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What Are the Health Benefits of Hazelnuts?

by
author image Jill Andrews
Jill Andrews began writing professionally for various online publications since 2009. Andrews holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry/nutrition from Memorial University in St.John's, Newfoundland. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
What Are the Health Benefits of Hazelnuts?
Hazelnuts can be sprinkled on salads for a nutritional boost. Photo Credit Creative Crop/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Overview

Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are a sweet-flavored nut that can be enjoyed in baked recipes, as snacks and at meals. Hazelnuts contain vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and healthy fats. They add a nutty and rich flavor to baked desserts. They can also boost the nutritional profile of a salad. According to the Hazelnut Council, hazelnuts provide many health benefits and are a good inclusion in the daily diet.

Basic Nutritional Information

Hazelnuts are relatively high in calories -- at 178 calories per ounce, they provide 9 percent of the daily energy intake in a typical 2,000-calorie diet. Each ounce of hazelnuts boasts 4 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbohydrates, including 2.7 grams of beneficial dietary fiber.

Phytochemicals to the Body

Hazelnuts contains phytopchemicals, including proanthocyanidins, quercetin and kaempherol. These proanthocyanidins belong to a group called the flavonoids. Flavonoids may support brain health, improve circulation and reduce symptoms associated with allergies. Consuming a handful of hazelnuts for a snack may provide your body with all these healthy benefits, says the Hazelnut Council.

Healthy Fats

Hazelnuts contain heart-healthy fats that can protect heart health. Specifically, they are high in healthy polyunsaturated and mononunsaturated fats and low in unhealthier unsaturated fats. Hazelnuts are a good source of oleic acid. Oleic acid can help to lower levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and can raise levels of good cholesterol, HDL, in the body. This makes hazelnuts a good addition to salads and baked muffins.

Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Hazelnuts have a high amount of vitamin E in addition to B vitamins, including folate. Vitamin E is important in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. The B vitamins are important in proper cell and energy metabolism. Hazelnuts are also a rich source of potassium, calcium and magnesium. The minerals provide many health benefits, including regulating a healthy blood pressure. Unlike unhealthy snacks such as chips and refined products, hazelnuts can provide the body with a rich supply of nutrients for good health, says Smart Heart Living.

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