Healthy Snacks: Hazelnuts

Published on May 13, 2024

Hazelnuts earned its fame when it was married to chocolate. Chocolate and hazelnut fillings and spreads called “gianduja” can be traced back to Turin, Italy in the 1700’s. Piedmont, Italy is an Italian region known for its hazelnut confectionery. But there’s a healthy side to hazelnuts.

“Hazelnuts bring in about 5 million calories per acre. They are beneficial for wildlife providing them with habitat and a good food source.”
“Another crop with multiple purposes, hazelnuts are used medicinally for the cardiovascular system, cancer prevention, the digestive tract, and more.

“Oxidative stress may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Manganese superoxide dismutase—one of the antioxidant enzymes found in hazelnuts—helps decrease oxidative stress and may help reduce your risk of developing cancer.”
“Hazelnuts also contain vitamin E, which helps protect cells against the types of cellular damage that can lead to cancer.”
“Finally, hazelnuts are a key source of proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins are chemical compounds thought to help reduce the risk of cancer.
“Hazelnuts provide a cholesterol-free energy source. They’re packed with healthy fats, including omega-3s, which can be good for your heart.”

Along with vitamin E, other nutrients hazelnuts contain are thiamin, magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus and potassium.

hazelnut farm
hazelnuts starting to form
fresh picked hazelnuts
squirrel with hazelnut
hazelnuts in shells
hazelnut shell broken open
squirrel with hazelnuts
rubbing off skin
blanched hazelnuts

Photo of hazelnut orchard by Oregon State University

Photo of hazelnut bud by Guilhem Veldt

Photo of hazelnut harvest by Vilseskogen

Photo of (a squirrel has) Another Tasty Hazelnut by Peter Trimming

Photo of hazelnuts by Oregon State University

Photo of cracked open hazelnut by Hagni hal

Photo of Hazelnut Selected (by a squirrel) by Peter Trimming

Photo of Skinning hazelnuts by aehdeschaine

Photo of blanched hazelnuts by Oregon State University