Health Benefits of Hazelnuts

The hazelnut plant originates from Asia although hazelnuts from the copper age have been found in Switzerland. Already known in ancient Rome where hazelnuts plants were given to wish happiness, its leaves and fruits were also left to the dead as passage for the afterlife. In France and Germany people would light hazel torches during wedding nights as a sign of fertility and to ensure a long and happy marriage.

Major Nutriments

Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin B6. The nervous system needs amino acids to function properly therefore vitamin B6 is very important for this. In addition, B6 vitamin is necessary for the creation of myelin, which increases the efficacy of nervous system. Vitamin B6 is among the essential substances for the synthesis of serotonin, melatonin and epinephrine, neurotransmitters of the nervous system.
Hazelnuts are also rich in vitamin B1 (thiamine). B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folic acid). The vitamins of group B are necessary for our body to derive energy from proteins, fats and carbohydrates. They are used by our body to keep the nervous system healthy to improve the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Vitamin B9, or folic acid, contributes to the synthesis of hormones and vitamin B2 is required for the health of red blood cells, while vitamin B3 ensures the normal functions of the nervous system and the digestive tract.
As well as almonds, hazelnuts are among the fruits richer in vitamin E. 100 grams of hazelnuts contain about 86% of daily body requirement. This vitamin protects the skin against the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, premature ageing and the eventuality of tumours, especially bladder cancer. The antitumor effect of hazelnuts is also strengthened by the presence of manganese which is part of the antioxidant enzymes produced by the mitochondria of the cells, a mechanism useful to protect them from cancer.
Magnesium that is present in hazelnuts activates the digestive enzymes and facilitates the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It also promotes the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates. The fibre content of hazelnuts ensures the health of the digestive system, facilitating intestinal transit and toxins elimination.
Potassium protects skin, hair and skeletal system, but also promotes the right balance between calcium and phosphorus. It also contributes to the smooth functioning of the cardiac apparatus and muscles

Main health Benefits

  • Keeps cholesterol low
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases
  • Prevents anemia
  • Serves as a natural supplement
  • Promotes the wellbeing of muscles and bones
  • Facilitates the wellbeing of the skin

Why soak fresh hazelnuts in water?

To enjoy the best of all the nutritional properties of hazelnuts and their benefits it is important to soak them in water for few hours (for example overnight). Soaking dried fruit and seeds in water allows to reduce the quantity of phytic acid and consequently to improve the bioavailability of vitamins, minerals and other useful substances.

Benifits of eating hazelnut’s skin

Hazelnut skin is the perisperm of hazelnut kernel and represents approximately 2.5% of the total hazelnut kernel weight. The skin is separated from the kernel during hazelnut roasting and is normally discarded. However, recent studies have reported that hazelnut skin is a rich source of dietary fibre as well as of natural antioxidants owing to the presence of phenolic compounds. Hazelnut skin is thus referred to as an ‘antioxidant dietary fibre’ (ADF).Given the relationship between antioxidants and dietary fibre, it has been proposed that hazelnut skin may not only retard human low-density lipoprotein oxidation in vitro but also help enhance host gastrointestinal health by promoting a beneficial microbiota profile, thus exerting a significant role in the prevention of human diseases.
Article: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 95. 1678–1688. 10.1002/jsfa.6871