Hazelnuts have become an indispensable part of cooking and baking. Biscuits, cakes, chocolate, spread or ice cream – and all that without hazelnuts? Well, we can’t imagine a life without hazelnuts. Could you? The good news- you don’t have to.
Hazelnuts, or nuts in general, do not have the best reputation due to their high calorie count of 667 calories per 100 grams. What this figure does not say, however, is how many health benefits the hazelnut has. And that is exactly what we want to present to you today. Because of its numerous nutrients and vitamins, the nut should not be missing in any diet.
A good overview of all nut varieties and what they can do can be found in our blog post: “Nuts and their nutrients”.
1. Hazelnuts have a positive effect on our memory
Nuts are known to be nerve food and are therefore also called “brain food”. And the hazelnut is no exception. If you eat hazelnuts, your memory will improve. Healthy food is important for the whole body, especially for the brain. But why do hazelnuts support the brain’s ability to think?
This has to do with the lecithin content of the nut. It has a positive effect on the memory and concentration. The substances magnesium, vitamin E and niacin contained in hazelnuts are also good for nerves and brain.
2. Hazelnuts lower the cholesterol level
The body produces cholesterol on its own, as it is important for the formation of cells and hormones. Since cholesterol is therefore already in the body, not an unlimited amount should be added.
This is because if the solid metabolism is disturbed, cholesterol may attach itself to the artery walls which can be further promoted by an incorrect diet. This includes too much meat, milk or eggs, because they contain many saturated fatty acids.
But not all fatty acids are bad. Unsaturated fatty acids can even lower the cholesterol level. These good fatty acids are found for example in apples, oat flakes, legumes and above all in nuts. A handful of nuts, such as our beloved hazelnuts, already lower the blood fat level. It should be noted that the hazelnut should not be salted or covered with chocolate.
The aim should be to replace saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids as much as possible.
3. The hazelnut is rich in B vitamins and vitamin E
Hazelnuts are an excellent supplier of vitamins. They contain the following B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, B7 and B9. Vitamin B7, for example, is important for hair growth, numerous metabolic processes and the nervous system. The daily requirement is already covered by 73 grams of hazelnuts.
Vitamin E has an antioxidant effect, is anti-inflammatory and supports the immune system. A deficiency can lead to visual or coordination issues as well as diseases of the nervous system. The optimal daily supply of vitamin E is already achieved by about 50 grams of nuts.
4. The hazelnut as a great vegetable protein source
Proteins are indispensable for the body because they are necessary for many functions. These include the cell structure of hair, skin and nails, the immune system, the formation of enzymes and hormones, the transport of oxygen and fat and the formation of antibodies.
Proteins can be found in plant, but also in animal foods. Vegetable proteins, such as legumes, grains, fruits, vegetables and, of course, nuts, have the advantage that they also contain micronutrients such as vitamins and trace elements.
Hazelnuts have a protein content of 12 g per 100 g. How well the protein is absorbed or utilised can be measured by its bioavailability. The higher the value, the better. The hazelnut has a value of 50, oat flakes in comparison a value of 64.
5. Hazelnuts provide many important minerals
Besides the important protein and many vitamins, hazelnuts also contain minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, which strengthen our bones, and iron.
6. Hazelnuts as a fibre source
Dietary fibres are essential for a balanced and healthy diet. They are fibre-rich ingredients of mostly vegetable foods. They are linked sugar molecules that cannot be broken down in the intestine or cannot be broken down sufficiently. Most dietary fibres are carbohydrates in cereals, fruit, vegetables or legumes.
Hazelnuts have a relatively high fibre content of 8.6 g per 100 g. But what does that mean? Fibres make you feel saturated for longer. For this reason, people who eat nuts regularly are less likely to gain weight. Fibre also protects the digestion and helps against constipation.
7. Hazelnuts strengthen your heart and vessels
Finally, hazelnuts strengthen the heart and vessels. The nuts have a relatively high fat content of 63%, but as already mentioned, these are among others unsaturated fatty acids. Per 100 g the hazelnut contains 4.5 g of unsaturated fatty acids.
And these not only have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, but also on the heart, blood vessels and circulation. The risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases therefore is reduced.
These seven advantages of the hazelnut are the reason why we warmly recommend it to you. It is true that it has many calories, so it is better to eat only a handful of hazelnuts every day.
Hazelnuts are for example contained in our Heritage Grains Muesli with Nuts and Fruits and in our Bircher muesli. Because hazelnuts are also an important ingredient in the original recipe of Bircher muesli, the very first muesli ever made:
Our Grain Free Sport Muesli Almond Fig, a grain free and vegan muesli made from seeds, nuts and fruits, also contains hazelnuts.
In our nut mixes you will of course also find plenty of hazelnuts. They can be found for example in our nut mixes Energy Mix, Early Bird, Smart Start and Brain Kick.
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