What are hazelnuts?

Hazelnuts are the seeds of the Corylus avellana, a species originally from Asia Minor currently widespread in all areas of the world with a temperate climate. The leading producer of hazelnuts is Turkey.

The species belonging to the genus Corylus are at least 11, they can reach heights varying between 3 and 8 meters and bloom in early spring, before they develop leaves. The fruit can be eaten raw, roasted or ground to a paste.


What are the nutritional properties of nuts?

Hazelnuts are poor in water.

100 g of seeds only contain 4.5 g of water and provide 655 calories

  • 88% lipids
  • 38,62% monounsaturated fatty acids
  • 5.2% unsaturated
  • 4.61% saturated

In particular, hazelnuts are sources of oleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid and palmitic acid and are free of cholesterol.

The remaining calories come from:

  • 8% protein
  • 4% carbohydrates
  • 4.1 g of soluble sugars
  • 8.1 g of fiber


These macronutrients are added:

  • vitamin E (15 mg per 100 g)
  • vitamin C (4 mg per 100 g)
  • niacin ( vitamin B3 or PP, 2.8 mg per 100 g)
  • Thiamine ( vitamin B1 , 0.51 mg per 100 g)
  • vitamin A (retinol equivalent to 30 micrograms)
  • potassium (466 mg per 100 g)
  • phosphorus (322 mg per 100 g)
  • magnesium (160 mg per 100 g)
  • calcium (150 mg per 100 g)
  • iron (3.3 mg per 100 g)
  • zinc (2 mg per 100 g)
  • copper (1.3 mg per 100 g)
  • Selenium (2 g per 100 g)


Hazelnuts are also sources of sodium (11 mg per 100 g), phytic acid (0.98 g per 100 g), manganese , folate and vitamin K (in the form of phylloquinone).

The nutritional composition of hazelnuts may vary depending on the area of ​​cultivation and harvesting period.


When should you NOT eat hazelnuts?

There are no known conditions that require the exclusion of hazelnuts, except in cases of food allergy. It is also good to remember that you can develop a hypersensitivity to hazelnut after taking anti-ulcer drugs.


Seasonality of hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are available throughout the year in most markets.


Possible benefits and contraindications

Hazelnuts are mainly used as a source of protein, minerals, vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids, in particular alpha-linolenic acid. Currently available data are not, however, being used in assessing a recommended dosage; however, keep in mind that 100 g hazelnuts bring approximately 15 mg of vitamin E.

The beneficial properties of nuts were analyzed in studies that have associated them with cardiovascular benefits, specifically the reduction of total cholesterol and bad cholesterol while increasing the good one and triglycerides. The research conducted to date however, can not be considered conclusive.

Also the leaves of the core can be used for medical purposes; their supposed vasoconstrictor properties have led to their use in alleviating the symptoms of hemorrhoids and varicose veins. To the leaves, as well as to the seed, they have also been associated with antioxidant properties. Finally, the core has been attributed with anti-inflammatory properties.

And in the case of known hypersensitivity to nuts, these seeds and products derived from them should be taken with caution by people who are allergic to peanuts.

Finally, it is possible for hazelnuts to be contaminated by aflatoxins, considered carcinogenic molecules.