Health benefits of Hazelnuts

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Hazelnuts Quick Facts
Name: Hazelnuts
Scientific Name: Corylus avellana
Origin Native to Europe and western Asia (from the British Isles south to Iberia, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, north to central Scandinavia, and east to the central Ural Mountains, the Caucasus, and northwestern Iran).
Colors Thin, dark brown
Shapes Spherical to oval, 15 to 20 mm long, 12 to 20 mm broad
Calories 178 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Manganese (155.91%)
Copper (50.44%)
Total Fat (49.54%)
Vitamin E (33.07%)
Vitamin B6 (12.77%)
Health benefits Healthy heart, Diabetes management, Antioxidant source, Brain health, Cancer prevention
Hazelnut is the nut derived from species of genus Corylus especially nut species of Coryllus avellana. It is also called filbert nut or cobnut according to species. The cob is roughly spherical to oval measuring 10 to 15 mm diameter and 15 to 25 mm long with an outer fibrous husk that surrounds smooth shell. The seed kernel is edible and used either raw or roasted or also grounded into a paste. After pollination of 7 to 8 months, the nut falls out of the husk when ripe. Seeds have thin and dark brown skin which is eliminated before cooking. Hazelnuts are used to make praline in confectionery or used in combination with chocolate for preparing truffles and products such as Frangelico liqueur and Nutella. Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world.

Hazelnut wood is utilized to make bows. The hazelnut trees grow along with fairly straight shoots and they’ve fine grains, which makes them ideal shaft material. The exclusive somewhat bitter taste of hazelnuts is acceptable for usage in savory as well as sweet dishes, even though the nuts are commonly utilized in desserts, particularly combined with chocolate. Hazelnuts mostly are utilized in confectionery to make praline. Hazelnuts or even hazelnut paste are broadly utilized in chocolate industry for making various items like Nutella and chocolate truffles. The strongly flavored hazelnut oil is utilized like a cooking oil. Hazelnut butter is recognized as a pleasing as well as nutritious spread as well as hazelnut is additionally known as a flavoring agent for coffee, specially in the form of hazelnut latte. Hazelnuts generally ripen in late August, which is the best time to discover the tasty nuts. Most grocery stores carry hazelnuts all year round, frequently unshelled and raw. Hazelnuts may also be occasionally sold preserved in their own oil.

The hazel tree is really a fast growing deciduous shrub that creates catkins, that open in the spring. The catkins mature into groups of as much as five nuts, frequently hidden underneath the serrated green leaves. Simply because hazel is fast growing and simple to shape, it features a long history of use in hedging, particularly in England. Left alone, hazel can easily reach a height of 49 feet (15 meters). The shrub offers habitat to several animals and birds, in addition to serving as a source of food for butterflies.

The alternative name of the hazelnut is filbert. The exact reason behind this particular common name is unclear, even though the nuts do have a tendency to mature around the time of the feast day of St. Philbert. Many people distinguish between hazelnuts and filberts, arguing that filberts are in fact a different type of nut, even though the two are related. Individuals who distinguish between the two think that filberts have got somewhat lengthier shells. When they’re shelled, however, the two nuts seem identical.

The shell of the hazelnut is brown, shiny, as well as roughly ovoid. Once shelled, the hazelnut still needs a bitter dark brown skin, that lots of people eliminate just before cooking the nuts. The flesh of hazelnuts is white, and also somewhat sweet once the bitter skin just isn’t present. Numerous cooks toast hazelnuts just before utilizing them to boost their mild taste. The nuts seem ground along with chocolate to make spreads, combined in with stuffings, in hazelnut torte, as well as on a variety of other desserts. They may also be pressed to yield a dark, delicious oil.

Plant

The shrub reaches 3 to 8 meters tall. Leaves are deciduous, rounded measuring 6 to 125 cm across and are softly hairy on both surfaces and have double serrated margin.  Flowers are found during spring before leaves. Flowers are monoecious having single sex wind pollinated catkins. Male catkins measures 5 to 12 cm long and are pale yellow whereas female catkins are small and is largely concealed in buds with bright red 1 to 3 mm long visible styles. Fruit is a nut which forms in one to five clusters. Each nut is held in a short leafy involucre which is enclosed about three quarters of nut. Nut is roughly spherical to oval measuring 12 to 20 mm broad and 15 to 20 mm long in yellow to brown having pale scar at a base.

Hazelnuts possess various nutrients which are essential for maintaining health and also for the human body development. It contains carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, beta-sitosterol, antioxidants and minerals. It is loaded with B complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin and pantothenic acid. It is rich in minerals such as folate, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and manganese. The serving size of 100 grams of Hazelnut offers 328 calories. Hazelnut contains 20 times more amount of antioxidants in comparison to Vitamin C and 50 times more content of Vitamin E.

  1. Healthy heart

Hazelnuts are loaded with minerals and vitamins which help to promote heart health. Beside a great source of dietary fiber, it possess healthy amount of monounsaturated fatty acids that helps to lower LDL cholesterol and promotes HDL cholesterol. The studies conducted shows that diet rich in Hazelnuts helps to lower LDL cholesterol level, promote blood lipids and lower inflammation. Hazelnuts contain monounsaturated fats. It contains adequate amount of magnesium that assist in regulation of balance of potassium and calcium and is essential for blood pressure.

  1. Diabetes management

The diabetic plant must include monounsaturated fats. Hazelnuts contains good source of these fats which ensures to gain benefits of good fats without worrying about gaining additional weight. It shows that an individuals who increased the consumption of nuts experienced low level of cholesterol. The high doses of nut provide strong effect on diabetics to lower blood lipids. Diabetics with high cholesterol must add hazelnuts to their diet. It has been proven to promote glucose intolerance and high content of manganese assist to counteract diabetes when used as a supplement for diet. It is a rich source of magnesium which helps to lower the chances of diabetes.

  1. Antioxidant source

Hazelnuts offer various minerals and vitamins which act as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants eliminate free radicals in the body and prevent various diseases and illness such as heart disease and cancer. It is a great source of Vitamin E that counteracts aging and diseases by lowering inflammation. One serving size of Hazelnuts provides daily requirement for manganese. Hazelnuts contains high amount of proanthocyanidins which is a class of polyphenols that provides foods like dark chocolate and red wine an astringent mouth feel in comparison to other nuts. PACs have high level of antioxidant activity which counteracts aging and eliminates diseases.

  1. Brain health

Hazelnuts are loaded with elements that improves cognitive and brain function and also prevents degenerative diseases. Hazelnuts have high content of manganese, Vitamin E, folate, thiamine and fatty acids which keeps the brain sharp. The high content of Vitamin E plays a vital role in preventing and treating diseases such as Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Thiamine is also known as nerve vitamin which plays a vital role in functioning of nerves in the body which is essential in cognitive function. The deficiency of thiamine could damage brain. The high content of fatty acids as well as protein assist nervous system and also assist to combat depression. The study has shown neuroprotective qualities of Hazelnuts. When used as a dietary supplement, Hazelnuts promote healthy aging, hinder anxiety and improves memory. It is folate foods which are known for its requirement for spine and brain development during pregnancy. Folate helps to slow down brain associated degenerative disorders in older aged people.

  1. Cancer prevention

Hazelnuts have antioxidants which are cancer fighting foods. Vitamin E is a supplement for preventing cancer. The study shows the ability of Vitamin E for lowering the chances of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer and prevents the growth of tumors and mutations. It aids in multi-drug resistance and cancer treatments. The evidence have shown that thiamine possess anticancer properties.

  1. Treatment for obesity

Hazelnut acts as a great stimulant for healthy metabolism in the body. People who intake high amount of tree nuts boost metabolism that promotes weight loss. Thiamine plays a vital role in maintaining healthy metabolism. It assists in conversion of carbs into glucose which is an energy source which is used by the body to operate. Manganese helps to lower weight in overweight or obese individuals as it is able to improve digestive enzymes. The high composition of fat, fiber and protein provides heavy sensation of fullness that prevents overeating and keeps one satisfied for longer time period. Hazelnuts are a good source of fats that could combat obesity.

  1. Hair and skin health

Hazelnuts offer ample amounts of Vitamin E that helps to maintain healthy hair and skin with the improvement of elasticity and moisture. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties which prevents damage from cigarette smoke or UV rays which could lead to premature aging and skin cancer. It promotes circulation and lowers inflammation. Vitamin E helps to treat wrinkles, acne and scars due to its ability to regenerate cells of skin.

  1. Bone health

Magnesium with calcium is vital for wellness of joint and bone health. The bones store extra magnesium which comes to rescue when there is an immediate deficiency of this mineral. Hazelnuts have manganese which is essential for bone strength and growth. It is a great snack option for post-menopausal and menopausal women to safeguard themselves from osteoporosis and bones which turns porous and brittle.

  1. Improves nervous health

Vitamin B6 is essential for functioning of amino acids. It plays a role of regulator in maintaining health of nervous system. Vitamin B6 deficiency hampers synthesis of myelin which is vital for optimal functioning of nervous system. Vitamin B6 is vital for proper production of neurotransmitters such as melatonin, epinephrine and serotonin.

  1. Control the level of blood pressure

Hazelnuts are helpful for hypertension patients. It is a great source of healthy fats. It offers 1.5 grams of saturated fats, 193 grams of potassium, 46 mg of magnesium and 2.7 grams of dietary fiber. Potassium helps to lower the level of blood pressure and cut the risks associated with the onset of various cardiovascular problems such as paralysis and stroke.

History of Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts, also referred to as filberts, happen to be grown in the Black Sea region of northern Turkey for around 2,300 years and have already been exported from the area for more than 600 years. The world’s highest quality hazelnuts range from lush fields along the Black Sea of Turkey, that has the finest climate for growing hazelnuts.

Today, 80% of the world’s hazelnuts are made in Turkey and the Turkish family farmers producing hazelnuts are incredibly happy with the hazelnut crop, since it has been part of their family histories for hundreds of years.

More than 500,000 producers are involved in the cultivation, harvest, processing as well as sale of hazelnuts for the world to enjoy. Because of the extremely top quality of Turkish Hazelnuts, Turkey remains the top global hazelnut producer and exporter. In reality, Turkey exports roughly 250,000 tons of hazelnut kernels annually to more than 100 nations all over the world.

Traditional uses

  • The leaves or bark extract is used for treating various health conditions.
  • Use it externally for treating sunburn, skin irritations, scalds, diaper rash, insect bites and eczema.
  • The tea is used internally to provide relief from sore throat and diarrhea.

Therapeutic uses of Hazelnuts

Strengthens Hair: You may use the oil obtained from these nuts within your every day hair care routine. Simply use a little on the scalp and hair as well as massage for several minutes. Let it rest overnight and wash off the next day, if preferred. You may use a mild shampoo. This will assist in strengthening the hair through the roots.

Good For Dry And Damaged Hair: Is the hair too dry? Hazelnut could come to your help. Add 2 tablespoon finely powdered hazelnuts to 2 eggs and beat well. Use this mix in your dry scalp and hair. Clean off after 20 minutes along with lukewarm water along with a good shampoo. This can keep the dry hair conditioned and tamed.

Say Bye To Split Ends: Provide your split ends a dosage of good health simply by massaging a few drops of hazelnut oil. The damages will disappear over the time, leaving the hair healthy as well as glowing.

Selection and storage

Hazelnuts could be available in the market all year long. Within the stores, a number of different types of hazels could be sold such as shelled, unshelled, salted, sweetened, or ground, etc. Try to purchase unshelled (with the outer shell) raw nuts rather than processed ones. The nuts need to feature bright brown-yellow color, compact, uniform in size as well as feel heavy in hand. They ought to not feature any kind of surface cracks, molds, and spots and free from rancid smell.

Unshelled hazels could be kept in cool dry spot for years. Store shelled (without their outer coat) nuts, however, within the air-tight container as well as place within the refrigerator to prevent them turn rancid.

Top 10 Methods to Include Hazelnuts In your daily diet

These pleasantly sweet nuts make a fantastic accessory for your meals. They may be relished like a snack in a variety of ways:

  • Roast and munch a number of the nuts as healthy snacks in between meals.
  • Chop roughly and also sprinkle it atop your preferred breakfast cereal.
  • Make a chocolate hazelnut spread and then use it together with your breads, dosa, chapatti, or ildy.
  • Dry roast as well as powder hazelnuts, blend with unsweetened cocoa powder and blend in your protein shake just as one added dose of protein.
  • Mix along with berries in your wholegrain breakfast muffins.
  • Toss it together with your preferred stir fries.
  • Use it as a garnish for the chicken or even fish dish.
  • Roasted, crushed hazelnuts may be used within your pasta sauce for the nutty touch.
  • Toast the nuts and employ it within your pasta or even wholegrain noodles.
  • Add a handful of hazelnuts whilst grinding your multigrain lentil pancake.
  • The seed kernel is roasted or consumed raw or ground into paste.
  • Raw kernels are added to dessert, muesli and other food products.
  • It is also used in cakes, breads, chocolates, sweets, biscuits, ice cream etc.
  • The finely chopped or grounded Hazelnuts are used as an ingredient in bakery products.
  • Hazel nuts are used in combination with chocolate for making chocolate truffels and products such as Nutella.
  • Hazelnuts are used in Australia for manufacturing Cadbury eponymous milk chocolate bar.
  • The oil extracted from cold press of raw kernels is used for baking and salad dressing.
  • It is used in confections for making chocolate truffles, pralines and hazelnut paste products.
  • Powdered hazelnuts are added to coffee.
  • Add sweetener and cocoa to the hazelnut butter and make a chocolate spread.
  • Nuts are also used for making Hazelnut butter.
  • In U.S. and Eastern Europe, vodka based Hazelnut liqueurs such as Frangelico is popular.
  • Roasted and crushed Hazelnuts could be used in pasta sauce.

Safety profile

Hazelnut allergy is really a type-1 (Ig-E mediated) hypersensitivity response in certain individuals to food substances prepared with utilizing these nuts. Generally, the allergic reaction might be more commonly precipitated on contact with tree pollen.

The allergic symptoms, referred to as “oral allergy syndrome,” can include itchiness around lips, tongue as well as throat followed by swelling of lips and throat resulting in breathing problems. Quite often, cross-reactions to particular other nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are typical. People with recognized hazel nut allergy are, therefore, advised to prevent any food preparations which contain hazel nut products.  People allergic to mugwort pollen, peanuts, birch pollen, Brazil nut and macadamia nut might be allergic to hazelnut as well.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazelnut

https://www.healthbeckon.com/hazelnuts-benefits/

http://www.phytochemicals.info/plants/hazelnut.php

https://www.tarladalal.com/glossary-hazelnut-1513i

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=501642#null

https://draxe.com/hazelnuts/

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/wonderful-benefits-of-hazelnuts-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref

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