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The health benefits of hazelnuts

The health benefits of hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are very popular oilseed fruits in our country. We consume around 20,000 tonnes of it for our indulgence, but did you know that these small fruits with their very subtle taste are also recommended for their various medicinal properties? We will explain why and how.

A bit of hazelnut history

The hazelnut is the fruit of the hazel tree which is a tree from Asia Minor. It measures between 3 and 8 meters in height in adulthood and likes regions with a humid and temperate climate. Its fruit, the hazelnut is surrounded by a shell. It is 75% produced by Turkey, near the Black Sea, 15% by Italy then France with Corsica, the South-West and the Pyrénées-Orientales. It is still found in Spain and Oregon in the USA. There are about ten varieties of hazelnuts. The best known are:

  • The Common Hazelnut
  • Byzantium hazelnut

They are harvested between the end of summer and until October.

Hazelnuts and ecology

The hazelnut has a very useful role in nature. Indeed, the hazel tree is one of the first plants to colonize the poorest areas, because its root roots are very developed. Hazel, when planted at the edge of fields, protects crops from strong winds. It filters the water, retains the snow on the ground and thus attenuates the frost. The flowers of the tree feed the bees and its fruits feed a large number of wild animals.

Nutritional values ​​and characteristics of hazelnuts

The hazelnut is also called filbert. For 100 grams of material, it contains 628 calories. Its characteristics are as follows:

  • Antioxidant power
  • Many vitamins
  • Many minerals
  • Rich in fibre
  • Source of mono-saturated fatty acids
  • Improves the cardiovascular system


The manganese contained in the hazelnut acts on several enzymes to better balance the metabolic process of the body. It also helps prevent damage caused by free radicals.


The magnesium contained in the hazelnut is sovereign for bone development, protein production, dental health, the immune system and enzymatic actions. It still helps to bring energy.


The iron in the hazelnut helps carry oxygen and form red blood cells. It is also useful in the formation of new cells, neurotransmitters and hormones. It is even better absorbed by the body with vitamin C.


Copper is important in the hazelnut. It is a constituent of enzymes, participates in the formation of red blood cells, collagen important for tissue repair. Copper is also a source of defense against free radicals in the human body.


The hazelnut is one of the oleaginous fruits containing the most phosphorus. This mineral is essential for bones and teeth. It still participates in the growth and regeneration of tissues while maintaining the pH of the blood.


Zinc contributes to immune reactions, to the perception of taste, to healing a wound, to the production of the fetus. It further aids in the release of insulin from the pancreas and interacts with sex hormones.

Vitamin E

The vitamin E contained in the hazelnut is an antioxidant protecting the membrane of cells and especially those of red blood cells and white blood cells.

Vitamin B1

When the hazelnut is dehydrated, it contains a lot of vitamin B1. This vitamin acts on the production of energy from certain carbohydrates. It also helps promote growth.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is used for the metabolism of fatty acids, proteins, and the production of red blood cells. It helps transform glycogen into glucose and participates in the proper functioning of the immune system and nerve cells.

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 is called pantothenic acid, which is involved in the production of neurotransmitters, hemoglobin and steroid hormones.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is called folate. Folate is also found in hazelnuts in good quantity and participates in the production of all cells including those of red blood cells. This vitamin also plays an important role in the production of DNA and RNA, the immune system, the nervous system and the development of the fetus.

The effects of hazelnuts on our health

Thanks to all these active compounds, hazelnut helps reduce coronary heart disease thanks to saturated fatty acids and cholesterol-free. Several studies show that consuming this shelled fruit show that it has a cholesterol-lowering effect. Consuming hazelnuts regularly (30 grams per day) still shows the reduction of:

  • Risk of gallstones
  • Colon cancer in women

For 70 g per day over a month:

  • Reduction of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
  • Partial replacement of carbohydrates by monounsaturated acids in diabetics
  • Increased antioxidant activity

Note that:lipid oxidation contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease

Antioxidants in hazelnuts

The antioxidants contained in hazelnuts reduce free radicals and the damage caused by them, especially in cardiovascular diseases. These antioxidants are found in the brown skin of the hazelnut. So never buy it peeled. These antioxidants are composed by:

  • Tannins
  • Phenolic acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Vitamin E

Dietary fibers

Consuming 30 grams of hazelnuts is an important source of dietary fiber. They help maintain intestinal function while preventing cardiovascular disease and controlling type 2 diabetes. Consumed in larger quantities, they act on the risk of developing colon cancer.

Many people limit their consumption of hazelnuts because they are afraid of gaining weight. Although hazelnuts are caloric, they do not make you fat, because certain compounds make the absorption of lipids incomplete. As a result, the fruit does not make you fat and even increases the power of satiety. On the other hand, in the event of symptoms that do not pass spontaneously and whatever they are, you must consult a doctor immediately.