Health benefits of Hazelnuts
- Hazelnuts are very high in energy and loaded with numerous health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health. 100 g nuts provide 628 calories. The nuts are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic as well as essential fatty acid, linoleic acid that helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is plentiful in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
- These nuts are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals. Altogether, they help protect from diseases and cancers.
- Hazels are exceptionally rich in folate, which is a unique feature for the nuts. 100 g fresh nuts contain 113 µg; that is about 28% recommended daily intake of this vitamin. Folate is an important vitamin that helps prevent megaloblastic anemia and most importantly, neural tube defects in the newborn. Good news for expectant mothers!
- Hazel nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E; contain about 15 g per 100 g (providing 100% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- The nuts, like almonds, are free from gluten and therefore, are safe alternative food sources that can be used in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas for gluten-sensitive, wheat allergy, and celiac disease patients.
- The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), and folates.
- They are rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Copper and manganese are essential co-factors for anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron helps prevent microcytic-anemia. Magnesium and phosphorus are important components of bone metabolism.
- Hazelnut oil has nutty aroma and has excellent astringent properties. It helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. The oil has also been used in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in massage therapy, aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.