The hazelnut is the fruit of the hazel tree (Corylus avellana L.). Due to the climatic conditions, this plant thrives in the Mediterranean Basin. The most prized variety is the 'Tonda Gentile Trilobata', which is grown in the Langhe region in Piedmont and is also known as the Piedmont Hazelnut.
All nuts, particularly walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, are a key part of the Mediterranean diet.
Scientific research has shown, without doubt, that the consumption of nuts reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease and diabetes and reduces mortality from cardiovascular disease, in general.
Because of the composition of the hazelnuts, consuming them reduces LDL cholesterol and helps improve glycemic control, as well as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Hazelnut properties and benefits
Like extra virgin olive oil, hazelnuts are very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid), vitamin E, phytosterols and polyphenols. These are important nutrients against cardiovascular disease as they help reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood and keep blood pressure down.
Hazelnuts are also very rich in minerals, particularly magnesium, copper and selenium, which are important for the formation of antioxidant enzymes, and iron, which helps prevent anemia.
For lactose-intolerant people, hazelnuts are the perfect alternative for calcium intake. This mineral is good for bones and helps regulate muscle and hormonal functions, metabolism and the nervous system.
Hazelnuts do not contain gluten and are suitable for those with an intolerance to it.
How and when to eat hazelnuts?
Eating a moderate amount of hazelnuts on a regular basis promotes health without drastically affecting energy balance. The recommended daily amount is 20-30 grams max, which is around 20 hazelnuts.
We highly recommend eating them with breakfast in the morning, in a mixed salad alongside the main meal, or as a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
The Piedmont Hazelnut is the star—together with our prized cocoa, whose key benefits we have listed—of delicious recipes, including hazelnut bars, Gianduia and Suprema spreads, which are good for you and will put a smile on your face!