Hazelnut: benefits and ways to consume

The hazelnuts are dried fruits. They come from the hazel tree with the scientific name Corylus avellana  and the edible part is the seeds in the center of the fruit. They are famous for their flavor and for being the main ingredient in well-known hazelnut creams such as Nutella. However, in their natural form, they are foods rich in healthy benefits.

Among the main positive effects of hazelnut consumption for the human body, the high cholesterol-lowering potential and the ability to protect the heart stand out. And because it is a seed considered eclectic, it can be used in both savory recipes and sweet dishes.

In this article, you will find a list of the main benefits proven by science and tips on how to consume hazelnuts in a healthy way. Check out!

Hazelnut benefits for your health

Among the nutrients found in the composition of this food, minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and selenium stand out . They all have their own benefits, but we can say that consuming them is very good for bones and for the proper functioning of vital organs, including the heart.

makes the heart good

Regular consumption of hazelnut fruit acts positively in protecting the heart’s functions. This is because hazelnut is abundant in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant bioactive substances, so its consumption has been associated with a decrease in the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and arteriosclerosis. ( 1 )

Reduces bad cholesterol

A study, carried out in 2016, found that a diet enriched with hazelnuts promotes a reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL) and total cholesterol, without reducing good cholesterol (HDL). ( 1 )

Helps to increase muscle

The oil obtained from hazelnuts helps in muscle hypertrophy . This is a great benefit for those who practice weight training, as it stimulates muscle growth. ( 2 )

It is noteworthy that hazelnut is a seed that belongs to the group of oilseeds, so its oil delivers a fat considered good. The secret is not to consume too much.

Improves the male reproductive system

The fruit has stimulating and protective properties for sperm. In addition, it contains antioxidant substances that act directly on the testicles, protecting them from various diseases, including cancer. ( 3 )

These properties also improve sperm quality, which increases the chances of male fertility . In this case, hazelnut is a natural alternative for men who are trying to have children.

Prevents against degenerative diseases

Antioxidant foods , such as hazelnuts, are known in medicine to fight free radicals, unstable molecules that affect the life cycle of cells and can cause numerous diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension , cancer, Alzheimer’s , Parkinsonism , among others.

Furthermore, the consumption of these substances is associated with the prevention of premature skin aging and maintenance of a youthful appearance.

Eliminates microbes

Another huge advantage of these seeds is that they help to cleanse the body of the various microbes that cause disease. We are talking about bacteria, viruses, fungi and small parasites. ( 4 )

Improves intestinal flora

As a source of fiber , it helps to regulate the bowel. These substances are essential for the proper functioning of the intestinal tract, helping to treat constipation and speeding up the treatment of diarrhea . ( 5 )

How to consume hazelnuts in a healthy way?

Without a doubt, the healthiest way to consume these seeds is to eat them in their natural form, without the husk. They can be included in salads , whole or chopped, and with fruit. A handful of hazelnuts for an afternoon snack is also a good option.

Most people usually consume hazelnuts only in processed foods. The problem is that these foods, such as creams and biscuits, are not healthy at all, on the contrary, they end up harming health and being a reason for weight gain.

Avoid consuming the roasted or sugary hazelnut version. In this format, they lose many of the benefits and may not add advantages to the body.

Hazelnut fattening?

Yes, if consumed in excess. Oilseeds generally have a high caloric content due to the (good) fats that are present in their composition. But hazelnut, when consumed in moderation, in addition to bringing all the aforementioned benefits, can also help with weight loss.

The dietary fiber present in the seeds does not remain in the body, being eliminated in the faeces. What is kept are your fats and nutrients that, in reasonable amounts, will not influence weight gain.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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