Hazelnuts are a type of dry and oil-bearing fruit that has a smooth skin and an edible seed inside, being an excellent source of energy due to its high content of fats, as well as proteins. For this reason, hazelnuts should be consumed in small quantities, to avoid increasing the calorie intake too much.
This fruit can be eaten raw, in the form of olive oil or it can be used to prepare hazelnut milk or butter, for example. Hazelnuts have several health benefits as they are rich in fiber, iron, phosphorus, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, helping to lower high cholesterol, prevent anemia, take care of bone health and promote the metabolism of liver.
The benefits of consuming hazelnut can be:
1. Promote cardiovascular health
Because they are rich in good fats and fibers, hazelnuts help to lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as increase good cholesterol, which prevent the onset of complications and cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis or infarction. In addition, due to its content in vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant, hazelnut reduces inflammation throughout the body, further decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Thanks to its contribution in magnesium, folic acid and potassium, hazelnut can also help control blood pressure, as it maintains the health of blood cases.
2. Strengthen the brain and memory
Hazelnuts are rich in folic acid, magnesium and zinc, which are necessary micronutrients and important for the transmission of nerve impulses. Thus, the consumption of this dried fruit is a good way to increase or preserve the memory and learning capacity, being a good food for school-age children or for elderly people with memory problems, for example.
3. Control your blood sugar
Due to its high fiber content and the nutrients it contains, such as oleic acid and magnesium, hazelnut helps to reduce and control the amount of sugar in the blood, increasing insulin sensitivity. Therefore, hazelnut is a good example of a snack that can be consumed by people with diabetes during snack.
4. Help reduce weight
Hazelnuts are a type of dried fruit that have a good amount of fiber, which causes a greater feeling of satiety, so consuming them in small amounts during snack, for example, can help with weight loss, for better controlling hunger. For this, it is recommended to eat about 30 g of hazelnuts.
5. Prevent cancer
Hazelnuts contain a high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can offer some anti-cancer properties. This dried fruit has an antioxidant known as proanthocyanins, which protect against oxidative stress.
In addition, its content in vitamin E and manganese, protects against cell damage that could cause cancer in the long run.
Nutritional information of Hazelnut
The following table shows the nutritional information for each 100 grams of hazelnut:
|Amount per 100 grams of hazelnuts|
|Vitamin E||25 mg|
|Vitamin B3||5,2 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0,59 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0,3 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0,16 mg|
|Folic acid||73 mcg|
Simple recipes with Hazelnut
Some simple recipes to make at home and include hazelnut in the diet, are:
1. Hazelnut cream
- 250 g of hazelnut;
- 20 g of cocoa powder;
- 2 tablespoons full of coconut sugar.
Take the hazelnuts to a preheated oven at 180ºC and leave for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Then place the hazelnuts in a food processor or blender and beat until they have a more creamy consistency.
Then add the cocoa powder and coconut sugar, passing the mixture again through the processor or blender. Then, put the cream in a glass container and consume as you prefer.
2. Hazelnut milk
- 1 cup of hazelnuts;
- 2 dessert spoons of vanilla flavor;
- 1 pinch of sea salt (optional);
- 1 spoon (of dessert) of cinnamon, nutmeg or cocoa powder (optional);
- 3 cups of water.
Dip hazelnuts in water for at least 8 hours. Then, wash the hazelnuts and beat the blender together with the other ingredients, for flavor. Strain the mixture and store in a jar or glass bottle.
3. Hazelnut butter
- 2 cups of hazelnuts;
- ¼ cup of vegetable oil, such as canola.
Preheat the oven to 180º and then place the hazelnuts in a pan and bake. Let toast for 15 minutes or until the skin begins to fall off the hazelnuts or until the hazelnuts are golden in color.
Place the hazelnuts on a clean cloth, close and let stand for 5 minutes. Then, remove the skin from the hazelnuts and let stand for another 10 minutes, until they cool completely. Finally, place the hazelnuts in a food processor or in a blender, add the oil and beat until the mixture has a texture similar to peanut butter.
4. Chicken and hazelnut salad
- 200 g of grilled chicken;
- 1 medium apple cut into thin slices;
- 1/3 cup of roasted hazelnuts in the oven;
- ½ cup onion;
- 1 lettuce washed and separated into leaves;
- Cherry tomatoes;
- 2 tablespoons of water;
- 4 dessert spoons of balsamic vinegar;
- ½ spoon (of dessert) of salt;
- 1 clove of garlic;
- 1 pinch of paprika;
- ¼ cup of olive oil.
Start by separating the ingredients for the salad dressing. To do this, beat the hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons of onion, water, salt, garlic, balsamic vinegar and paprika in a food processor or blender. Meanwhile, gradually add a drizzle of olive oil. The sauce is ready.
In a large container, place the lettuce leaves, the rest of the onion and ½ cup of the sauce. Stir and then add the cherry tomatoes cut in halves and place the apple slices, basting with the rest of the sauce. If desired, you can also add some crushed hazelnuts on top.