Food

Hazelnut – Intolerance & Allergy

Hazelnut

The fruits of the hazel bush are called hazelnuts Hazelnuts come mostly from Asia Minor and Europe. They contain many important nutrients and are commonly known as nerve food. Although hazelnuts are generally beneficial to health, they can trigger allergies or intolerances.

This is what you should know about the hazelnut

The hazelnut bush, also known as common hazel, belongs to the birch family. Hazelnuts grow as fruits on the hazel bush and, in contrast to walnuts or almonds , are among the “real nuts”.

They are mainly imported from Turkey. However, the shrubs are also grown in other European countries, as well as in Asia or the USA. In Germany, many hazelnut bushes can also be found in domestic gardens. However, since the hazel does not bear enough fruit in this country, it is not used for trade.

There are two different types of hazelnuts: the cellulosic nut and the Lambert nut. While the celler nuts often grow in Germany, the lamberts nuts mostly come from the southern countries. Due to the optimal climatic conditions, this variety is sweeter and tastier. Overall, the taste of the hazelnut can be described as hearty and spicy. The hazelnut bush is reminiscent of the shape of a tree. It has a trunk and can grow up to six meters high.

The hazel blooms as early as February to March, mainly on the edge of dense forests or in clearings. Although the harvest time is only in September and October, the nuts are commercially available all year round due to the optimized production and storage conditions. But especially in autumn and winter hazelnuts are in season in this country and can be found in almost every supermarket.

importance to health

Some time ago, hazelnuts were considered a health hazard due to their fat and the resulting calories . But although they contain a lot of fats and oils, scientists have now found that they are actually extremely healthy and important for the general diet.

The fats that the hazelnut contains consist mainly of unsaturated fatty acids . They represent the good fats that have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and can strengthen the heart . However, it is important to eat nuts in moderation. Up to 25 g may be consumed per day. The magnesium contained in hazelnuts can relax the nervous system and regulate blood pressure . Inflammation can also be prevented by magnesium.

The folic acid it contains helps to reduce the build-up of deposits in the arteries , so that the heart and blood vessels are protected. In conjunction with carbohydrates, nuts can reduce the usual increase in blood sugar and the associated risk of diabetes . Nuts are also known as nerve food and trail mix. Chewing the nuts stimulates brain activity . The high content of lecithin and choline strengthens memory and regulates nerve function.

The human body converts certain amino acids contained in hazelnuts into the messenger substance serotonin , which brightens the mood and helps against depression .

Ingredients & nutritional values

100 grams of hazelnuts contain around 650 kcal. In addition to the relatively high fat content of around 62 g per 100 g, hazelnuts also consist of around 12% protein . They are therefore an important and indispensable source of proteins, especially for vegetarians and vegans.

In addition, the nut contains many important minerals such as calcium , magnesium , potassium , phosphorus , zinc and iron . B-group vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid and beta-carotene are also found in significant amounts. Hazelnuts also contain a lot of dietary fiber, which is very important for regular digestion . The vitamin E contained in the hazelnuts also defends the cells against free radicals.

Intolerances & allergies

However, like other nuts, hazelnuts can be very dangerous for allergy sufferers. In many cases, especially people who react positively to birch pollen also cannot tolerate hazelnuts. This is because the hazel bush is a birch tree and contains the same allergy-causing substances as the birch. This close relationship is also called cross allergy and occurs very frequently.

Intolerance often manifests itself in the form of stomach problems, diarrhea or nausea . But swelling in the mouth or eyes, an itchy throat or mouth can also occur after eating hazelnuts. In the worst case, it can lead to anaphylaxis , which can be life-threatening under certain circumstances.

Shopping & kitchen tips

In the supermarket, hazelnuts are usually offered shelled and unshelled. They are also available ground or chopped as a baking ingredient. In any case, the nuts should be undamaged and contain no signs of mold.

Because if the hazelnuts are infested with mold, harmful toxins are formed, so that they must not be eaten under any circumstances. Net packed and loose nuts are less prone to mold growth. On the other hand, hazelnuts that are sold in plastic foil should be avoided, as there is more liquid there, which leads to mold growth.

In-shell hazelnuts can be subjected to a simple test to determine if the nut is still fresh. If it rattles in the shell when you shake it, it is often a question of dried nuts. In addition, the larger it is, the more aromatic the nut is. When the nuts are shelled, they have a white skin. Slightly yellowish specimens indicate that it is already a slightly older nut. These usually taste rancid or have hardly any taste.

In general, this food keeps for a few months. However, both shelled and unshelled hazelnuts should be stored in a cool and airtight place. The fridge, the basement or less heated rooms are best suited for this. If the nuts are under a plastic wrap, this should be removed in any case.

Whole nuts should be better chopped or crushed beforehand as an ingredient for a cake or other pastries. However, whole nuts are very suitable as a snack between meals.

Preparation tips

Hazelnuts can refine both sweet dishes and savory dishes. Chopped or ground nuts are mostly used as a baking ingredient. Whole hazelnuts can be eaten raw, roasted or candied. If the hazelnuts are roasted in the oven for about 10 minutes, they are tastier, have a stronger aroma and the skin comes off more easily. After roasting, the nuts are rubbed together in a cloth until the skin comes off.

Schnaps or liqueur can also be made from this superfood. To avoid a bitter taste, the peel and skin must be completely removed. In order not to lose the intensive aroma, the nuts should be processed immediately after processing.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.