Hazelnuts, also known as filberts and cobnuts, grow in clusters on the hazelnut tree in temperate zones around the world. The nuts are fruits from the “birch” or Betulaceae family of trees. One of the oldest agricultural crops, hazelnuts are believed to have its roots in Asia and then moved into Europe. They were taken to the U.S. by Europeans in the 1850’s. Today, the principal countries that produce hazelnut are Turkey, Italy, Spain and the U.S.
Hazelnuts are extraordinarily rich in fats. Most of them consists of unsaturated fatty acids, in particular monounsaturated ones (76% of total fat amount).
Hazelnuts is plenty of fibre as they contain a high amount of fibre of 6,5 g per 100 g, for the major part soluble ones. This content in fibre (especially soluble ones) supports good intestinal working.
Hazelnuts provide a high protein amount between 8 % and 14 %.
They stand out for their especially high content of minerals (2-2,6 g per 100 g): Potassium, phosophorus (290 mg), magnesium (163 mg), calcium and oligoelements: iron (4,7 mg), Zinc (2,4 – 3,0 mg), and copper (0,21-0,31 mg), , and selenium.
Similar to almonds, hazelnuts present a unique vitamin profile, prevailing vitamin E, which is highly contained in oleaginous fruits (up to 21mg per 100g), as it appears together with unsaturated fatty acids. Furthermore, there are important amounts of vitamin B (2 to 10 times more than in other nuts).
Source of energy
Hazelnuts provide an extraordinarily high energy value (80% of which stems from fat): 385 kCalories / 1,605 kJoules per 100 g of hazelnuts.
Even if consumed in small quantities (one portion is equivalent to 25 g), hazelnuts present a nutritional complement of excellent quality, while having only about 95 to 130 Kcal per 100g, that is much less than a bar of chocolate or many other sweets.