Also known as the cobnut or the filbert, the hazelnut is mostly used in confectionery goods, including praline, truffles, Nutella, and Ferrero Rocher. It is also used in Frangelico liqueur and some brands of coffee creamer. Hazelnut oil can be used for cooking. Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world. However, you can find them almost anywhere. Hazelnuts can be used raw, roasted, or ground into a paste. The kernel of the hazelnut seed is also edible. Hazelnuts are rich in protein, vitamin E, manganese, and other essential nutrients.

Promote Heart Health

Hazelnuts are a member of the tree nut family that is high in fiber. Studies have shown a diet high in fiber is good for the heart. Perhaps a hearty bowl of steel cut oats with some chopped hazelnuts will help raise your good cholesterol and lower the bad. Hazelnuts also contain a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, which will lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good. Whether you enjoy them raw or roasted, hazelnuts contain a considerable amount of magnesium which helps to regulate your body's balance of calcium and potassium, which is crucial to your blood pressure.

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Manage Diabetes

It is important to note that including Nutella or Ferrero Rocher in your everyday diet is not the way to use hazelnuts to help control your diabetes. The added sugar and fats both may contain will only have adverse effects on your diabetes. You can have these things in moderation, but you should choose raw or roasted hazelnuts over Nutella or Ferrero Rocher. Choosing monounsaturated fats over trans or saturated fats is a better way to help control your diabetes. Hazelnuts are rich in monounsaturated fats. The high levels of manganese will help improve your glucose tolerance.

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Filled with Antioxidants

Antioxidants found in hazelnuts kill damaging free radicals that are located throughout the body. This will help to prevent major diseases, including cancer. Hazelnuts are a great source of vitamin E, which helps fight aging and disease by reducing inflammation. One serving of hazelnuts will give you an entire day's supply of manganese, which is a huge contributor to forming enzymes that are antioxidants. Combine your consumption of hazelnuts with a serving of dark chocolate, and you will have antioxidants just flowing through your body.

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Promote Healthy Pregnancy

Hazelnuts are a folate food that helps support a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are not enough to support a healthy pregnancy. Folate foods support spine and brain development during pregnancy. Studies have also shown that folate foods slow down brain related degenerative disorders in older adults, including Huntington's disease, ALS, dementia, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Hazelnuts are also a good snack for a quick burst of energy. During some stages of pregnancy, the expectant mother experiences fatigue. Snacking on hazelnuts will help the expectant mother find the energy they need to get through their day.

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Combat Obesity

Chances are if you eat Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread by the spoonful every day, you will have your own issues with obesity. Moderation is the best way to handle sweet treats and other fatty foods. However, if you find moderation can be a bit difficult, raw or roasted hazelnuts are there to help simulate a healthy metabolism. Hazelnuts are high in thiamine which converts carbohydrates into glucose, a source of energy the body uses. They are also high in fiber which will help you feel fuller and help keep you from overeating.

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Prevent Cancer

Hazelnuts are high in vitamin E, which is the most notable cancer prevention supplement/antioxidant. You can decrease your risk of prostate, breast, colon, and lung cancer by including hazelnuts in your diet. Hazelnuts can also prevent the growth of mutations and tumors within the body. Hazelnuts are also rich in thiamine, which may have anticancer properties.

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Boost Brain Activity and Function

The high levels of vitamin E, manganese, thiamine, folate, and fatty acids in hazelnuts can improve brain and cognitive function, while helping prevent degenerative diseases later in life, including Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's. High levels of fatty acids and proteins in hazelnuts can help your brain and nervous system to fight depression and anxiety.

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High in B Vitamins

B vitamins help the body break down fats and carbohydrates to produce energy that the body needs. Hazelnuts are high in B vitamins. Including hazelnuts in your diet will help you control the stress in your life and repair damaged DNA. Depression and anxiety can easily set in if you become vitamin B deficient.

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Contribute to Healthy Skin and Hair

Vitamin E is important for maintaining healthy skin and hair. Including hazelnuts in your diet allows your skin to improve moisture and elasticity. Your hairdresser will also thank you for including hazelnuts in your diet, as vitamin E promotes hair growth and shine. The antioxidants in hazelnuts will help prevent damage from UV rays or cigarette smoking. Including hazelnuts in your diet will also improve your circulation and help treat scars, acne, and wrinkles, while regenerating your skin cells.

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Add Variety to Your Diet

Everyone gets bored with a diet that consists of the same everyday meals. How many times in a month can you eat spaghetti and meatballs, meat and potatoes, or chicken? Adding hazelnuts to your diet can add the variety you have been looking for. A simple pasta dish can suddenly become pasta with hazelnut pesto. Steamed asparagus becomes steamed asparagus with chopped hazelnuts. Hazelnuts do not have to be used in just desserts or confectionery treats. There are thousands of cooking applications out there that can help you find savory ways to spice up your diet with hazelnuts.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.