It is one of the main ingredients of the well-beloved chocolate spread Nutella, and the marriage of hazelnuts and chocolate has been making humanity happy since before the French Revolution. This little nut is, in fact, so well-celebrated that it enjoys its own day in Italy, on the 14th of December. This day happens to be nationally recognized as Hazelnut Day, when various towns in the country celebrate its significance in the Italian culture, along with as its various health benefits.
Read on to discover our other dinner conversation tidbits you never knew about hazelnuts.
1. Anti-aging properties
Hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, containing about 15g per 100g (providing 100% of the recommended daily allowance). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid- soluble antioxidant required for maintaining the integrity of mucous membranes and skin by protecting them from harmful oxygen free radicals.
2. Protection against cancer
These nuts are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, and are packed with numerous health- promoting phytochemicals. Altogether, they help to protect against disease and cancers.
3. Good for your skin
Hazelnut oil has a nutty aroma and excellent astringent properties. It helps to keep skin protected from dryness. The oil has also been used in cooking, and as a “carrier” or base oil in traditional medicines, in massage therapy, in aromatherapy, and in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
4. Strengthen hair
You can use the oil extracted from these nuts in your daily haircare regimen. Just apply a little on the scalp and hair, and massage for a few minutes. Leave it overnight.
These nuts, like almonds, are free from gluten, and therefore safe for use in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas for gluten-sensitive, wheat-allergic and coeliac-disease patients.
6. Natural sunblock
You can apply hazelnut oil to your skin as a a natural sunscreen, safeguarding you from the harmful effects of UV rays. Just mix a few drops each of sesame, avocado, walnut and hazelnut oils, and apply this to your skin daily.