Hazelnuts are healthy for you in every way. The hazelnut, or filbert, one of the smallest of all nuts is actually a nutritional giant. Whether discussing colon health and cancer prevention or cardiac health and heart attack prevention, calorie-reducing diets or women's preventive health: All nuts and the hazelnut in particular are an excellent source of daily fiber, anti oxidants, phytoestrogens and monounsaturated (the good fat) fat.
Because of their concentrated protein source, nuts are used in many popular weight reduction diets and programs. A successful weight loss study at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston included daily consumption of nuts, and participants reported less daytime hunger. Nuts provide a nutritionally packed source of calories with a high satisfaction and therefore reduce the perception of hunger
The FDA recently approved the first qualified health claim for use on food package labels....."scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease". A handful of hazelnuts a day would meet this recommendation.
In large studies, regular nut consumption (one to four times per week), has been associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease. Nuts contain no cholesterol, and 80 percent of the hazelnut's calories come from monounsaturated fat....healthy fat, such as that found in olive oil, the favored oil of the Mediterranean diet. Monounsaturated fats can decrease LDL (bad ) cholesterol levels which reduces risk of cardiovascular disease. Hazelnuts are the richest nut source of folic acid (folate), which helps to reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, improving blood vessel health. Folic acid is also considered an essential vitamin for pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects. Hazelnuts also contain protein, fiber, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin E (an anti oxidant), potassium and calcium as well as the micro nutrients magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus. Additionally hazelnuts contain phytochemicals, including flavonoids, isoflavones, ellagic acid, and phenolic acid which is further being evaluated for its ability to prevent health problems..
For more hazelnut nutritional information go to the International Tree Nut Council's nutrition web site at www.nuthealth.org or visit The Hazelnut Council at www.hazelnutcouncil.org where you will find many recipes.