Hazelnut comes from the species Filbert nut and also known as cobnut. The kernel of Hazel is edible and packed in a shell encompassed in a fibrous husk. When it ripens, the nuts fall out of the husk hide.
The nut is smooth and rich in texture and can be consumed raw or roasted. Hazelnut has a thin brown skin on it which can be bitter in taste and so it is removed before consuming.
Hazelnut is used widely as an additive in chocolates, confectioneries and for garnishing the desserts and savory preparations. As Hazelnut are a rich source of fats, the strong flavored oil derived from them is also used for cooking.
The origins of Hazelnut are believed to belong to Britain and more specifically Scotland. Today hazelnut is cultivated in numerous regions of Europe including Turkey, Iran and Caucasus.
In fact, Turkey is the largest producer of this nut in modern times. In India, they are produced only in Pangi Valley of Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh.
Though they are grown sparingly in only some parts of the world, they have gained popularly and are much in demand across the globe. Because of their nutritional value, they are probably one of the best edible items to transcend borders from the Western countries.
Hazelnut is high energy nuts that are laden with 87% unsaturated fats that are termed as “good fats” for your body.
These nuts are also a rich source of dietary fiber that is much higher than most of the nuts in the category.
Take a look at the nutritional value of Hazelnut and you will be amazed as to its complete and ideal nutrient composition. The figures are adjusted for 100 grams of standard serving.
Hazelnut is rich in vitamins and fulfills most of our daily requirements in their 100 grams serving per day.
They provide 100% of our body’s Vitamin E need whereas 56% of Vitamin B1 and 43% of vitamin B6. About 12% of vitamin B3 and 18% of Vitamin B5 is derived from these nuts.
Amongst the trace metals, it is richest in Manganese which is almost three times our daily requirement and magnesium is 46%.
A beneficial and ideal 36% of iron and 11% of calcium is provided by Hazelnut. Trace metal zinc is present to fulfill about 26% of our daily requirement. Apart from a rich composition of nutrients, Hazelnut is constituted of almost over 5% of water.
Hazelnut is an elixir of nutrition which combines Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, Vitamins and other minerals or trace metals.
It is especially the metals and minerals that are abundant in this nut and make it unique because other nutrition can be derived easily from our daily consumption of staples and fruits.
1. For the Cardiovascular Health
Hazelnut is rich in unsaturated fats called HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins). These HDL reduce and balance the levels of Bad cholesterol (LDL) in our body which comes from saturated fats. Over a period, LDL leads to deposition of fats in the arteries that creates plaque.
Plaque is extremely harmful because it makes the arteries inflexible and obstruct the blood flow. Varicose veins, Arrhythmia, and fluctuating blood pressure are some of the medical conditions that can arise in most of the cases that report high cholesterol.
In severe cases, this can lead to heart attack, stroke and permanent damage to arteries.
According to USDA, about 40-50 grams of Hazelnut consumed every day can bring the levels of unhealthy cholesterol down to acceptable limits.
Out of the 60.75 total compositions of fats in Hazelnut, about 4.464 is unsaturated, 45.652 is monounsaturated, and 7.92 is polyunsaturated. We need saturated fats in our body as well, and these are provided by Hazelnut in a controlled and restrained quantities. This is what makes the fat content in Hazelnut complete.
Wrap Up: Hazelnut are good for heart as it lowers the harmful fat deposition in the body and arteries. They provide a complete fat nutrition with right amount of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats.
2. Folate for you
Folate, better known as Vitamin B12 is a necessary component for cell repairs, maintenance and a healthy fetal growth in the initial term of pregnancy.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, the spine and brain development of the baby take place that needs erythrocytes that are dependent on folate. The red blood cells and white blood cell formation also takes place with an aid from folic acid rich nutrition.
Not only is it beneficial for brain development in the fetus but also helps in arresting various degenerative disorders and age-related medical conditions related to the brain in adults.
The role of Folate in keeping the cells healthy and assisting in new cell formation keeps the brain from aging.
Apart from these, Folate is also being used widely to treat psychiatric disorders like depression.Hazelnut has the highest content of folate amongst nuts.
So now on, you have an option other than pills and green leafy vegetables to make up your folate reserves.
Wrap up: Folate in Hazelnut keeps brain healthy and arrests the ageing process. It is vital for fetal growth in terms of brain and spine development.
3. Vitamin E- Fountain of Youth
Hazelnut completes 100% of your daily Vitamin E requirement. Vitamin E is fat soluble vitamin and is known for its strong anti-oxidant properties.
Most of the people only know about its positive effects of skin health, but a few know that many of the age-related degenerative diseases are controlled and treated by using Vitamin E supplements.
Treatment of diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, diabetes, high blood pressure and artery damage largely uses vitamin E. Due to its anti-oxidant character, Vitamin E reduces and prevents the development of various types of cancers and tumor growths in the body.
This vitamin expedites cell repair thereby replacing the dead and damaged cells faster and effectively. This process contains the process of premature aging and gives your skin a youthful glow.
In women, it is known to control Pre- menstrual syndrome (PMS), reduce the risk of premature births, ovarian cysts, and many post-menopausal syndromes.
Wrap up: Vitamin E in Hazelnut arrests degenerative diseases, keeps skin healthy, prevents cancers caused by free radicals and keeps your heart healthy.
In women, it has been found effective for menstruation related disorders and complications associated with child birth.
4. Magnesium for Muscles and Calcium Utilization
Magnesium is an important component found in Hazelnut which regulates the entire muscle function of our body. It is the deficiency of magnesium which usually causes severe cramping especially after a workout or heavy physical exertion.
Magnesium is usually lost by the loss of electrolyte through sweat and utilization of fluid in the body. The contraction and expansion of muscles including the heart muscles take place because of magnesium. It also helps in treating chronic pain and muscle spasms.
This metal also monitors and controls the release and distribution of calcium in the body. Excess release and deposition of calcium can choke the kidney and bladder and leading to organ failure in critical undiagnosed cases.
By ensuring the distribution of calcium over the bones, it also controls the wastage of this necessary constituent of bones.
Wrap up: Magnesium in Hazelnut ensures optimum muscle health and protects from muscle related dysfunction. Its role in regulating calcium release and distribution prevents from osteoporosis, kidney failure and calcium wastage.
5. Calcium for Healthy Bones
We all know that Calcium is the main building block of our bones and Hazelnut provides about 11% of our body’s daily calcium requirement.
But apart from strengthening bones and reducing the risk of developing conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis, Calcium has numerous other health benefits.
Calcium has been specifically found to be an important mineral for women who tend to lose a lot of nutrients in the form of menstrual periods and while carrying pregnancies.
New studies have revealed that calcium helps in metabolizing the fats in the body and discouraging their storage in the cells. This would help anyone who is trying to shed a few inches from their waist.
Deficiency of calcium is also strongly associated with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), which doctors believe takes place because of reaction between progesterone, estrogen and calcium regulating hormones. Calcium also goes on to relieve the menstrual pain and cramps.
Wrap up: Calcium combats bone related diseases and disorders and helps in weight loss regimen. Apart from these it has been found to be effective in allaying PMS and premenstrual pain.
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6. Diabetes & Inflammation Management
The rich content of Manganese makes hazelnut a great catalyst for metabolism in the body which helps in dissolving carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and proteins.
A good metabolism leads to the better synthesis of nutrients resulting in better absorption and healthy body. But it can also prove to be a significant deterrent for sugar levels.
Manganese controls and regulates the absorption as well as its excretion that reduces the spikes in glucose levels after meals and otherwise too.
People who have a family history of diabetes must take sufficient quantity food sources that are rich in manganese to avoid diabetic onset.
Manganese is also a great healer of sprains and inflammation in the body. It contains SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) which heals and reduces pain from conditions like bruising, arthritis, etc. It has also been found to alleviate the pain caused by PMS in women bringing a lot of relief before as well as during the menstrual periods.
Wrap up: Manganese in Hazelnut is known to facilitate metabolism leading to optimum sugar levels in the body. It is also an effective painkiller and anti-inflammatory agent.
7. Strong as Iron
The iron content of Hazelnut can meet about 36% of our daily Iron needs which is an essential metal for blood formation and its structure. Hemoglobin in our blood transports oxygen to every part of the body.
A deficiency of this pigment is called Anemia. Iron happens to be the most important and vital factor in hemoglobin production.
You can gauge the importance of Iron to blood from the fact that the red color of our blood is because of this particular mineral.
Stunted oxygen distribution, fatigue, paleness, persistent drowsiness are some of the common attributes of iron deficiency. In pregnancy, it can lead to abortion and termination of conception.
Apart from blood formation, Iron is also present in muscle tissues and helps to keep them functioning. Our brain uses 20% of the oxygen inhaled by the body, so it is but natural that our brain function and activities are largely dependent on Iron.
The neurotransmitter of the brain is also synthesized by the oxygen carried by hemoglobin. Disorders like a Renal failure, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia have been conclusively associated with deficiency of iron in the body.
Wrap up: Iron content of Hazelnut distributes oxygen to all the organs and parts of the body. It protects the body from Anemia, fatigue, insomnia and other iron deficiency related disorders.
Hazelnut is the official nut of Oregon as about 95% of the total hazelnut produce comes from this part of the United States. The Hazelnut tree is sturdy, can reach a height of almost 50 feet and has a long life which is evident from the fact that they can produce this nut for hundreds of years!
Hazelnut has huge reserves of Manganese, which is one of the few trace metals that can cause toxicity in our body. It is rare in nature and usually is not caused by food sources unless there is a prolonged consumption.
Manganese toxicity can lead to psychiatric disturbances and limited or complete loss of motor skills. Apart from this word of caution, there are people who are allergic to nuts who should stay away from Hazelnut until it is established conclusively that they are tolerant to them under an able medical guidance.
The best way of choosing right Hazelnut is to look for glossy and smooth shells. When you shake a handful of them, the nut should not rattle inside as it would indicate that nut has shriveled.
If the hazelnut has been taken out of its shell and the brown covering as well then judge its quality from its smooth appearance and the odor that should not be rancid.
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