The hazelnut is a type of nut that comes from the Corylus tree. It is cultivated mostly in Turkey, Spain and the United States.
Hazelnuts are sweet in flavour and have a firm structure yet brittle crunch. They can be eaten raw, roasted or ground into a paste.
Like other nuts, hazelnuts are very rich in nutrients with high levels of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Below is the evidence-based health benefits of hazelnuts for keeping you in tip top shape.
Full of Nutrients
Hazelnuts have a great all round nutrient profile. Although they are high in calories, they are loaded with nutrients and healthy fats.
Typically (25 grams, or about 20 whole kernels) of hazelnuts contains:
Total fat: 17 grams
Protein: 4.2 grams
Carbs: 4.7 grams
Fiber: 2.7 grams
Vitamin E: 21% of the RDI
Thiamin: 12% of the RDI
Magnesium: 12% of the RDI
Copper: 24% of the RDI
Manganese: 87% of the RDI
They also contain decent amounts of vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and are a rich source of mono- and polyunsaturated fats and contain a good amount of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, such as oleic acid (1, 2).
Packed full of Antioxidants
Hazelnuts provide great amounts of antioxidants, but what are antioxidants? Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative stress, which can damage cell structure and promote ageing, cancer and heart disease.
The most abundant antioxidants in hazelnuts are known as phenolic compounds. They are proven to help decrease blood cholesterol and inflammation. They are also beneficial for heart health and protecting against cancer.
The majority of the antioxidants are concentrated in the skin of the nut. Meaning the antioxidant content could decrease after roasting which is why we recommend consuming them whole, un-roasted with the skin rather than peeled kernels - either roasted or un-roasted.
May Be Good for the Heart
As we have mentioned hazelnuts have a high concentration of antioxidants and healthy fats which increase antioxidant in the body and lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
Hazelnuts increase oxidative capacity and reduce blood lipid levels, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and are also thought to help normalise blood pressure.
Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
Like Almonds and Walnuts, Hazelnuts have also been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels and oleic acid, which is the main fatty acid in hazelnuts. This has been shown to have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity.
Easy addition to Your Diet
Hazelnuts can be incorporated into the diet as a healthy snack or as an ingredient in many dishes. You can purchase and enjoy them raw, roasted, whole, sliced or ground.
Whilst the highest concentration of antioxidants is in the skin, some recipes require you to remove the skin. This can be done by baking the kernels in the oven for about 10 minutes, which makes the skins easy to then peel.
Peeled hazelnuts can be ground to make flour for baking or to make hazelnut butter, a nutritious spread. They also make a great complement to cakes or topping for ice creams and other desserts.
If you're feeling naughty hazelnuts also taste great coated with chocolate or spices, like cinnamon or cayenne, for a sweet or spicy treat.
All in all, hazelnuts are an excellent and delicious source of nutrients that can be easily incorporated into your diet.
If you love hazelnuts or are yet to try them click our Purayou’s links below for organic and non organic hazelnuts.