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, fibre 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 southwestern 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 consume 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 ugs of folate, amounting to 30% of the daily recommended value. Folate is highly beneficial for pregnant women. It helps to prevent megaloblastic anaemia and neural defects in babies.
Manganese in hazelnut acts as a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It also facilitates protein and carbohydrate metabolism. The high fibre content in hazelnuts promotes the 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.