7 Ways Hazelnuts Benefit Your HealthThe hazelnut, also known as the filbert, is a type of nut that comes from the Corylus tree. It is mostly cultivated in Turkey, Italy, Spain and the United States.Hazelnuts have a sweet flavor and can be eaten raw, roasted or ground into a paste.Like other nuts, hazelnuts are rich in nutrients and have a high content of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Here are seven evidence-based health benefits of hazelnuts.
1. Full of NutrientsHazelnuts have a great nutrient profile. Although they are high in calories, they are loaded with nutrients and healthy fats.One ounce (28 grams, or about 20 whole kernels) of hazelnuts contains (1):
Total fat: 17 grams
Protein: 4.2 grams
Carbs: 4.7 grams
Fiber: 2.7 grams
Vitamin E: 21% of the RDI
Thiamin: 12% of the RDI
Magnesium: 12% of the RDI
Copper: 24% of the RDI
Manganese: 87% of the RDI
Hazelnuts also contain decent amounts of vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Additionally, they are a rich source of mono- and polyunsaturated fats and contain a good amount of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, such as oleic acid (1, 2).
Furthermore, a one-ounce serving provides 11.2 grams of dietary fiber, which accounts for about 11% of the RDI (1).
However, hazelnuts contain phytic acid, which has been shown to impair the absorption of some minerals, like iron and zinc, from the nuts (3).
2. Loaded With Antioxidants
Hazelnuts are rich in phenolic compounds that have been shown to increase antioxidant protection in the body. It is best to eat hazelnuts whole and unroasted to ensure you get the highest concentration of antioxidants.
3. May Be Good for the Heart
Hazelnuts may increase oxidative capacity and reduce blood lipid levels, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. They also seem to help normalize blood pressure.
4. Linked With Lower Rates of Cancer
The high concentration of antioxidant compounds, vitamin E and manganese in hazelnuts may help decrease the risk of certain cancers, though more research is needed.
5. Could Decrease Inflammation
Hazelnuts may help prevent and decrease inflammation due to their high concentrations of healthy fats. Nevertheless, other factors are also important.
6. May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Hazelnuts contain several compounds that may help lower blood sugar levels. However, the evidence is limited and their potential benefits need to be studied further.
7. Easy to Add to Your Diet
Hazelnuts can be incorporated into the diet as a healthy snack or as an ingredient in many dishes.
The Bottom Line
Hazelnuts are packed with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidant compounds and healthy fats.