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10 Health Benefits Of Hazelnuts For Skin, Hair & Health

Hazelnuts are nutritious, delicious and filling nuts that come from the Corylus tree. Hazelnuts, also called filberts, are rich in protein, fats, vitamins and minerals which benefit your health largely [1] .

Hazelnuts have a sweet flavour and can be eaten in raw, ground or roasted form which makes for a tasty addition to many dishes.

Hazelnut is used as a flavouring in coffee and pastries, as well as a topping in desserts and savoury dishes. They are also used to make spread, butter, oil, flour, etc.

Nutritional Value Of Hazelnuts

100 grams of raw hazelnuts contain 567 kcal energy. They also contain

  • 13.33 g protein
  • 40 g fat
  • 40 g carbohydrate
  • 6.7 g fibre
  • 3.33 g sugar
  • 200 mg calcium
  • 3.60 mg iron

Hazelnuts contain good amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, folate, magnesium, healthy fats, copper, and vitamin B6.

Health Benefits Of Hazelnuts

1. Reduce obesity risk

Hazelnuts boost metabolism when consumed and this helps in losing weight. An increase in metabolism means an increase in the rate at which calories are burned and transformed into energy. According to a study, tree nuts reduce the chances of obesity because they rev up metabolism [2] . In addition, hazelnuts are rich in protein, fats, and fibre that give a feeling of fullness. This prevents mindless snacking and keeps you satisfied for longer.

2. Boost heart health

Hazelnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants and omega 9 fatty acids which contribute to the increase of good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. This aids in preventing the build-up of plaque in the arteries, thus lowering the risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart diseases [3] .

According to a study, a hazelnut-rich diet decreased the risk of cardiovascular problems by lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [4]

3. Prevent cancer

Hazelnuts are packed full of powerful antioxidants that reduce the effect of free radicals in the body that cause cancer. Hazelnuts and other tree nuts contain an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins which may help prevent some types of cancer [5] .

Hazelnuts are also a good source of vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage which has been linked to cancer [6] . To get most of the antioxidants from hazelnuts, it is best to consume them with its skin intact.

4. Manage diabetes

According to a research study, hazelnuts can help reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. The participants were given a combination of 15 g walnuts, 7.5 g almonds, and 7.5 g hazelnuts, as a result, there was a significant reduction in insulin levels [7] . Oleic acid, a type of fatty acid in hazelnuts, is said to have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity.

5. Lower inflammation

Hazelnuts exhibit anti-inflammatory properties due to the high concentration of healthy fats in them. A diet rich in hazelnuts could decrease the chances of inflammation in overweight and obese individuals [8] .

6. Boost brain health

Hazelnuts are considered a brain-boosting superfood because they are high in vitamin E, manganese, copper, and folate. Vitamin E and magnesium are said to play a major role in cognitive function and reduce the risk of age-related diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia.

A research study conducted at Oregon State University showed that lower concentrations of these micronutrients are linked to an increased risk of age-related health problems [9] .

7. Promote bone health

The presence of calcium and magnesium in hazelnuts contribute to healthier and stronger bones. Hazelnuts improve bone mineral density and lower the chances of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis [10] .

8. Improve sperm count

According to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, eating nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, etc., could improve the quality and function of sperm [11] .

9. Prevent constipation

Hazelnuts are high in fibre and eating them in plenty promotes regular bowel movements and helps prevent constipation. The fibre adds bulk to your stool, helping in easy passage of the stool through the intestines.

10. Encourage healthy skin and hair

The high amount of vitamin E in hazelnuts contribute to healthy skin and hair. Vitamin E prevents premature skin ageing and maintains skin health by treating scars, acne and wrinkles [12] . The vitamin also assists in hair growth and prevents hair loss [13] .

How To Choose The Best Hazelnuts

Always opt for fresh, raw hazelnuts that look plump, crisp, full and heavy. Choose hazelnuts which have their shell intact that's glossy with a dark reddish-brown hue. Avoid hazelnuts that have cracks or holes on the shell.

Ways To Add Hazelnuts Into Your Diet

  • Add sliced or chopped hazelnuts in milkshakes, salads, and dips.
  • You can use grounded hazelnuts to make flour for baking or to make butter.
  • Use hazelnuts as a topping in cakes, ice creams and other desserts.
  • Coat hazelnuts with chocolate or spices like chilli pepper or cinnamon powder for a sweet or spicy treat.

Risks Associated With Hazelnut Consumption

Many people have nut allergies so if you are allergic to nuts, check with your doctor before consuming hazelnuts.

How Many Hazelnuts To Eat Per Day

To get most of the health benefits, eat 30 grams of hazelnuts per day.

View Article References
  1. [1] Mehlenbacher, S. A. (1991). Hazelnuts (Corylus).Genetic Resources of Temperate Fruit and Nut Crops 290, 791-838.
  2. [2] O'Neil, C. E., Fulgoni, V. L., & Nicklas, T. A. (2015). Tree Nut consumption is associated with better adiposity measures and cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome health risk factors in U.S. Adults: NHANES 2005-2010.Nutrition journal,14, 64.
  3. [3] Orem, A., Yucesan, F. B., Orem, C., Akcan, B., Kural, B. V., Alasalvar, C., & Shahidi, F. (2013). Hazelnut-enriched diet improves cardiovascular risk biomarkers beyond a lipid-lowering effect in hypercholesterolemic subjects.Journal of clinical lipidology,7(2), 123-131.
  4. [4] Perna, S., Giacosa, A., Bonitta, G., Bologna, C., Isu, A., Guido, D., & Rondanelli, M. (2016). Effects of Hazelnut Consumption on Blood Lipids and Body Weight: A Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis.Nutrients,8(12), 747.
  5. [5] Chen, C. O., & Blumberg, J. B. (2008). Phytochemical composition of nuts.Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition,17(S1), 329-332.
  6. [6] Alqahtani, S., & Kaddoumi, A. (2014). Vitamin E transporters in cancer therapy.The AAPS journal,17(2), 313–322.
  7. [7] Casas-Agustench, P., López-Uriarte, P., Bulló, M., Ros, E., Cabré-Vila, J. J., & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2011). Effects of one serving of mixed nuts on serum lipids, insulin resistance and inflammatory markers in patients with the metabolic syndrome.Nutrition, metabolism and cardiovascular diseases,21(2), 126-135.
  8. [8] Tey, S. L., Gray, A. R., Chisholm, A. W., Delahunty, C. M., & Brown, R. C. (2013). The dose of hazelnuts influences acceptance and diet quality but not inflammatory markers and body composition in overweight and obese individuals.The Journal of nutrition,143(8), 1254-1262.
  9. [9] Michels, A. J., Leonard, S. W., Uesugi, S. L., Bobe, G., Frei, B., & Traber, M. G. (2018).Daily Consumption of Oregon Hazelnuts Affects α-Tocopherol Status in Healthy Older Adults: A Pre-Post Intervention Study. The Journal of Nutrition, 148(12), 1924–1930.
  10. [10] Simsek, A., & Aykut, O. (2007). Evaluation of the microelement profile of Turkish hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) varieties for human nutrition and health.International journal of food sciences and nutrition,58(8), 677-688.
  11. [11] European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. (2018, July 4). A diet rich in nuts improves sperm count and motility: Improvements associated with better male fertility and explained by a reduction in sperm DNA fragmentation.ScienceDaily.
  12. [12] Nachbar, F., & Korting, H. C. (1995). The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin.Journal of Molecular Medicine,73(1), 7-17.
  13. [13] Beoy, L. A., Woei, W. J., & Hay, Y. K. (2010). Effects of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in human volunteers.Tropical life sciences research,21(2), 91–99.

Read more about: hazelnuts health benefits
Story first published: Monday, April 8, 2019, 17:00 [IST]
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