Healthy nibbles

HAZELNUT

HAZELNUT

DID YOU KNOW?
Hazelnuts have been a feature of the human diet since prehistory. They are thought to have originated in Asia, from where they spread to Europe, making them one of the oldest crops in the region. HAZELNUT
The main producing countries are Turkey, Italy, Georgia, Azerbaijan, The USA, Spain, Chile, France and Iran. Turkey, the largest producer, accounts for around 72% of total global production.
Their nutritional value and exquisite flavour make the hazelnut unique and an ideal ingredient in a wide range of foods. They combine particularly well with chocolate. Hazelnuts come in a huge variety of ways and bring an unmistakable flavour and texture to chocolate, cakes, pastries, bread, dairy, cereals, salads, main courses, sauces and desserts.
BENEFITS
Nutrients
Hazelnuts are high in fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin E (α-tocopherol) and minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. They are also a source of pantothenic acid, zinc and vitamin K.1,2
Folate and vitamin C
Out of all nuts, hazelnuts contain the highest amount of folate (113 mcg/100 g) and vitamin C (6.3 mg/100 g).
Cardiovascular health
According to a 2016 study, hazelnuts have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention because of their fatty acid composition, mostly based on monounsaturated fatty acids.3
FUN FACTS
Herodotus' The Histories (490-425 BC) mentions the cultivation of hazelnuts in the eastern Black Sea Coast region and describes pressing techniques for their valuable oil. The Ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus (372-287 BC) describes the botanic features and cultivation principles of hazelnuts in his works.4
HAZELNUT
The hazelnut tree was considered a symbol of fecundity and fertility in Eurasian, Germanic and Northern European cultures. Hazelnuts were often featured in wedding traditions in Germany and Russia.5
References:

1)    USDA Food Composition Databases. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28 slightly revised May, 2016: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list.
2)    Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32006R1924&from=en.
3)    Perna, S., Giacosa, A., Bonitta, G., Bologna, C., Isu, A., Guido, D., & Rondanelli, M. (2016). Effects of Hazelnut Consumption on Blood Lipids and Body Weight: A Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 8(12), 747.
4)    Barrett, D.M., Laszlo, S., Ramaswamy, H. (2005). Processing Fruits: Science and Technology, 841.
5)    Göreci, A. (2004). Fındık Kültürü, 112.