Hazelnuts are not always the first nut that comes to mind when you're picking out a snack or a bone-healthy recipe. But today that'll change!
Hazelnuts are perhaps best known for their use in chocolate confections or cocoa-spreads. Indeed, more than a quarter of the yearly global production is used for those purposes. But hazelnuts have much more to offer, as a snack, as an ingredient, and as a bone-building food.
Today you'll learn what's inside the humble hazelnut, and how to make the most of it– including a delicious pH-balanced recipe.
All About Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are also known as filbert nuts, but currently, hazelnut is the most widely used name. They are primarily grown in Turkey, where 75 percent of the global supply is produced.
Hazelnuts are grown on trees that are sometimes pruned into a more shrub-like shape to make management and harvesting easier. The trees are capable of producing hazelnuts for as long as 100 years, meaning that hazelnut trees are tended by multiple generations of farmers.
It's no wonder that hazelnut trees receive nurturing care for a century or more! They produce a globally beloved nut that is used in a multitude of ways. Hazelnut is a popular flavor in coffee, chocolate, spreads, and sweets, and can even be made into a nutty dairy-free milk.
Hazelnuts, also known as filbert nuts, are a tree nut popularly used as a flavor in coffee, chocolate, spreads, and sweets.
Hazelnuts For Bone Health
Savers should incorporate hazelnuts into their diet because they are rich in Foundation Supplements. However, keep in mind that hazelnuts are acidifying, so you should balance them with alkalizing foods to maintain the 80/20 alkalizing to acidifying dietary balance. This is easy to do with hazelnuts because a single serving is quite small at one ounce, which usually comes out to about 21 hazelnuts.
Here are some of the bone-building nutrients in a serving of hazelnuts:
- Manganese* – A serving of hazelnuts provides almost a full day's recommended allowance of manganese. This mineral is crucial for the regulation of hormones that control bone remodeling.
- Copper* – This mineral is used for the cross-linking of collagen and elastin, which make up the flexible connective tissue that gives bone its tensile strength.
- Magnesium* – This Foundation Supplement has a direct impact on bone creation, along with more than 300 other enzyme systems throughout the body. To absorb magnesium from food sources, be sure to chew your food thoroughly. Cooking or pureeing your hazelnuts will also make magnesium more bioavailable.
- Iron* – Hazelnuts are an excellent vegan source of iron, which is important for bone health. Studies have linked iron deficiency to increased bone loss.1
- Zinc* – Zinc is an essential trace mineral that supports bone density, protects against oxidative damage, and maintains a healthy immune system.
- B Vitamins* – Hazelnuts are an excellent source of Vitamin B9 (folate) which helps to lower homocysteine levels to reduce fracture risk.2 They also contain Vitamin B1 (thiamine) which maintains the bone-protecting Master Antioxidant glutathione.
- Vitamin K* – This often-overlooked vitamin plays many important roles in your health, including your bone health. Vitamin K is required for the process that allows calcium to bind to the bone matrix.
- Fiber – In addition to its value for the digestive system, fiber has been shown to contribute to a longer and healthier life.3 In part because it helps reduce inflammation, an effect that directly benefits bone health. 4
Hazelnuts contain many Foundation Supplements, including copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, B Vitamins, and Vitamin K. Although hazelnuts are acidifying, you can easily balance them with alkalizing foods to take advantage of their many bone-healthy benefits.
Other Health Benefits Of Hazelnuts
A natural and holistic approach to improving your bone health will simultaneously benefit other health measures. Hazelnuts are a perfect example. Consider these additional health benefits:
- Heart health – Hazelnuts are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids that help balance cholesterol. Studies have shown that diets rich in hazelnuts improved cholesterol balance, reduced inflammation, and improved blood lipids.5
- Brain health – Many of the nutrients in hazelnuts support brain health, including thiamine (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E (tocopherol), manganese, folate, and fatty acids. Thiamine for example plays a critical role in cognitive function, and hazelnuts have been shown to promote healthy aging and improve memory.6
- Cancer-prevention – Among the antioxidants in hazelnuts, Vitamin E stands out for its cancer-preventing abilities.7
- Preventing obesity – The thiamine in hazelnuts supports a healthy metabolism.8 Their protein and fiber content, along with their healthy fat composition, increase feelings of satiety or fullness, which prevents overeating.9
- Skin and hair – Hazelnuts' vitamin E content supports healthy skin and hair, making sure you both feel and look youthful and healthy.
The nutrients that make hazelnuts bone-healthy also provide health benefits for your brain, heart, skin, and hair. They have also been shown to help prevent cancer and obesity.
How To Eat More Hazelnuts
Now that you know how many health benefits hazelnuts offer, you'll need ways to make them part of your diet. Fortunately, hazelnuts are easy to incorporate into your daily intake.
You can eat them raw as a savory snack, or roasted to enhance their nutty flavor. Hazelnuts are often turned into a spread such as hazelnut butter, but be sure to avoid products with added sugars.
You can find hazelnut flour, oil, or milk — all of which can be used in recipes. And of course, hazelnuts can be used as a topping or a garnish for many dishes, adding a savory crunch to a salad, oatmeal, soups, and desserts.
Try this hearty, protein-packed, pH-balanced salad to get your love affair with hazelnuts off to a bone-building start.
Greens And More
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 cup salad greens of your choice
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup celery, chopped
- 2 (preferably tart) apples, chopped
- Sea salt to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for a maximum of 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool, then peel off the skins. You can leave them whole, or roughly chop them. Set aside.
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, and sprinkle with salt.
- Pour your favorite dressing before serving.
Try the above recipe which incorporates hazelnuts into a salad. They also make great toppings for desserts or oatmeal and serve as a healthy and filling stand-alone snack.
What This Means To You
Your health and nutrition knowledge grows with each new food you learn about. That awareness is a tool that allows you to make better decisions about your diet and your bone health.
Knowing is the first step, and that's why the Save Institute created the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. It does more than instruct– it educates and inspires to help you build stronger bones and a fuller, healthier, more fulfilling life.