Hazelnuts are sweet, and incredibly nutritious edible kernels from the “birch” or Betulaceae family of trees. “Filbert” (C.maxima) is similar in kind and related to the common hazel but only differing in having its nut totally covered by its tubular involucre. In Britain, both of these nuts are in general enjoyed as “cobnuts.”
The hazel is a small deciduous tree originated in southern Europe and Turkey. It is now being cultivated in many regions of the world, including the USA as a major commercial crop.
Hazelnuts are a good source of vitamin E. A handful of hazelnuts (25 g) contains no less than 50% of the Guideline Daily Amount (GDA). Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants can play an important role in preventing cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Hazelnuts are very high in energy and loaded with many health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health. 100 g nuts carry 628 calories. They are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic as well as essential fatty acid, linoleic acid that helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol and raises HDL or good cholesterol. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet plentiful in monounsaturated fatty acids contribute to preventing coronary artery disease, and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.