Generally associated with chocolate, hazelnuts are a type of dried fruit widely cultivated in Europe, Asia and North America. It is brown and round, with a tough, tough rind. Its taste is sweet and sour at the same time, giving the sensation that the mouth sticks. It can be eaten raw, roasted or ground into a paste.
In addition to being very attractive, there are many benefits of hazelnuts for the body. Rich in several nutrients, this brown fruit has proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins essential for the proper functioning of the body.
7 benefits of hazelnuts proven by science
Do you want to know more about hazelnut? Here are some of the main health benefits it can bring to you.
1. It has a high nutritional value
Like most oilseeds, hazelnuts are rich in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In about 30 grams of this chestnut, you can obtain 170 kcal, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein.
One of the main benefits of hazelnuts is the presence of fibers and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances. This food still has vitamins E, C, and B6, and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
Hazelnut also stands out for the presence of unsaturated fats and high levels of omega 6, omega 9 and oleic acid.
2. It is rich in antioxidants
Hazelnuts are an important source of antioxidants that protect cells against damage caused by free radicals responsible for aging, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Phenolic compounds are the most abundant types of antioxidants in this chestnut. In the body, they act against intense inflammatory processes that contribute to the appearance of chronic diseases. These substances can help reduce high blood cholesterol levels and protect the heart.
Since most of these compounds are present in the film around the seed, it is indicated to eat the hazelnut raw, since it can lose part of the antioxidants after being roasted.
3. Has anti-inflammatory properties
Due to the presence of healthy fats, the consumption of hazelnut can contribute to reduce the inflammatory indicators of the body.
One study proposed ingesting 60 grams of hazelnuts a day for 12 weeks for a group of overweight or obese people. At the end of the program, the results showed a reduction in inflammation levels.
Other research conducted with 50 people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome also indicated drops in inflammation marks after consuming a mixture of raw chestnuts, including hazelnut.
However, it should be noted that just eating this food is not enough to reduce inflammatory procedures that are harmful to the body. This requires healthier food, exercise and changes in habits.
4. Promotes the proper functioning of the heart
In general, eating nuts is good for your heart health. And the consumption of hazelnut is even better, since it has a high concentration of antioxidants and unsaturated fats that are essential for the proper functioning of the heart system.
A 2013 study evaluated the effects of daily hazelnut consumption in a group of 21 people. After four weeks, a reduction in total cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL levels was observed, which, in excess, can cause heart problems.
Other investigations also observed these same effects, in addition to verifying that the level of HDL cholesterol, considered good for the body, remained unchanged.
Being rich in fiber, fatty acids, potassium and magnesium, some analyzes indicate that hazelnut continues to contribute to the balance of blood pressure.
A nutritionist can indicate the best amount of hazelnut that can be consumed for each person. However, surveys show that eating 30 to 70 grams of that chestnut is enough to provide heart benefits.
5. Helps the body fight disease
The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants present in hazelnut are components that help the body defend itself against a number of diseases.
Like other chestnuts, hazelnut has certain types of antioxidants known as proanthocyanidins. They are the subject of studies because they can prevent certain types of cancer, since they would act to protect cells against oxidative stress.
This dried fruit is also rich in vitamin E, which would act against the damage caused to the cells responsible for the appearance of cancer. However, studies on the benefits of hazelnut are still inconclusive and depend on further evidence to certify the possible action of these substances against diseases.
6. Helps balance metabolism
In general, walnuts, almonds, and other walnuts have properties that help balance metabolism and blood sugar level.
There is no scientific evidence on the effects of hazelnut on glucose level, but studies show that oleic acid, abundant in it, is beneficial for insulin sensitivity. Type 2 diabetes is a disease characterized precisely by the resistance of cells to the action of this hormone responsible for the metabolism of glucose.
Another study carried out with diabetic patients showed that a diet rich in oleic acid reduces the fasting sugar rate and the blood insulin level.
7. It is easy to insert into the feed
One of the benefits of hazelnut is that it can be easily inserted into your diet as a healthy snack between meals or in various recipes. It is possible to find it in supermarkets, fruit and vegetables or in natural product stores.
Since most of the beneficial substances are present in the surrounding skin, it is preferable to eat hazelnuts raw or roasted. They can be used to make flour or even vegetable milk.
Even with various positive aspects for health, helping to reduce inflammatory and oxidative processes, providing vitamins, fibers and minerals and beneficial fats, hazelnut can cause allergic reactions, as well as other types of nuts and chestnuts.
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