The hazelnut is the fruit of hazel ( Corylus avellana ), a bushy shrub that belongs to the family Betulaceae, native to the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Hazelnuts have a subtle taste and excellent nutritional qualities. It is a fruit that has many health benefits and virtues.
Hazelnuts and their health benefits
- Rich in lipids and proteins, the hazelnut is a source of energy but it also has a significant amount of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. It is a food of choice to integrate into vegetarian diets.
- A very strong antioxidant, hazelnut plays a role in reducing damage caused by free radicals in the body involved in the onset of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and other diseases related to aging.
- Hazelnuts contain a high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids which tend to lower “bad” cholesterol.
- Source of insoluble and soluble fibers, hazelnuts contribute to the proper functioning of intestinal transit and to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, and the control of certain types of diabetes.
- The leaves of the hazelnut tree have a vasoconstrictor and anti-inflammatory action. In external use, decoctions of hazel leaves (30 g of leaves per liter of water) relieve pain from varicose veins and venous disorders in general and help soothe certain skin conditions. They are also recognized astringent qualities that relieve and regulate diarrhea.
- In children, hazelnut oil can be used as a mild dewormer.
- The bark of hazel twigs, in external use, is an excellent local sedative for hemorrhoids. It also allows the healing of varicose ulcers.
Growing the hazelnut tree for its benefits
Plant your hazelnut in a place sunny, clear, and sheltered from the easterly winds. He likes cool, light, deep, and rather humus soil. At low concentrations, hazelnut adapts to limestone.
A young hazelnut tree can stay in a pot for three or four years as long as it is cultivated in a container of at least 40 cm.
Hazelnuts in the kitchen for their benefits
We snack on natural hazelnuts, fresh or dry. We also love them grilled, in ice cream, in liqueur, in cakes, or as an aperitif. They go particularly well with chocolate.
You can use hazelnut oil in salad dressings, it goes particularly well with lamb’s lettuce. It is highly sought after for its lipid composition.
Nutritional benefits of hazelnuts
680 kcal / 100 g . Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin B and E, magnesium, trace elements, and fiber. Hazelnuts are a quality nutritional supplement, a good anti-anemic. Among all the oleaginous fruits, hazelnuts are the richest in proteins and lipids.