Hazelnuts: uses and nutritional benefits

The hazelnut tree, a shrub of the Betulaceae family, is known and appreciated for its fruit, an achene called hazelnut. In the kitchen, it is a food of choice. It increases the power of a dish lacking character, or the crunch of a dessert lacking texture. Hazelnuts easily join the ovens and can amply join the medicine cabinet. Extremely rich in vitamin E, they fight against oxidative stress. This oxidative stress accelerates cell aging and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, hazelnuts are among the foods richest in vitamin E. Concerning cardiovascular diseases, the oleic acid (fatty acid predominant in hazelnuts) reinforces all the more this protective power. Hazelnuts are full of many other nutrients, such as vitamins of the B group: B1, B5, B6 and B9. This combination of vitamins helps the body on several levels: strengthens immunity, regulates hormones, improves memory, etc. Let's not forget the minerals and trace elements, such as manganese, copper, iron or magnesium. The latter improve the appearance of hair and nails, help prevent anemia, and so many other benefits that make hazelnuts a healthy superfood. Latin name: Coryfus avellana L. Botanical family: Betulaceae. Part used : Akene.

Recommended consumption

Because of the energy density of Hazelnuts and their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acid, recommendations for daily consumption are defined. In classic cure or for pleasure, a portion of Hazelnuts is estimated at 15 g per day, which represents about fifteen Hazelnuts per day.

In what form?

To make the most of their benefits, you can use them :

  • Whole
  • Roasted, toasted
  • In pieces
At what time of day?

We advise you to use them during the following meal(s) to take full advantage of their benefits:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Dinner
What modes of use?

You can incorporate them into the following preparations to facilitate their intake:

  • Salad
  • Soup
  • Dessert
  • Yoghurt, dairy
  • Dish
  • Only
  • Mixed with other dried fruits
  • Muesli
Precautions for use
  • Allergen : Nuts and Sesame

Health Nutrition Benefits

15g of Hazelnuts contain a significant portion of the Population Nutritional Reference (PNR) of the following nutrients Copper, Manganese and Vitamin E. They also contain, to a lesser extent, Protein, Fiber, Potassium, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B9.

As such, Hazelnuts can complement your healthy and varied diet.

Metabolism

Hazelnuts help to slow down the progression of cardiovascular pathologies and type 2 diabetes, while preventing their complications. Rich in oleic acid, antioxidants and potentially anti-inflammatory, they protect the vascular system from atheromatous plaques. In addition, the high fiber content lowers cholesterol levels and helps the body regulate blood sugar.

Digestive system

Constipation is often synonymous with insufficient fiber intake (see our guide constipation and diet). Adding a few Hazelnuts to your eating habits increases fiber intake, and thus restores digestive transit.

Sexuality and reproduction

Two nutrients support sperm function and production: zinc and selenium. A deficiency of one of these two nutrients favors oligospermia: an insufficiency of spermatozoa production. Naturally, hazelnuts fight against selenium and zinc deficiencies.

Immune system

Nutrition modulates the immune response. Indeed, copper, iron and vitamin B6 modulate the functioning of immune cells. Moreover, selenium and zinc participate in the formation of certain white blood cells.

Within a varied and balanced diet, these nutrients provide hazelnuts with immunity benefits.

Nervous system, well-being

Hazelnuts stimulate the body. First of all, they bring energy to the body, by the lipids which compose them. Moreover, they offer several micronutrients participating in the energy metabolism (for example, zinc, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium).

Also, they prevent fatigue by contributing to the intake of magnesium, vitamin B6, iron and vitamin B5. These last two, moreover, associated with zinc boost intellectual functions.

This maintenance of general form is also observed on the nervous system. Indeed, potassium and calcium participate in the nervous transmission. However, this general energizing power does not amplify stress. These same micronutrients (magnesium, vitamin B1, B9, B6 and B5) contribute to the normal synthesis of neurotransmitters, which tends to balance the emotions.

Body, face and hair care

Brittle hair or nails can be caused by zinc or selenium deficiencies. Hazelnuts provide these two trace elements, contributing to their strength. In addition, hazelnuts contain copper, which reinforces the intensity of hair color.

The skin also benefits from copper and zinc. Since they act respectively in the protection and in the maintenance of the skin. On the global aspect of the skin, Hazelnuts bring copper and manganese. By their actions on the connective tissue, they give volume to the skin which reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Bone system

Bone demineralization increases their fragility and the risk of fractures. Hazelnuts are full of minerals and trace elements that are stored in the bones. This mineralization reinforces the solidity of bones. By the contribution of these minerals, the Hazelnuts take part in the solidity of the bones, to integrate within the framework of a balanced food.

Circulatory system

Anemia is multifactorial. Among these factors, we find dietary imbalances. Hazelnuts fight against iron, vitamin B9 and B6 deficiencies: a deficit of one of these nutrients disrupts red blood cell synthesis (see our guides: iron deficiency anemia and diet, macrocytic anemia and diet). Finally, Hazelnuts are rich in copper. Copper promotes the bioavailability of iron.

As part of a healthy lifestyle, the nutrients in hazelnuts help prevent anemia.

Nutritional properties

Main properties

  • Antioxidant (flavonol, copper, manganese, selenium, zinc, vitamin E): hazelnuts have a high antioxidant capacity. Indeed, the ORAC score of Hazelnuts is estimated at 9645 ┬Ámol TE/100g. This score is explained by the concentration of antioxidant trace elements. We find copper, manganese, selenium and zinc which metabolize the free radicals by activating the antioxidant enzymes. Hazelnuts also have a phenolic compound (flavonols) and vitamin E. These are powerful antioxidants.
  • Cardiovascular protector (oleic acid, fiber, vitamin E, flavonol, copper, selenium, manganese, zinc): hazelnuts protect against cardiovascular complications thanks to their lipid profiles. They are composed in great majority of omega 9: the oleic acid. Oleic acid is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol and is known to protect the cardiovascular system. In addition, hazelnuts fight against cholesterol peroxidation and inflammation, which protects the vessels from atheromatous plaques. Finally, the fibers reduce the absorption of cholesterol.
  • Appetite regulator (fiber, lipid): Hazelnuts have a low glycemic index due to their low sugar content, richness in lipids and fiber. Thus, they help the body to regulate blood sugar. A stable glycemia favors the feeling of satiety.
  • Contributing to fertility (zinc, selenium): Hazelnuts participate in male fertility. Vectors of zinc and selenium, these micronutrients are involved in the functioning of male reproductive functions. Zinc composes the seminal liquid and maintains the levels of testosterone (hormone which takes part in the libido and the development of the secondary sexual characters); selenium takes part in the synthesis of the spermatozoids.
  • Laxative (fiber): Hazelnuts are rich in insoluble fiber. Insoluble fibers have the power to swell upon contact with water. Within the intestinal lumen, they increase the volume of stool which accelerates transit.
  • Contributing to energy metabolism (lipid, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B9, zinc, calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, vitamin B5): hazelnuts have a lipidic energy. They have a high energy yield: 9 kcal for 1 g of consumed lipid. This means that small quantities of hazelnuts are enough to give fuel to the body. Especially since they provide many micronutrients of energy metabolism, we are talking about zinc, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, vitamins B9, B6, B1 and B5.

Secondary properties

  • Anti-inflammatory (vitamin B9, vitamin B6): hazelnuts are rich in vitamin B9 and a source of vitamin B6. These neutralize homocysteine, a pro-inflammatory amino acid. More precisely, it is through the methionine cycle that vitamin B9 intervenes, this cycle transforms homocysteine into methionine, a non inflammatory amino acid. Vitamin B6 acts as a cofactor to produce cysteine from homocysteine. Cysteine is also important and is non-inflammatory.
  • Immunomodulating (copper, selenium, vitamin B9, iron, zinc, vitamin B6): hazelnuts encourage the proper functioning of the immune system by providing immunomodulating nutrients.
  • Skin Regenerator (copper, manganese, zinc): hazelnuts contribute to the maintenance of healthy skin through the provision of zinc. In addition, they contribute to the formation of connective tissue through copper and manganese. The connective tissue supports the skin and takes part in their general aspect.
  • Skin Protector (Copper): Hazelnuts are rich in copper. Copper is involved in the formation of melanin. This pigment acts as a screen against the sun's ultraviolet rays, which protects the genetic apparatus of cells.
  • Anti-anemic (copper, vitamin B9, iron, vitamin B6): copper, iron and vitamins B9 and B6 are necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells: erythropoiesis. Hazelnuts contain these three nutrients, they contribute to the formation of red blood cells. Moreover, they are rich in copper: copper participates in the transport of iron. Iron is therefore easily mobilized for erythropoiesis.
  • Remineralizing (magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, vitamin B5): hazelnuts are packed with minerals, especially magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and calcium. All are stored in the bones, which contributes to their solidity. The strong point of hazelnuts is the contribution of vitamin B5. Vitamin B5 is involved in the metabolism of vitamin D: a vitamin that increases the absorption and fixation of calcium.
  • Hair Strengthener (copper, selenium, zinc): copper, selenium and zinc influence the appearance of hair. Copper stimulates the formation of melanin, which influences hair pigmentation. Selenium and zinc contribute to the maintenance of hair. By providing these three trace elements, Hazelnuts reinforce the strength and color of hair.

Nutritional values

*Recommended Daily Allowance

To know more about the plant : The Hazelnut tree

The hazelnut tree is well known in France. It belongs to the Betulaceae family. It would be native to the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, around the Dead Sea. The hazelnut colonizes the edges and forest clearings and appreciates rich soils. This shrub measures 2 to 5 m, its trunk is grayish and its leaves are short-stalked. The flowers are born from January to March, long before the leaves. The hazelnut tree is monoecious: it has male flowers that form yellowish catkins hanging, and female flowers, not very apparent, in a gray bud where only the red stigmas show at their tops.

The hazelnut tree bears fruit at the end of the summer. Its fruit, the Hazelnut, is an achene protected by a tough shell. In 2017, more than one million tons of Hazelnuts were produced worldwide, with Turkey being the main producer (65%), followed by Italy and Azerbaijan. Hazelnut is also appreciated by truffle growers: some hazelnut plants are said to be "mycorrhized", i.e. they are able to produce, under certain conditions, truffles.

The aromatic potential of hazelnuts

Hazelnut taste, hazelnut flavor, hazelnut aroma... So many variations that arouse the interest of our taste buds. They evoke the power of roasted hazelnuts as much as a moment of cocooning subtly accompanied by a hazelnut coffee. The aromatic notes of the Hazelnut are highly sought after and arouse the craze of the food trades. A study dated 2018 shows that the aroma of Hazelnuts and a clever blend of aromatic notes responsible for the flavors of malt, butter, earth, caramel and ... Musty.

Organic hazelnuts (whole,...

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