Like all tree nuts, hazelnuts are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals beneficial to health. Regularly eating nuts has been shown to contribute to heart health, reduce overall mortality and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, assist with weight management, reduce the risk of cancer, improve sperm quality, reduce depression and overall promote good health. 

A 30g serve is around 20 hazelnuts.

Nutrient Per 100g Per 30g
energy
Energy (kJ) 2689 807
macronutrients
Protein (g) 14.8 4.4
Total fat (g) 61.4 18.4
Saturated fat (g) 2.7 0.8
Monounsaturated fat (g) 48.8 14.6
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 7.2 2.2
Omega 3 ALA 120 36
Carbohydrate (g) 5.1 1.5
Sugars (g) 4.4 1.3
Dietary fibre (g) 10.4 3.1
minerals
Calcium (mg) 86 26
Copper (mg) 1.5 0.5
Iron (mg) 3.2 1
Magnesium (mg) 160 48
Manganese (mg) 3.5 1.1
Potassium (mg) 680 204
Selenium (ug) 1.0 0.3
Sodium (mg) 3.0 0.9
Zinc (mg) 2.2 0.7
vitamins
Thiamin (mg) 0.4 0.1
Riboflavin (mg) 0.2 0.06
Niacin (mg eq) 4.7 1.4
Folate DFE (ug) 113 34
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.6 0.2
Vitamin E (mg) 16 4.8
other
Arginine (g) 2.2 0.7
Sterols (mg) 122 37
Polyphenols (mg) 835 251

Health effects

In addition to the health benefits that all tree nuts provide, hazelnuts have been associated with: 

  • Moderate to highly consistent reductions in total and LDL cholesterol and highly consistent improvements in HDL cholesterol [1].
  • Positive effects on lipid profiles, including LDL and LDL: HDL cholesterol ratio in children and adolescents with primary hyperlipidaemia [2].
  • Better results in tests measuring cognitive function, attention capacity and working memory in children whose mothers ate more nuts (including hazelnuts) during the first trimester of pregnancy [3].

What makes hazelnuts unique

  • Compared to other tree nuts, hazelnuts contain the most fibre, folate, and are the second highest in vitamin E, with a 30g serve providing 45% of the RDI for vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which may help reduce the risk of heart disease. 
  • Hazelnuts contain small amounts of plant omega-3 fats, which have heart health benefits.
  • They contain predominantly monounsaturated fats, important for heart health.
  • Hazelnuts are a source of monounsaturated fats and fibre, and are naturally low in sugar and sodium.
  • They are a source of copper, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, niacin, folate and vitamin B6, and are a good source of vitamin E.

Where they are grown

Hazelnuts are not native to Australia, and commercial varieties in Australia are cultivars of the European hazelnut. Hazelnuts in Australia are largely imported from Turkey, the USA and Spain. Hazelnuts are grown in the temperate areas of south-eastern Australia. The main production regions are the Central Tablelands, near Orange, and Narrandera (NSW); and around Myrtleford, north-east Victoria. They are also grown in central and Eastern Victoria and increasingly in northern Tasmania. Small levels of production are also evident in South Australia and Western Australia.

Forms and best eaten with…

  • Hazelnuts can be purchased in their shell, or as whole nuts both raw and roasted. 
  • Hazelnuts team up particularly well with chocolate and in sweet desserts.
  • Hazelnut meal or ground hazelnuts make great gluten free cakes.

Storage

Remove nuts from plastic bags and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Nuts can be refrigerated for up to 4 months and frozen for up to 6 months. Remember, bringing nuts back to room temperature before eating can help them taste nuttier.

References

  1. Neale, E., et al., The effect of nut consumption on heart health: an updated systematic review of the literature. 2018. Nuts for Life, unpublished.
  2. Deon, V., et al., Effect of hazelnut on serum lipid profile and fatty acid composition of erythrocyte phospholipids in children and adolescents with primary hyperlipidemia: A randomized controlled trial. Clin Nutr, 2018. 37(4): p. 1193-1201.
  3. Gignac, F., et al., Maternal nut intake in pregnancy and child neuropsychological development up to 8 years old: a population-based cohort study in Spain. Eur J Epidemiol, 2019.
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