Why should we eat hazelnuts?
Hazelnut is a very useful food thanks to the antioxidants, healthy fats, manganese, vitamins and minerals it contains. It protects heart health, can protect against cancer with the antioxidants it contains, lowers blood sugar, reduces inflammation in the body. It is a food that you can safely consume as long as you do not have allergies. However, prefer to eat hazelnuts raw, as antioxidants are most concentrated in the outer membrane. The oil obtained by cold pressing of hazelnut is a delicious oil used extensively in the kitchen as well as skin and hair care. In this article, you can find detailed information about the benefits and uses of hazelnut and hazelnut oil.
Benefits of hazelnut
Hazelnut, which is a complete health store, provides very important benefits from brain health to happiness hormones, from reducing the risk of diabetes to protecting from cancer. In addition to its taste, it contains plenty of fiber in its structure. It is a treasure for our health with its proteins, carbohydrates, antioxidants, vitamins such as B riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine and pantothenic acid, and minerals such as calcium, folate, zinc, potassium, iron and manganese. If the hazelnut is consumed raw, we can benefit from its nutritional values much more.
It is a rich source of antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition that accelerates aging and increases the risk of cancer and heart disease by damaging the cell structure.
The most abundant antioxidants in hazelnuts are phenolic compounds. Studies show that eating hazelnuts significantly reduces oxidative stress in the body. However, the antioxidants contained in hazelnuts are more concentrated in the membrane part. For this reason, it is recommended to consume raw, unpeeled skin.
Protects heart health
Thanks to the antioxidants, fatty acids, fiber, potassium and magnesium it contains, hazelnut helps normalize blood pressure, and can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels in the blood.
Helps lower blood sugar
Studies show that oleic acid, the main fatty acid in hazelnuts, can help improve insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly reduce fasting blood sugar and insulin levels.
This shows that hazelnut is a good food for type 2 diabetes patients and can also help protect from this disease.
May reduce cancer risk
It is thought that the antioxidants proanthocyanidin and vitamin E contained in hazelnuts, as well as high levels of manganese, may help prevent or treat some types of cancer, such as cervical, liver, breast and colon cancer.
But all that has been done so far is test-tube or animal studies. Further studies are needed to see if the same results apply to humans.
May reduce inflammation
Inflammation predisposes to arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Consuming hazelnuts regularly can reduce inflammation in the body, thanks to the high amount of healthy fat it contains. However, hazelnuts alone are not enough for this. It is also necessary to follow a calorie-controlled diet.
Supports Brain Health
Hazelnut contains phytochemicals such as protonocyanidins, quercetin and kaemferol. These proanthocyanins belong to a group called ‘flavonoids’. Flavonoids may support brain health. In addition, since it is rich in tryptophan and isolosine amino acids, it makes the person feel better mentally and psychologically.
Importance of hazelnut for athletes
Nutrition is as important as daily training for an athlete. In fact, this is not just for athletes; It is valid for everyone who is interested in sports and has adopted a healthy life.
The amount of calories to be taken daily and energy consumption may vary from person to person. If you exercise regularly, you need much more energy than if you don’t. To gain this energy, you need to follow special diets. You can eat a certain amount of hazelnuts every day to repair damaged tissues, support fat burning, take vitamin B and E supplements and stimulate metabolism. Hazelnuts, which contain protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats, increase your muscle strength and support your body’s regeneration rate. It is also perfect for physical and mental fatigue.
- Strengthens the muscles
Magnesium plays a very important role in regulating the amount of calcium entering and leaving the body. The right amount of calcium creates muscle contractions and allows the muscles to rest when they are not needed. Magnesium thereby reduces muscle tension and fights to prevent muscle fatigue, spasm, cramps and aches. High magnesium levels also help increase muscle strength.
Is hazelnut oil healthy?
Hazelnut oil is the oil extracted with the help of a press machine. Although it is especially known for its benefits to the skin, its use in the kitchen is also extremely healthy. It is as nutritious as olive oil. Thanks to oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid, it contains in a high rate, it increases the good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood and lowers the bad cholesterol levels. In addition, when applied topically, it moisturizes, softens and gives elasticity to the skin.
Benefits of hazelnut oil for skin
- Thanks to the high amount of vitamin E and fatty acids it contains, it increases the hydration in the outermost layer of the skin and ensures that the skin remains moist and maintains its elasticity.
- It can stop bleeding in cuts that may occur after shaving on sensitive skin, without causing irritation.
- It prevents drying by forming a natural oil barrier on the skin.
- The tannins it contains tighten the skin by cleaning the pores and destroying bacteria.
- The vitamin E in hazelnuts increases the production of collagen, an essential protein that strengthens the skin and provides elasticity.
- It can protect the skin against sun damage. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles caused by sun exposure.
- It can reduce skin darkening (hyperpigmentation) caused by acne, sun damage, pregnancy, skin injuries.