The hazelnut is the fruit that the hazel tree bears (Corylus avellana). It is a bushy shrub that belongs to the Betulaceae family, and is native to the Northern hemisphere. Hazelnut has a delicate, subtle taste and has tremendous nutritional value. It is a fruit that bestows many great benefits for health.
Health benefits of hazelnut
- With high levels of lipids and protein, hazelnut is a source of energy but it also contains a massive amount of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It is a prime choice to include in vegetarian diets.
- Since hazelnut is a very powerful antioxidant, it plays a part in reducing damage caused in the body by free radicals which are involved in triggering diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and illnesses due to ageing.
- Hazelnut boasts high levels of mono-unsaturated acid that tends to lower the “bad” cholesterol.
- A prime source for dietary fiber that are both soluble and non-soluble, hazelnut contributes to regulating intestinal transit. It helps prevent cardiovascular diseases and regulates certain types of diabetes.
- Hazel leaves have vasoconstrictrive and anti-inflammatory activity. When used topically, decoctions prepared from hazel leaves (1 oz (30 g) leaves for 1 quart (1 liter) water) soothe pain due to varicose veins and veinous disorders, and contribute to soothing certain skin conditions. Astringent properties are often attributed to them, which helps soothe and regulate diarrhea.
- For children, hazelnut oil acts as a light de-wormer.
- The bark of hazel sprigs, when used externally, is an excellent local hemorrhoid sedative. It also heals varicose ulcers.
Growing hazel for its health benefits
Our recommendation is to plant your hazel tree in a sunlit and open spot but protected from Eastern winds. It loves cool, light and deep soil, with a lot of humus. In small amounts, hazel tolerates chalk in the soil.
- Gardening: Growing hazel
A young hazel shrub can be kept in a pot for three to four years, but the pot must be at least 16 inches (40 cm) deep.
Hazelnuts in cooking for their health benefits
Usually we snack on hazelnuts raw, either fresh or dried. Some also like them grilled, in ice cream, liquor, or in cakes. They’re great for appetizers, too. They are particularly delicious when paired with chocolate.
You can use hazelnut oil when preparing salad seasoning, its taste is supreme when added to corn salad. It is highly sought after for its lipid contents.
Nutritional content of hazelnut
680 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g). Hazelnut contains high levels of vitamins B and E, magnesium, trace elements and fiber. Hazelnut is a great food supplement and has excellent antianemic properties. From all the oleaginous fruits, hazelnut boasts the highest protein and lipid content.