Hazelnut is the edible nut of the birch family trees. Hazelnut is also known as cobnut or filbert nut. There are some different in the species of the hazelnut, for example a cobnut is roughly spherical to oval in shape, while the filbert nut is more elongated, beiung about twice as long as its diameter.
Hazelnuts are commonly used in confectionery to make praline, and also used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles and products such as Nutella and Frangelico liqueur. Hazelnut oil, pressed from the hazelnuts, is strongly flavoured and used as a cooking oil.
In a hundred gram serving, raw hazelnuts supply 628 kcal and are a very rich source of numerous essential nutrients. They are particularly high in protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, thiamin, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium. Additionally, B-complex vitamins can be found inside cobnuts. In lesser but still significant amounts are vitamin K, calcium, zinc and potassium. Hazelnuts are a significant source of total fat, which consists of monounsaturated fat as oleic acid, polyunsaturated fat mainly as linoleic acid and saturated fat as palmitic acid and stearic acid.
• Hazelnuts are very high in energy and loaded with numerous health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid, as well as essential fatty acid, linoleic acid that helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol and rise HDL or good cholesterol.
• Hazelnuts are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals. Altogether, they can offer sufficient protection from diseases and cancers.
• Hazelnuts are rich in folate, which is quite unique for nuts. Folate is an important B-complex vitamin that helps prevent megaloblastic anemia, and most importantly, neural tube defects in the newborn baby.
• Hazelnuts contain high amounts of vitamin E. This is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant vitamin, required for maintaining integrity of cell membrane and mucusa and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
• The nuts, like almonds, are gluten free, and can pose as a safe alternative food source that can be employed in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas for gluten-sensitive,wheat allergic, and celiac disease patients.
• Besides being rich in folates, they are packed with many other important B-complex groups of vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine.
• Hazelnuts contain minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Copper and manganese are essential co-factors for anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron helps prevent microcytic-anemia. Magnesium and phosphorus are important components of bone metabolism.