Hazelnuts are a dry and oleaginous fruit with a smooth shell and an edible seed inside, being an excellent source of energy due to their high fat and protein content. For this reason, hazelnuts should be consumed in small quantities.
This fruit can be consumed raw, as food oil or can be prepared in the form of milk or butter. Hazelnuts have several health benefits for being rich in fiber, iron, phosphorus, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, helping to reduce bad cholesterol, prevent anemia, take care of bone health and promote liver metabolism.
The benefits of consuming hazelnuts are:
1. Taking care of heart health
Because they are rich in good fats and fiber, hazelnuts help lower bad LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and increase good HDL cholesterol. Also, thanks to its vitamin E content, a potent antioxidant, it favors the reduction of inflammation in the body, reducing the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to this, thanks to its contribution of magnesium, folic acid and potassium, hazelnuts could also help control blood pressure, because they help maintain the health of blood vessels.
2. Strengthen the brain and memory
Hazelnuts are rich in folic acid, magnesium, zinc , which are micronutrients that are necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses, increasing memory and learning capacity, being beneficial for school-age children, as well as for the elderly who have memory failures.
3. Control blood sugar
Due to its fiber content and the nutrients it has, such as oleic acid and magnesium, for example, the consumption of hazelnuts helps to reduce and control blood sugar, increasing insulin sensitivity, being able to be consumed by diabetic people during a snack, for example.
4. Control or decrease weight
Hazelnuts are a nut that provide a good amount of fiber, this makes them generate a greater feeling of satiety, so consuming them in small amounts in snacks or salads, for example, could promote weight loss. It is recommended to consume approximately 30 grams.
5. Prevent cancer
Hazelnuts contain a high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that may offer some anti-cancer properties. These nuts possess an antioxidant known as proanthocyanidins, which protect against oxidative stress.
In addition to this, their vitamin E and manganese content protect against damage to cells that could cause cancer, thus decreasing their risk.
Hazelnut Nutritional Information
The table below shows the nutritional value per 100 grams of hazelnuts:
Some recipes in which hazelnuts can be included are:
1. Healthy Hazelnut Cream
Method of preparation
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Place the hazelnuts on a tray and take them to the oven, leaving them to toast for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Next, add the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor or blender and blend until a creamy consistency is obtained.
Once the consistency is obtained, add the cocoa powder and coconut sugar, blending the mixture again. Place the cream in a glass container and it is ready to spread.
2. Hazelnut butter
How to prepare
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Place the hazelnuts on a tray and take them to the oven. Let toast for 15 minutes or until the skin begins to peel and the hazelnuts have a golden color.
Place the hazelnuts in a clean cloth, close it and leave them like that for 5 minutes. Then remove the skins as much as possible and let them stand for another 10 to 15 minutes until completely cooled. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor or blender, add the oil and blend until the mixture has the texture of peanut butter.
3. Hazelnut milk
How to prepare
Soak the hazelnuts in water for 8 hours. Wash them and blend them with all the ingredients. Strain and place in a pitcher.
4. Chicken salad with hazelnuts
How to prepare
For the dressing you should place the hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons of onion, water, salt, garlic, balsamic vinegar and paprika in a food processor or blender. While blending you should gradually and constantly add a trickle of olive oil. If desired, you can add a little stevia to the dressing to make it sweeter.
In a large bowl, place the mixed greens, the rest of the onion and add 1/2 cup of dressing and mix. Next add some cherry tomatoes and top with apple slices, you can also crush a handful of hazelnuts and add on top.