Hazelnuts for the Maintenance of Muscle Mass, Weight Control and Much More

The hazelnut is a fruit oil-bearing crop that accompanies the human being since ancient times. Know why this is so important in your diet!

About the Hazelnuts

The hazelnut comes from the hazel and is perhaps even more famous today for its use in clothing such as praline, chocolate truffles or nutella.

The flavor of the hazelnut is also usually added to coffee and liqueurs and the oil can be used for numerous functions.

The hazelnut is a fruit oil-bearing crop that can be consumed to natural or used in various preparations, and their benefits are countless.

Find out more about this fruit!

10 BENEFITS OF HAZELNUT

1. FRIEND OF THE HEART

For being rich in unsaturated fats, the hazelnut has the ability to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL), two factors essential for good cardiovascular health.

Studies have shown that the consumption of 25 grams of hazelnuts per day for 16 weeks resulted in a decrease of 2% to 10% in LDL cholesterol, compared to a group that is not consumed hazelnuts.

In addition, a cup of hazelnuts have the ability to provide almost half the recommended daily dose ofmagnesium, a mineral responsible for regulating the levels of calcium that, when desregulados, can cause irregular heartbeat of the heart.

In addition, with the amount of calcium-regulated muscle contractions are stimulated, causing the muscles to relax when they are not required. This process assists in the relief of muscle tension, pain, spasms, fatigue and cramps.

2. PROTECTIVE IN PREGNANCY

One of the nutrients present in hazel and essential in pregnancy is the folic acid.

The lack of this vitamin in pregnant women can cause a malformation of the neural tube of the babies, the nervous system primitive of the fetus.

3. REJUVENATES

For those who want to slow down the appearance of marks of expression, hazel can help. This happens because the hazelnut is rich in flavonoids, substances responsible for fight free radicals and therefore the cellular ageing.

The flavonoids are also able to improve circulation and promote the health of the brain.

The vitamin E, fairly present in hazelnut, is an essential vitamin when it comes to giving support to the skin, the largest organ of our body. A diet rich in vitamin E helps fight the signs of aging (wrinkles and dark spots), as well as damage caused by the sun.

4. ENERGY-RICH

The hazelnuts are very rich in energy, and still contain numerous nutrients that are essential to health. When you consume 100 grams of hazelnuts, you’ll carry up to 628 calories for your body. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty, such as oleic acid and the essential fatty acid, linoleic acid.

The nutritional properties and sensory of hazelnut make it a good energy source due to its high fat content, nothing less than a 60.5%.

5. PROMOTER OF MUSCLE MASS

The high levels of magnesium and calcium present in walnuts can help in the maintenance and growth of healthy muscles. The magnesium helps rebuild the muscle tissue, while adequate levels of calcium may help prevent muscle fatigue, cramps, and pain.

For practitioners of the sport, a serving of hazelnuts is considered to be a good snack post-workout.

Studies conducted in Italy have shown that high levels of magnesium also contribute to the increased strength of the muscles.

6. ENHANCES THE FUNCTIONING OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

We know that the nervous system needs amino acids to function, while the amino acids, in turn, need the support of vitamin B6, a nutrient in which the hazelnuts are rich.

In addition, vitamin B6 is important for the formation of myelin, which is responsible for insulation of the nerves, increasing the speed and efficiency of electrical impulses, allowing the nervous system to work better. Vitamin B6 also may act on the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin, melatonin and adrenaline.

Vitamin E is also a big booster and supporter of the healthy activity of the brain.

7. PREVENTS CANCER

The alpha-tocopherol contained in the hazel is effective in reducing the risk of cancer of the bladder, thereby reducing the possibility of occurrence in up to 50%.

The beta-sitosterol, a fitosterol found in walnuts, helps to reduce the risk of cancer of the breast and prostate, as well as the fight against lymphocytic leukemia.

Eat hazelnuts, by itself, does not guarantee the cure of cancer or that it will not arise, but it is without a doubt a good aid to its prevention.

8. FACILITATES DIGESTION

The high content of fibre contained in nuts can ensure the better functioning of the digestive system, thus favoring the elimination of waste and toxins, and promoting a balance of chemical substances and micro-organisms needed by your body stay healthy.

The hazelnut is rich in vitamins of the B complex (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, among others). These are essential for breaking proteins, fats and carbohydrates, thereby facilitating digestion.

9. STRENGTHENER OF THE BONES AND JOINTS

2/3 of the magnesium in your body is used in the construction and to increase the strength of your bones.

Thus, magnesium is an essential mineral in the composition of the bones, and that is why the body stores magnesium on the surface of the bones, in order to be used in the case of a disability emerging.

Hazelnuts are rich in magnesium, therefore being a food essential to the growth and strength of their bones.

10. ASSISTS IN WEIGHT CONTROL

Hazelnuts are considered to be very energetic and with a high content of calories and fats, but it is important to know that if you drink with moderation, hazel can help you lose weight.

The properties of the fruit help you feel satisfied for a longer period of time, thus preventing the intake of other foods unless advised.

NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF THE HAZELNUT

100g of kernels of hazelnut (that is, the edible part), contains:

Energy 689kcal
Protein 14g
Carbohydrates 6g
Lipids 66,3 g
– of which saturates 4,9 g
– of which monounsaturated Eur 52.2 g
– of which polyunsaturates 6,2 g
– linoleic acid 6,1 g
Carbohydrates 6g
Protein 14g
Salt 0g
Fiber 6,1 g
Vitamins
– Thiamine 0.3 mg
– Riboflavin 0,16 mg
– Niacin 1.8 mg
– The equivalent of niacin 5,2 mg
– Tryptophan 3,4 mg
– Vitamin B6 0,59 mg
– Folatos 73µg
Minerals
– Sodium 2mg
– Potassium 730mg
– Calcium 250mg
– Phosphorus 270mg
– Magnesium 160mg
– Iron 3mg
– Zinc 2mg

From the above table, we can conclude that the hazelnut has a high fat content, despite the fact that most of this is fat not saturated, the kind more healthy.

HOW TO USE HAZEL?

The hazelnut is can be consumed natural or added in many ways in desserts or salads, eaten raw or toasted as a snack, along with cereals and all kinds of preparations where they are used nuts or chestnuts.

The hazelnuts can also be ground to make a flour, added to breads, which give a delicious aroma or taste. In addition to food use, the hazel trees are planted in several countries with the purpose of ornamental forming hedges with foliage color and branches twisted.

The hazelnut oil is often used in the cosmetics industry in the manufacture of moisturizers for the skin and shampoos. The hazelnut butter is more digestive than his own hazel. In pastry, it gives a consistency more creamy that the hazelnut powder and it is delicious smeared on bread. The drink hazelnut also serves as a great substitute for those who have an intolerance to milk as an option vegetable.

To make a “nutella” homemade, you can make hazelnut butter grinding the fruit in a processor and adding a bit of cocoa powder.

HOW TO STORE THE HAZELNUT

The hazelnuts should be dried so that the moisture content is around 12%, reducing the risk of contamination by aflatoxin. Can be stored in dry conditions and cold during 5 months and, if placed in the freezer, it can remain in good condition for a year or two years.

RECOMMENDED DAILY DOSE OF HAZEL

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of hazelnuts is from 12 to 20 units.

THE ORIGIN AND THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HAZELNUT

The hazelnut is actually the fruit of hazel, plant of the family of Betulaceae, a bush high, that grows naturally in almost all of Europe, Asia Minor, and also part of North America. This fruit is relatively rounded, it has the consistency of wood, the bark pretty solid, and is surrounded by a coating of leaves. In its interior is the seed edible, taste slightly sweet.

The Turkey, followed by Italy and the United States, are the three countries that produce hazelnut worldwide.

In Portugal, it is grown mainly in the northern region. Is found in forests and woodlands, but also in parks and gardens, banks of streams and hedges. The majority of the Portuguese acquired the hazelnuts are already ready to eat.

There are two main species of hazelnut:

  • Corylus avellanais found in the wild state in western Europe and in England;
  • Corylus maxima isnative to southeastern Europe and western Asia.

However, there are many hybrids of these two species difficult to be distinguished, and all known as hazel.

In Turkey there is a native species Corylus colurna that form trees of up to 25 metres in height which produces nuts of very large and valued commercially. There are also species of Corylus native to Canada, from China and Japan with fruit is far less than the european species, but also very important as food throughout the history of mankind. The species Corylus americana, native to North America, produces fruits long with hard shell and smaller than the other species of hazel.

The fruits of the hazel are produced in clusters of 1 to 10 fruits that will loosen the nuts when the wrappers dry and open.

A hazel produces from 6 to 12 kg of hazelnuts per year depending on climatic conditions and cultivation. The trees in production tend to switch to production every 2 or 3 years and, in this way, one should perform the pruning of the branches new and the removal of fruits new. In addition, they must be removed from the fruits that remained in the tree for which there is no inhibition in the formation of new flowers.