There are many health benefits of hazelnuts, a type of tree nut grown largely in Mediterranean regions. Known for its distinct flavor and crunch, hazelnuts have become increasingly popular in many recipes and health conscious diets. With an impressive food profile, hazelnuts contain a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and many other dietary compounds that make them a healthful addition to any diet.
One of the major hazelnut health benefits is high levels of essential nutrients. Hazelnuts provide essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin E, and phosphorus. Additionally, they are a good source of dietary fiber, with three tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts providing over 8% of the daily value. The fiber helps support digestion, heart health, and healthy cholesterol levels.
Hazelnuts are also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids are a class of fatty acids that are beneficial for cardiovascular health. They help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing levels of harmful fats from the blood. Additionally, these fatty acids can also help decrease inflammation, which can be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis or depression.
Hazelnuts are also an excellent source of plant-based antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect cells and tissues from damage caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can damage cells and tissues and lead to degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Studies have found that hazelnuts are particularly high in two types of antioxidants, Vitamin E and flavonoids. Both of these antioxidants are shown to reduce inflammation, fight cancer, and support heart health.
Finally, hazelnuts may help protect against certain types of cancer. Studies have found that compounds found in hazelnuts, such as proanthocyanidins, inhibit carcinogenic activity and increase the activity of certain enzymes involved in detoxification. Additionally, studies have found that compounds found in hazelnuts, such as quercetin and kaempferol, have antiproliferative effects, decreasing the rate of growth of some types of cancer cells.
In conclusion, hazelnuts are an extremely nutritious food that can offer many health benefits. With an impressive nutritional content and various protective compounds, hazelnuts are an excellent addition to any diet looking to increase health and reduce disease risk.