Around 1.9 million Australians are living with diabetes. So, how can nuts help? We sum up the latest evidence. In…
Like all 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 some types of cancer, improve sperm quality, reduce depression and promote overall good health.
A 30g serve is around 20 hazelnuts.
|Nutrient||Per 100g||Per 30g|
|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||2.16|
|Omega 3 ALA||120||36|
|Dietary fibre (g)||10.4||3.1|
|Niacin (mg eq)||5.6||1.68|
|Folate DFE (ug)||113||33.9|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.6||0.18|
|Vitamin E (mg)||16||4.8|
In addition to the health benefits that all nuts provide, hazelnuts have been associated with:
- Moderate to highly consistent reductions in total and LDL cholesterol and highly consistent improvements in HDL cholesterol .
- Positive effects on lipid profiles, including LDL and LDL: HDL cholesterol ratio in children and adolescents with primary hyperlipidaemia .
- 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 .
What makes hazelnuts unique?
- Compared to other nuts, hazelnuts are one of the highest in fibre, the highest in 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.
- They contain small amounts of plant omega-3 fatty acids, 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, and folate, and are a good source of vitamin E.
A clinical trial involving 15 participants with elevated cholesterol (but not receiving drug treatment) found that a hazelnut-enriched diet (making up 18-20% of total daily energy intake, or 49-86g hazelnuts/day), over 30 days, had a protective effect against lipoprotein (mostly LDL) oxidation . The researchers concluded that hazelnut consumption could lead to changes in the structure of HDL and LDL cholesterol, increasing the resistance of lipoproteins to oxidation, which may play an important role in protecting against atherosclerosis.
Where they are grown?
Hazelnuts are not native to Australia, and commercial varieties in Australia are cultivars of the European hazelnut.
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, in north-east Victoria. They are also grown in central and eastern Victoria and, increasingly, in northern Tasmania. Small amounts are also produced in South Australia and Western Australia.
A significant proportion of hazelnuts sold in Australia are imported from Turkey, the USA and Spain.
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.
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.
- Neale, E., et al., The effect of nut consumption on heart health: an updated systematic review of the literature. 2018. Nuts for Life, unpublished.
- 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.
- 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.
- Akcan, B., et al., Hazelnut-enriched diet effectively increases lipoproteins' resistance to oxidation in hypercholesterolemic subjects . Food and Health, 2023. 9(3): 201-11.
Published July 17, 2019