One of the oldest agricultural crops, hazelnuts are believed to have originated in Asia and then moved into Europe. Today, the principal hazelnut producing countries are Turkey, Italy, Spain and the U.S.A.
Nutrition & Health
Like most nuts, hazelnuts are naturally cholesterol free, gluten free, low in saturated fat and are a low glycemic-index food. They are good source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins & minerals and particularly:
- Highest Folate content than any other nut
Folate is an essential B-complex vitamin that helps prevent Megaloblastic Anemia and may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression and most importantly, neural tube defects in the newborn. Good news for expectant mothers!
- Highest proanthocyanidin content of any tree nut
These polyphenol compounds have high levels of antioxidant capabilities and are known for contributing astringent flavor to foods and may help reduce the risk of blood clotting and urinary tract infections.
- Rich in manganese and copper
One serving of hazelnuts supplies over 25% of the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) for copper and more than 90% of the DRI for manganese. Copper is needed for iron absorption and manganese is necessary for bone formation.
- Good source of vitamin-E
Vitamin-E is a powerful antioxidant which helps helps protect cells from damage, fighting disease by reducing inflammation and promotes healthy skin and hair.
In a nutshell, hazelnuts are filling, delicious and nutritious. They have been associated with helping treat and prevent many degenerative illnesses of the mind like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Purchaing Tips & Storage
When buying hazelnuts, they should have a bright brown-yellow color, compact, uniform in size and feel heavy in hand and should not feature any surface cracks, molds, and spots and free from rancid smell.
Store shelled hazelnuts (without their outer coat), inside an airtight container and place in the refrigerator to prevent them from going rancid, they should last between 6-8 months. In the freezer, stored in a sealed bag or airtight container they will last about 1 year or more. Unshelled hazels can be stored in cool, dry place for several years.