Benefits of hazelnuts and their nutritional values

The Hazelnut Fruit, belonging to the nut family, has various health benefits, just like the benefits of walnuts. It is appreciated for its subtle flavour and its refined flesh, which is very popular with children and adults alike. Whether sprinkled in the batter of one, nibbled on in case of a small hunger, or used as oil to season raw vegetables, the hazelnut will easily become part of our eating habits. In addition to its greedy side, this small nut is a precious ally that protects you from certain ailments…

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Benefits of hazelnuts

Nutritional values and calorie count of hazelnuts
Nuts are considered to be a food supplement source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. From one variety to another, the nutrients are so abundant that a small amount, equivalent to 25-30 g per day, is enough to obtain all the nutrients needed for the body to function properly.

What are hazelnuts rich in?

Freshly picked hazelnuts are different from most fresh fruits that are rich in carbohydrates. These nutritional qualities, commonly known as good fats, account for more than 60% of their nutritional intake and are mainly composed of omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3. If these oilseeds are good for heart health, it is also thanks to the fibre and magnesium they contain,

Hazelnuts, an energy product

Packed with good nutrients, hazelnuts are also very energetic (683kcal/100g) and are therefore recommended for athletes. They should be mixed with other oilseeds (almonds, walnuts) and sultanas, for example, as a suitable diet. However, they are not recommended for overweight people because of their high calorie content.

What vitamins are present in nuts and hazelnuts?

Walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds are rich in vitamin E, as well as those of the B group (B1, B2, B3 and B9, or folic acid). They are the richest oilseeds in their group in terms of vitamin E, with consumption covering about 60% of the body’s daily requirement for one serving. The latter has an antioxidant function, prevents the ageing of skin cells and the oxidation of bad cholesterol.

B vitamins are found in negligible quantities in oilseeds, but their role is not insignificant, particularly B9 or folic acid, which is necessary for pregnant women for embryonic growth.

The health benefits of eating hazelnuts

As well as being a delicious food, these oilseeds are excellent health allies. How many hazelnuts a day can you get to benefit your body? Thanks to their fatty acid content, regular consumption of hazelnuts reduces the risk of heart attacks by 10% and the risk of cardiovascular disease by 45%. These nuts also have a low glycaemic index: GI below 55%. This helps to reduce insulin sensitivity, control type I and type II diabetes, stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain due to an insulin spike.

As far as blood cholesterol is concerned, they are preferred, as phytosterols lower the bad (LDL) and increase the good (HDL).

Strengthens your immune system

Thanks to its vitamin E content, hazelnuts help to strengthen your immune system. Eating 10 to 12 hazelnuts a day would provide 20% of your recommended daily intake.

Promotes satiety

All the benefits of plant proteins and hazelnut fibre, which provide a significant satiety effect. Eating hazelnuts is an excellent way to supplement and avoid calorie intake in the evening by enjoying a few seeds in the late afternoon, hence the relationship between hazelnuts and weight loss.

Reducing cholesterol levels

The plant sterols (plant lipids from cell membranes) contained in hazelnuts reduce bad cholesterol by 10 to 15%. Consumption of hazelnuts helps to lower cholesterol levels, a process that is beneficial to our health. Monounsaturated fatty acids also lower this cholesterol without lowering the good cholesterol.

Combats oxidative stress

Just like the benefits of pistachios, hazelnuts are rich in antioxidants to limit oxidative stress. The vitamin E in hazelnut powder protects against free radicals responsible for premature cell ageing. Its consumption, like many dried fruits, prevents free radical damage to your body. These free radicals contribute to cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and certain diseases caused by ageing.

The hazelnut is said to be in the top three fruits with the most antioxidant power, including walnuts and pecans.

Hazelnuts and dried fruits can help you lose weight:
A scientific study shows that people who follow a Mediterranean diet and eat hazelnuts lose more belly fat than those who eat olive oil. Almonds and pistachios are the most effective for losing belly fat, and eating them can reduce your waistline by 5 centimetres compared to a traditional diet.

Although oilseeds are a fatty, high-calorie food, their fat is not absorbed by the body during digestion. About 21% of the calories in nuts are not digested.

When should you eat hazelnuts?

Almonds, hazelnuts and all oil fruits can be eaten daily, but not more than 28g. Inserting them into your food in the morning gives you energy, as they are rich in calories.

During the day or on the move, they are a smart snack to avoid getting hungry too quickly or simply to satisfy your desire to eat without necessarily being hungry. In the evening, you can eat a few seeds without going overboard to take advantage of their health benefits. It is best to eat them raw, naturally, without salt or spices. However, there is nothing to stop you from cooking differently by adding them to gourmet recipes.