen blood vessels, suppress platelet stickiness in arteries, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, delay the onset of dementia and lower blood pressure.
13. They Contain Good Fats: While some types of fats aren’t heart healthy, hazelnuts are an excellent source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that help to protect heart health.
14. Hazelnuts are known for their high concentration of oleic acid that has been shown to lower levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL’s (the good cholesterol). This makes these tasty nuts a heart-healthy, satisfying choice for snacking.
15. Hazelnut is a food source with high HDL fat. If you are suffering from high blood pressure or heart disease, you should add at least 30 gram of hazelnuts to your diet every week. Moderate consumption of hazelnuts will ensure a healthy heart.
16. The high fat content also helps to absorb and digest vitamins K, E, D, and A.
17. They May Prevent Cataracts: A study in rats showed that hazelnuts prevented the formation of cataracts when the rats were exposed to low doses of a medication known as doxorubicin. It’s unclear whether this is applicable to humans, but it shows the amazing health properties of this common nut.
18. They’re Rich in Phytochemicals: Snacking on hazelnuts fortifies the body with a variety of phytochemicals including proanthocyanidins, quercetin, and kaempherol. Proanthocyanidins have shown the potential to protect brain health, improve circulation, and even relieve allergy symptoms.
19.They’re High in Protein and Fiber: A cup of chopped hazelnuts has a whopping seventeen grams of protein and eleven grams of fiber. They’re a good alternate protein source for those who don’t eat meat.
20. They’re Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E as well as the B vitamins including folate. They’re also a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium which help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
21. Hazelnut is rich in oil. Indeed 60-70 % of hazelnut consists of oil. This structure provides not only energy to organisms, but also protection of body temperature, protection against outer factors and helps to the movement of vitamins which melt in the oil.
22. Oleic acid which is found in hazelnut oil prevents the rise of cholesterol in the blood, decreases cholesterol by 26,2%, arranges the blood sugar, increases the protective Apapratein A-1 for health-vein diseases by 25% and decreases risky Apapratein B by %7,5.
23. Oils are essential for healthy skin and hair, and you may not be surprised to learn that these oils help to control body temperature.
24. Another beneficial acid in hazelnut oil is Linoleic Acid which can be found heavily in hazelnut oil. Linoleic Acid plays very important role for the growth and healthy development of organisms.
25. Arginine, which is an amino acid, is also found in hazelnuts, and it helps to relax the blood vessels.
26. Hazelnuts also help to lower blood pressure.
27. They fight against many forms of cancers, Alzheimer's disease, depression and other mental illnesses, neural tube defects, which is a birth defect.
28. The favourable fatty acid profile is another reason why hazelnuts are great heart-smart snacks.
•Since hazelnut is high on fats, make sure not to include more than one serving of hazelnut (1 serving = 12 hazelnuts) in diet and not consume it more than 3 times a week.
•Individuals allergic to nuts should avoid taking it as it can trigger adverse reaction to the body’s immune system.
Thus, consuming 25 gr. Hazelnut a day protects the body both for heart-disease and cancer. With all the great health benefits, why not make these tasty nuts a part of your daily diet?
Hazelnut serves as a good snack and it can also be added on the desserts and salads.
There’s lots to love about this tasty, heart healthy nut. They’re a great alternative to potato chips, pretzels, and other less nutritious snack options. Keep a pack on hand for when the next “snack attack” hits.
Author Brief Bio: Ruby Agarwal is a psychology graduate, pursuing her MBA in Human Resource Management. She is also doing her Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Guidance. She practices Pranic Healing and is working with a few NGO’s, highly creative, loves travelling, reading and a guitar player.