Hazelnuts have almost zero carbohydrates, so according to dietitians, hazelnut is an excellent choice when dieting. Raw hazelnuts contain 5, 3% water, while around 88% fats in it are unsaturated. It is an extremely healthy food when used in moderation since it influences a decrease of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and also reduces inflammation. It is also famous for improving the functioning of cardiovascular tract and nervous system. Additionally, it contains lipotropic matter: methionine, choline and lecithin. Hazelnuts are rich in minerals, magnesium, copper, potassium, and also fiber.
Fats taken when eating hazelnuts are more resilient since they can hardly go rancid. The majority in a 100 g hazelnuts goes on fats, around 61 g. It especially applies to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, mostly Omega-3 and Omega-9 fatty acids, with 7,9 g on 100 g. They have a pleasant taste and the organism absorbs them easily.
Hazelnut is a very good source of dietary fiber, so that 100 g of hazelnut contains 10 g of fiber, which constitutes 39% of reference daily intake.
Proteins are also an integral part of hazelnuts. Hundred grams of hazelnut contain 15 g of protein, which is 30% of reference daily intake for an average person.
Hazelnuts contain considerable amounts of minerals – manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and iodine. They are also rich in vitamins E, B and folic acid.
Apart from considerable amount of unsaturated fatty acids, and minerals and vitamins, hazelnuts are also rich in phytosterols. Phytosterols are biologically active steroid alcohols of plant origin. They are valued for their ability to prevent cardiovascular disease and tumors.
Oleic fatty acid is another extraordinary healthy nutrient found in hazelnuts. Oleic acid may have hypotensive (blood pressure reducing) effects, and can prevent cardiac arrest and stroke. Another significant characteristic of this fatty acid is its effect on brain activity and memory. Research has shown that regular intake of oleic fatty acid can considerably improve memory.
Omega-3 and Omega-9 fatty acids are well-known fatty acids with numerous benefits on health, which is why many experts recommend its regular consumption.
Owing to a high amount of vitamin E, hazelnuts are very good antioxidants which help fight against free radicals, slow down the signs of aging and boost immune system.
It is interesting that hazelnuts are unique in that they contain a significant amount of folic acid which is integral for a baby‘s development during pregnancy.
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Successful production of hazelnut depends on the correct selection of cultivars much more than with other fruits, since hazelnut shrub is mostly cross-pollinating plant, with only a small number of cultivars capable of self-pollination.