The Healthy Hazelnut: An Ideal Snack for Nutrition and Diets

The problem inherent with dieting is the sudden cravings for snacks that sneak up on us throughout the course of the day and whittle away at our resolve. Those of us with a healthy dose of willpower can resist such temptations, but others inedibly succumb to the dark desire for unscheduled snacks.

But there is a way to have both a tasty snack and a healthy addition to your diet. Compact, filling, satisfying and healthy, a small quantity of hazelnuts can help ease that sudden craving and provide your body with ample nutrients. Ideal for a healthy lifestyle, fruits and nuts have often been promoted in diets and by doctors.

Hazelnuts in particular have risen above the ranks of its healthy brothers and sisters to become one of the most healthfully promoted. Firstly, hazelnuts contain a large dose of antioxidants, which are quite effective for maintaining a strong immune system and promoting healthy digestion. The large amount of vitamin E contained within hazelnuts is a strong antioxidant.

Alongside the antioxidants are healthy doses of unsaturated fatty acids and a shopping list of other vitamins and minerals. Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C, and many others all make an appearance, as well as ample dietary fiber and protein.

Standing proudly in the heart-healthy category of food groups, hazelnuts are an ideal snack for those concerned about too much fat or cholesterol in their diets, and it is suggested that eating about a handful a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease, though the overall claim has not yet been 100% proven.

A misconception about fat in nuts may result in avoidance of such a snack, but in actuality, the fat content of nuts is not only healthy (mainly monosaturated fat), but contains most of the nutrients and further serves to satisfy hunger, reducing the urge to continue the search for more food.

Hazelnuts can be purchased whole and natural, or dry roasted, shelled and unshelled, and are often utilized in baking and other health food mixtures. Suitable for a variety of uses, hazelnuts can be added to salads, cereals, desserts, and main dishes for additional flavorful enhancement or to get another daily helping of healthy nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Available all year-round, purchasing unshelled nuts is preferable, as shelled nuts can spoil rather quickly, though they can be refrigerated for up to six months.

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