Who can resist hazelnuts? The sight of chocolate covered hazelnuts can send any chocolate lover into delirium. But here’s a secret: this sweet, cream colored nut can not only tickle your taste buds but can also give you a plethora of health benefits!
Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are slightly sweet and tasty nuts belonging to the Betulaceae family. Hazel is a deciduous tree native to Europe and Turkey. It is cultivated all across the world, but is grown extensively in Turkey, Italy and the US.
The hazel fruits are borne in clusters and are held in a short, leafy capsule. The nut is yellowish to brown in color and is spherical to oval in shape. This marble sized nut is packed with a wide range of benefits. Apart from being a tasty indulgence, hazelnuts can help reduce weight and maintain the health of the heart.
Benefits of Hazelnuts for Health and Skin
Hazelnut is touted for its ability to protect the body from several diseases. Some of the hazelnuts benefits include:
Unlike most other nuts, hazelnuts are an excellent source of folate. A 100 gram serving provides 113 ug of folate, amounting to 30% of the daily-recommended value. Folate is highly beneficial for pregnant women. It helps to prevent megaloblastic anemia and neural defects in babies.
2. Vitamin E:
100 grams serving of hazelnuts provide 15% of the daily-recommended value of vitamin E. Hazelnut oil is a well-known source of vitamin E. Vitamin E prevents the disintegration of the red blood cells, reducing the risk of anemia. A proper circulation of blood also strengthens the immune system, keeping fever, cold, and other illnesses at bay.
Hazelnut is believed to eliminate the factors that lead to the development of cancerous cells. It defuses the malicious cells present in the body, preventing the possibility of cancer. Beta-sitosterol, a compound found in hazelnuts, reduces the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Several studies have concluded that hazelnuts contain alpha-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E that reduces the risk of bladder cancer by half.
4. Heart health:
Hazelnuts are rich in unsaturated fats that are extremely beneficial for the heart. The oleic acid in hazelnut lowers the bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol in the blood. Regular consumption of hazelnut decreases cholesterol by 27%. Studies have also revealed that eating hazelnuts reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol that stick to the artery walls, obstructing the blood vessels. According to a research, people who consume hazelnuts on a regular basis have 50% less risk of dying due to heart attack. It also contains magnesium that promotes healthy rests between the contractions, preventing the overexertion of the heart.
Magnesium plays a very important role in regulating the amount of calcium that goes in and out of the body. The proper amount of calcium promotes muscle contraction and allows the muscles to relax when they are not needed. This prevents muscle tension, soreness, spasm, fatigue, and cramps. The high levels of magnesium also help increase muscle strength.
6. Bone and Joint Health:
Hazelnuts are also rich in manganese, a mineral required for the growth and strength of bones. Magnesium in hazelnuts can be very useful for building the structure and strength of the skeletal system. It increases bone mineral density and fights osteoporosis.
7. Nervous System:
Hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin B6, which is required for the creation of myelin, the sheath of the nerve that increases the speed and efficiency of electrical impulses, enabling the nervous system to operate properly. Hazel nuts are also instrumental in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like melatonin, serotonin, and epinephrine.
8. Digestive Tract Health:
Manganese in hazelnut acts as a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It also facilitates the protein and carbohydrate metabolism. The high fiber content in hazelnuts promotes regular movement of food and waste in the digestive tract. It balances the chemicals and microorganism necessary for a healthy digestive system. Eating high amounts of fiber assists in managing weight by keeping you satiated longer.
9. Skin Health:
Vitamin E protects the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, reducing the risk of skin cancer and dark spots. Vitamin E is also required for maintaining the integrity of the cell membranes, preventing premature ageing. It also protects the skin from harmful free radical attack. Regular facial massage with hazelnut oil protects the skin from dryness too.
Uses and Storage:
Hazelnuts can be purchased shelled, unshelled, chopped and with or without skin. Unshelled nuts are much better than the processed nuts. The nuts should be brown to yellow in color and should be uniform in size. Store shelled hazelnuts in an airtight container or in a refrigerator to prevent them from getting rancid.
One of the biggest advantages of hazelnuts is that they can be eaten raw, without any addition. Raw hazelnuts are a better alternative to the roasted ones as they retain the goodness of the nutrients present in it. You can also blend hazelnuts with milk, sugar, and fruits to make a delicious smoothie. However, if you do not like the taste of raw nuts, you can roast them in an oven at home.
Hazelnuts are used in confectionery like chocolate truffle and praline. Powdered hazelnut is also added to coffee.
Hazel nuts are also used to make hazelnut butter. This butter is ideal for people who suffer from peanut allergy.
Hazelnut oil is extracted from the nuts and is often used as carrier oil for medicinal uses. The oil is also used for cooking purposes.
Hazelnuts Nutritional Value:
Hazelnuts contain several nutrients that are extremely vital for the health and development of the human body. Hazelnut contains protein, carbohydrate, beta-sitosterol, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It comes packed with B complex vitamins like riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, and pantothenic acid. It is a rich source of minerals like calcium, folate, zinc, potassium, iron and manganese. A hundred gram serving of this tasty nut provide 328 calories. According to a research, hazelnuts contain 20 times more antioxidants than Vitamin C and 50 times more than Vitamin E! Hazelnuts or filberts nutrition is as follows:
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 628 Kcal
Carbohydrates 16.7 g
Total Fat 60.75 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fiber 9.7 g
Folates 113 µg
Niacin 1.8 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.918 mg
Pyridoxine 0.563 mg
Riboflavin 0.113 mg
Thiamin 0.643 mg
Vitamin A 20 IU
Vitamin C 6.3 mg
Vitamin E 15 mg
Vitamin K 14.2 µg
Sodium 0 mg
Potassium 680 mg
Calcium 114 mg
Copper 1.725 mg
Iron 4.7 mg
Magnesium 163 mg
Manganese 6.17 mg
Phosphorus 290 mg
Zinc 2.45 mg
Carotene-? 3 µg
Carotene-ß 11 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 92 µg
Roasted hazelnuts taste extremely delicious with rich chocolate. It is combined with cocoa powder to make nutella, an extremely delicious chocolate spread. Hazelnut chocolate bars are equally popular among people of all age groups.
A healthy food that tastes yummy? Can anything be better than that? Go, indulge yourself, for once you need not feel guilty about eating something tasty! Hazelnuts are a great way to stay healthy without compromising on taste.
Do you enjoy eating hazelnut? How do you like to eat it—raw or roasted? Do you have some special hazelnut recipes to share with us?
the hazelnut is the nut of the hazel and therefore includes any of the nuts deriving from species of the genus Corylus, especially the nuts of the species Corylus avellana. It also is known as cobnut or filbert nut according to species. A cob is roughly spherical to oval, about 15–25 mm (0.59–0.98 in) long and 10–15 mm (0.39–0.59 in) in diameter, with an outer fibrous husk surrounding a smooth shell. A filbert is more elongated, being about twice as long as its diameter. The nut falls out of the husk when ripe, about 7 to 8 months after pollination. The kernel of the seed is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. The seed has a thin, dark brown skin, which sometimes is removed before cooking.
Hazelnuts are used in confectionery to make praline, and also used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles and products such as Nutella and Frangelico liqueur. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavoured and used as a cooking oil. Turkey is the world's largest producer of hazelnuts.
Hazelnuts are rich in protein, monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, manganese, and numerous other essential nutrients (nutrition table below).
6 Edible uses
7 See also
9 External links
In 1995, evidence of large-scale Mesolithic nut processing, some 9,000 years old, was found in a midden pit on the island of Colonsay in Scotland. The evidence consists of a large, shallow pit full of the remains of hundreds of thousands of burned hazelnut shells. Hazelnuts have been found on other Mesolithic sites, but rarely in such quantities or concentrated in one pit. The nuts were radiocarbon dated to 7720+/-110BP, which calibrates to circa 6000 BC. Similar sites in Britain are known only at Farnham in Surrey and Cass ny Hawin on the Isle of Man.
This discovery gives an insight into communal activity and planning in the period. The nuts were harvested in a single year, and pollen analysis suggests the hazel trees were all cut down at the same time. The scale of the activity and the lack of large game on the island, suggest the possibility that Colonsay contained a community with a largely vegetarian diet for the time they spent on the island. The pit was originally on a beach close to the shore, and was associated with two smaller, stone-lined pits whose function remains obscure, a hearth, and a second cluster of pits.
The traditional method to increase nut production is called 'brutting', which involves prompting more of the trees' energy to go into flower bud production, by snapping, but not breaking off, the tips of the new year shoots' six or seven leaf groups from where they join with the trunk or branch, at the end of the growing season. The traditional term for an area of cultivated hazelnuts is a plat.
The many cultivars of the hazel include 'Atababa', 'Barcelona', 'Butler', 'Casina', 'Clark', 'Cosford', 'Daviana', 'Delle Langhe', 'England', 'Ennis', 'Fillbert', 'Halls Giant', 'Jemtegaard', 'Kent Cob', 'Lewis', 'Tokolyi', 'Tonda Gentile', 'Tonda di Giffoni', 'Tonda Romana', 'Wanliss Pride', and 'Willamette'. Some of these are grown for specific qualities of the nut, including large nut size, or early or late fruiting, whereas others are grown as pollinators. The majority of commercial hazelnuts are propagated from root sprouts. Some cultivars are of hybrid origin between common hazel and filbert. One cultivar grown in Washington, the 'DuChilly', has an elongated appearance, a thinner and less bitter skin, and a distinctly sweeter flavor than other varieties.
Production of hazelnuts in 2014
thousands of tonnes
Hazelnuts or filberts, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g
Energy 2,629 kJ (628 kcal)
Sugars 4.34 g
Dietary fiber 9.7 g
Vitamin A equiv.
(0%) 1 µg
(0%) 11 µg
Thiamine (B1) (56%) 0.643 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (9%) 0.113 mg
Niacin (B3) (12%) 1.8 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) (18%) 0.918 mg
Vitamin B6 (43%) 0.563 mg
Folate (B9) (28%) 113 µg
Vitamin C (8%) 6.3 mg
Vitamin E (100%) 15.03 mg
Vitamin K (14%) 14.2 µg
Calcium (11%) 114 mg
Iron (36%) 4.7 mg
Magnesium (46%) 163 mg
Manganese (294%) 6.175 mg
Phosphorus (41%) 290 mg
Potassium (14%) 680 mg
Selenium (3%) 2.4 µg
Sodium (0%) 0 mg
Zinc (26%) 2.45 mg
Water 5.31 g
Full Link to complete USDA Database entry
µg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Hazelnuts are harvested annually in mid-autumn. As autumn comes to a close, the trees drop their nuts and leaves. Most commercial growers wait for the nuts to drop on their own, rather than using equipment to shake them from the tree. The harvesting of hazelnuts is performed either by hand or, by manual or mechanical raking of fallen nuts.
Four primary pieces of equipment are used in commercial harvesting: the sweeper, the harvester, the nut cart, and the forklift. The sweeper moves the nuts into the center of the rows, the harvester lifts and separates the nuts from any debris (i.e. twigs and leaves), the nut cart holds the nuts picked up by the harvester, and the forklift brings a tote to offload the nuts from the nut cart and then, stacks the totes to be shipped to the processor (nut dryer).
The sweeper is a low-to-the-ground machine that makes two passes in each tree row. It has a 2 m (6 ft 7 in) belt attached to the front that rotates to sweep leaves, nuts, and small twigs from left to right, depositing the material in the center of the row as it drives forward. On the rear of the sweeper is a powerful blower to blow material left into the adjacent row with air speeds up to 90 m/s (300 ft/s). Careful grooming during the year and patient blowing at harvest may eliminate the need for hand raking around the trunk of the tree, where nuts may accumulate. The sweeper prepares a single center row of nuts narrow enough for the harvesting tractor to drive over without driving on the center row. It is best to sweep only a few rows ahead of the harvesters at any given time, to prevent the tractor that drives the harvester from crushing the nuts that may still be falling from the trees. Hazelnut orchards may be harvested up to three times during the harvest season, depending on the quantity of nuts in the trees and the rate of nut drop as a result of weather.
The harvester is a slow-moving machine pushed by a tractor, which lifts the material off the ground and separates the nuts from the leaves, empty husks, and twigs. As the harvester drives over the rows, a rotating cylinder with hundreds of tines, rakes the material onto a belt. The belt takes the material over a blower and under a powerful vacuum that sucks any lightweight soil and leaves from the nuts, and discharges them into the orchard. The remaining nuts are conveyed into a nut cart that is pulled behind the harvester. Once a tote is filled with nuts, the forklift hauls away the full totes and bring empty ones back to the harvester to maximize the harvester's time.
Two different timing strategies are used for collecting the fallen nuts. The first is to harvest early, when about half of the nuts have fallen. With less material on the ground, the harvester can work faster with less chance of a breakdown. The second option is to wait for all the nuts to fall before harvesting. Although the first option is considered the better of the two, two or three passes do take more time to complete than one. Weather also must be a consideration. Rain inhibits harvest and should a farmer wait for all the nuts to fall after a rainy season, it becomes much more difficult to harvest. Pickup also varies with how many acres are being farmed as well as the number of sweepers, harvesters, nut carts, and forklifts available.
In 2014, world production of hazelnuts (in shells) was 713,451 tonnes, a 17% decrease from 2013. Turkey produced 63% of the world total, followed by Italy, Georgia, the United States, and Azerbaijan (table).
In the United States, Oregon accounted for 99% of the nation's production in 2014, having a crop value of $129 million that is purchased mainly by the snack food industry.
In a 100-gram serving, raw hazelnuts supply 2,630 kilojoules (628 kcal) and are a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of numerous essential nutrients (see table). Particularly in high amounts are protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, thiamin, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium, all exceeding 30% DV (table). Several B vitamins have appreciable content. In lesser, but still significant amounts (moderate content, 10-19% DV), are vitamin K, calcium, zinc, and potassium (table). Hazelnuts are a significant source of total fat, accounting for 93% DV in a 100-gram serving. The fat components are monounsaturated fat as oleic acid (75% of total), polyunsaturated fat mainly as linoleic acid (13% of total), and saturated fat, mainly as palmitic acid and stearic acid (together, 7% of total).
Piccillatti, typical biscuits made with hazelnuts, Sicily
Ferrero SpA, the maker of Nutella and Ferrero Rocher, uses 25% of the global supply of hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are used in confections to make pralines, chocolate truffles, and hazelnut paste products. In Austria, hazelnut paste is an ingredient for making tortes, such as Viennese hazelnut torte. In Kiev cake, hazelnut flour is used to flavor its meringue body, and crushed hazelnuts are sprinkled over its sides. Dacquoise, a French dessert cake, often contains a layer of hazelnut meringue. Hazelnuts are used in Turkish cuisine and Georgian cuisine; the snack churchkhela and sauce satsivi are used, often with walnuts. The nuts may be eaten fresh or dried, having different flavors.
Filbertone, the principal flavor compound of hazelnuts
List of hazelnut diseases
The Hazel-nut Child
Jump up ^ Martins, S.; SimAues, F.; Matos, J.; Silva, A. P.; Carnide, V. (2014). "Genetic relationship among wild, landraces, and cultivars of hazelnut (Corylus avellana) from Portugal revealed through ISSR and AFLP markers". Plant Systematics and Evolution. 300 (5): 1035–1046. doi:10.1007/s00606-013-0942-3.
^ Jump up to: a b "Full Report (All Nutrients): 12120, Nuts, hazelnuts or filberts". USDA National Nutrient Database, version SR-27. 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
^ Jump up to: a b "Mesolithic food industry on Colonsay" Dec 1995) British Archaeology. No. 5. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
^ Jump up to: a b Moffat, Alistair (2005) Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History. London. Thames & Hudson. p. 91–2.
^ Jump up to: a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
Jump up ^ Flora of NW Europe: Corylus avellana Archived 2008-05-02 at the Wayback Machine.
Jump up ^ "No Ordinary Nut", Deborah Madison, Los Angeles Times, Jan 31, 2001
Jump up ^ "Neat and Sweet, But an Odd Nut", Melissa Clark, New York Times, Jan 16, 2002
^ Jump up to: a b "Hazelnuts (with shell); Crops by Region, World List, Production Quantity, 2014". UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Statistics Division (FAOSTAT). 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
Jump up ^ "Hazelnuts in Ontario – Growing, Harvesting and Food Safety". gov.on.ca.
Jump up ^ "Fýndýk". Yeni Ansiklopedi (in Turkish). January 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
Jump up ^ "Hazelnuts". Ag Marketing Resource Center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. August 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
Jump up ^ Narula, Svati Kirsten (14 August 2014). "A frost in Turkey may drive up the price of your Nutella". Quartz (publication). Atlantic Media.
Jump up ^ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (8 September 2007). "Nuts, whole hazelnuts". The Guardian.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Corylus avellana.
The dictionary definition of hazelnut at Wiktionary
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Turkey produces 75 per cent of the world's hazelnuts.Hazelnut prices have surged almost 10 per cent in the past two weeks after the Turkish government intervened to support the market for the first time in eight years.
Hazelnut prices have been volatile over the past few years largely due to the weather. The market had weakened for much of 2017, dropping 10 per cent to a low of TL21.5 ($5.99) a kilogramme just before last month’s referendum.