Tasty and crunchy, today we're talking about hazelnuts! Oh yes, because this variety of dried fruit is not just a tasty addition to energy bars or muesli in the morning, but a real concentrate of healthy properties. So let's go deeper into this very interesting topic based, as always, on the most recent scientific research.
Hazelnuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Not only that, hazelnuts are a source of fiber, folate, vitamin E, but also mineral salts, such as potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium (Brown et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022). Hazelnuts also provide phytosterols and antioxidant substances, the latter concentrated above all in the peel (Brown et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022).
Hazelnuts for the heart
The intake of hazelnuts is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular risk. This is thanks to a multiple action of hazelnuts. In fact, hazelnuts help keep cholesterol under control, reducing bad LDL cholesterol and at the same time increasing good HDL cholesterol (Brown et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022). Not only that, the introduction of hazelnuts in a carbohydrate-rich meal attenuates the postprandial glycemic response (Brown et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022). In people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, regular, but not excessive, consumption of hazelnuts led, in one month, to a reduction in glycated hemoglobin values, which is an indicator of long-term glycemia behavior. A reduction in this value, in particular, means that the average blood sugar value has decreased in recent months (Brown et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022).
Hazelnuts against inflammation and free radicals
Hazelnuts provide antioxidants, concentrated above all in the outer skin, and anti-inflammatory substances (Zadeh et al, Foods, 2022). Studies have observed that hazelnuts are able to counteract the cronic inflammation, the main cause of various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cellular degeneration, provided that this type of dried fruit is taken regularly and for long periods of time, at least 3 months (Brown et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022).
Hazelnuts for memory and mood
Hazelnuts are neuroprotective. In fact, in animal studies, they have been shown to improve memory in cases of dementia. What has been observed is due to the ability of hazelnuts to counteract neuroinflammation and apoptosis, namely the programmed death, of neurons. Not only that, hazelnuts have also helped reduce anxious behaviors (Bahaeddin et al, Nutr Neurosci, 2017).
Hazelnuts do not make you fat
Including hazelnuts in your diet, varied and balanced, does not cause an increase in body weight or waist circumference (Brown et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022). It is believed that hazelnuts do not induce overweight, despite being caloric, because they increase the level of antioxidants and the satiety, thus reducing hunger attacks and the desire to eat foods rich in sugars and fats, but also because they stimulate the metabolism and the thermogenesis induced by diet, which is the energy expended when food is consumed (Guarneiri et al, Adv Nutr, 2021 - Di Renzo et al, Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2019).
Hazelnuts and cocoa, the synergy that brings taste and health
Who said that good foods are bad for health? Studies have shown that the food combination given by hazelnuts and cocoa forms a powerful synergy with a cardioprotective action (Adamo et al, Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2018). If you wish, in the Video Blog section of the app you can find the video that explains step by step how to make the delicious and healthy hazelnut and chocolate cream!
Hazelnuts in the kitchen
Hazelnuts can be enjoyed alone or together with other dried fruit as a mid-morning snack. But hazelnuts can also be added to fruit salads, salads or pasta sauces. For example, in the Healthy Food section you can find the delicious Pasta with broccoli and hazelnut pesto, or even Nettle Gnocchi with mushroom and hazelnut sauce.