Hazelnuts are nutritious and very versatile nuts that taste delicious, especially when they're roasted. They are rich in healthy monounsaturated oil and also contain minerals, vitamins, protein, fiber and phytonutrients. Hazelnuts are produced in commercial quantities in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Georgia, Serbia, in the south of the Spanish region of Catalonia, in the UK county of Kent, and in the American states of Oregon and Washington, and south western British Columbia Canada. Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world with about 75% of worldwide production. Ferrero SpA, the producers of Nutella and Ferrero Rocher, consumes 25% of the global supply.
- Hazelnuts, like other tree nuts, contain no cholesterol. Over 80% of the total fat in hazelnuts is mono-unsaturated.
- Hazelnuts are an excellent source of folate. A 100 gram serving provides 113 ug of folate, amounting to 30% of the daily-recommended value. Folate is highly beneficial for pregnant women. It helps to prevent megaloblastic anemia and neural defects in babies.
- Manganese in hazelnut acts as a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It also facilitates the protein and carbohydrate metabolism. The high fiber content in hazelnuts promotes regular movement of food and waste in the digestive tract.
- Storing shelled hazelnuts in an airtight bag or container in a freezer will keep them fresh and flavorful for a year or more.