It’s healthy fact day here on Magliano’s Comfort Food and because today we celebrate world Nutella day as well, we decided to talk about Hazelnuts!
Hazelnuts are the hard-shelled nut of the hazelnut tree (Corylus avellana). Also called filberts or cobnuts, the nuts are said to have originated over 5,000 years ago in China. Today, hazelnuts are grown primarily in Turkey, Italy, and the United States.
Hazelnuts can be eaten raw and not only do they make a tasty snack but they also make a nice addition to many dishes. Sweet or savory! The nuts are also delicious simply roasted and eaten alone.
Hazelnut oil and other hazelnut products are also widely available. These nuts offer health and nutrition benefits and can be a smart addition to your diet.
- vitamin E
- healthful fat
- dietary fiber
They can improve a person’s health by…
- Supporting Healthy Bowel Movements
Hazelnuts are a good source of dietary fiber. Eating plenty of fiber encourages regular bowel movements and helps prevent constipation.
USA dietary guidelines recommend that women between 31–50 eat 25.2 grams of dietary fiber per day. Men in the same age range should eat 30.8 grams of fiber per day.
A 28-g serving of hazelnuts contains about 2.7 grams of dietary fiber.
- Reducing Weight Gain
According to recent research, eating nuts may help some people to gain less weight.
A 2018 study found a link between nut consumption, reduced weight gain, and a lower risk of obesity. In the study, participants who ate more nuts were less likely to become overweight than those who did not.
While the research shows a correlation, further studies should assess whether there is a causal link between eating nuts and a reduced risk of weight gain.
- Protecting against cell damage
Hazelnuts are rich in antioxidants which are compounds that protect against the oxidation of cells. They reduce the extent of cell damage from free radicals.
Hazelnuts contain the antioxidant vitamin E. Some research suggests that vitamin E may help shield the body from types of cell damage linked to cancer.
- Lowering cholesterol
Eating hazelnuts may help reduce cholesterol.
A 2013 study found that a hazelnut-rich diet decreased participants’ levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This type of cholesterol can increase the risk of heart problems.
The researchers concluded that the best way to reap hazelnuts’ health benefits was to eat them every day, without increasing a person’s overall calorie intake.
Results of a 2016 review likewise indicated that hazelnuts could reduce levels of harmful cholesterol.
The researchers also noted no increase in participants’ body weight. This may alleviate some concerns that eating calorie-dense nuts could lead to weight gain.
- Improving Insulin Sensitivity
Eating a nut mix that includes hazelnuts may help improve insulin sensitivity.
A small 2011 trial found that eating a 30-gr nut mix that contained 7.5 gr of hazelnuts every day improved participants’ insulin sensitivity over 12 weeks.
Diminished insulin sensitivity plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Improving this sensitivity reduces the risk of the condition.
- Supporting Heart Health
Hazelnuts may help to promote a healthy heart.
A 2013 study found that eating a hazelnut-rich diet may improve cardiovascular risk biomarkers, potentially lowering the risk of heart problems.
- Reducing Inflammation
Eating hazelnuts may help to ease inflammation.
A 2013 study found that eating a hazelnut-rich diet reduced signs of inflammation among participants.
However, another study found the change in inflammatory markers after eating hazelnuts to be insignificant.
Conclusively determining hazelnuts’ effect on inflammation will require further research.
- Improving Sperm Count
Recent research indicates that consuming more nuts, including hazelnuts, may increase sperm count and improve the sperms’ quality.
The researchers emphasize that this small study involved healthy, fertile participants. More research is necessary to determine whether the benefits apply to the broader population.
– People often eat hazelnuts as a snack or add them to salads.
– Ground hazelnuts can be incorporated into various recipes.
– Several ready-made hazelnut spreads are high in sugar, and it is best to avoid these.
– Many people have nut allergies, including allergies to hazelnuts. When cooking for others, always check before adding the nuts to a dish.
– To enjoy the health benefits of hazelnuts, a person should be mindful of the overall number of calories that they consume each day.
– When adding anything to a diet, it can be easy to consume more calories than necessary, and this can lead to weight gain.
– Eating more hazelnuts may improve a person’s health in a variety of ways. Unless a person has an allergy, there are few risks to adding hazelnuts to the diet. They are versatile and make an easy snack.
– According to hazelnut growers, hazelnuts that are less processed last longer. So, store hazelnuts in the shell if possible and they can last up to a year. Hazelnut growers also say that it is best to process hazelnuts (e.g., roast, chop, slice, and grind) just before use.
– Hazelnuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or in the freezer where they will stay fresh for about six months.
– To roast a batch of hazelnuts, spread raw kernels on a baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Watch the nuts closely as they can burn quickly. To remove hazelnut skins, wrap the nuts in a dish towel and let them sit for five to 10 minutes. Then rub vigorously. If the nuts don’t lose their skins completely, it’s OK. The skins are edible and even add some nutritional value.
– Roasted hazelnuts can be added to baked goods for flavor and texture. Add hazelnuts to muffins, bread, cookies, and cake recipes. Hazelnuts also pair well with chocolate. Add them to any chocolate dish or use them to top chocolate ice cream.
– Hazelnuts can also be used alone or in combination with other ingredients as a coating for seafood or poultry.