As the name suggests, hazelnut oil is extracted from the hazelnut. Generally speaking, nearly all trees belonging to the genus Corylus bear nuts that are edible and, technically, all these are known as hazelnut. However, in definite terms, only the nuts produced by the Corylus avellana trees are used in confectioneries across the world. This tree is actually indigenous to Europe and you can find them at any place ranging from England to Iran. However, majority of the commercial production of hazelnut is done in Turkey.
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Archeological remains of hazelnuts dating back to 9,000 years have been unearthed in Scotland. From their roasted remains, it is understood that people in those prehistoric times processed the seeds as well as nut before consuming them. There are three ways by which hazelnut oil can be hauled out of the nuts - cold pressed oil, solvent extraction and supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. A brief description of each of these processes is given below:
Cold pressed oil: Hazelnut oil can be obtained by first roasting the nuts and subsequently passing them through the cold pressed process. Oil obtained by this process is known as virgin hazelnut oil and it also possesses maximum therapeutic properties. Hence, it is said to be highly beneficial for our health.
Solvent extraction: The oil obtained via this process involves addition of a chemical to enhance the amount of oil hauled out of the roasted hazelnut seeds. Generally, the chemical used in this process is hexane. The oil obtained through the solvent extraction process usually has a lighter consistency and its aroma is less too. Later, we shall discuss how a major group of fats known as phospholipids are lost from the hazelnut oil due to some minor filtering when it is obtained through this process.
Super carbon dioxide extraction: This process of extracting oil from hazelnuts involves using supercritical carbon dioxide. This technology is considered to be the most advanced and it helps in obtaining the maximum amount of oil from the seeds.
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From the above descriptions, it is now clear that hazelnut oil obtained by the cold pressed processed is not only the best, but also most beneficial for our health.
As in the case with all other nuts, hazelnut is also highly beneficial for our health as they contain high levels of essential fats as well as proteins. In fact, hazelnuts are especially beneficial because they are an excellent source of various other nutrients, such as vitamin B, vitamin E as well as oleic acid.
Ingesting the nuts also provide our body with the nutritious dietary fiber that has the ability to improve the digestive system and, at the same time, only one serving of this nut supplies our body with a major portion of our body's daily folate needs.
In addition to the above mentioned nutrients, hazelnut also provides us with flavonoids in sufficient amounts. It has been established that flavonoids are very effective in putting off the risks of developing strokes and heart attacks. The flavonoids present in hazelnuts include tannins and catechins, which makes the oil lighter as well as gives a drier feeling. Therefore, when hazelnut oil is topically applied onto the skin, it makes the skin smooth and tones it without leaving an oily residue.
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Flavonoids possess numerous nutritious properties and they are helpful in minimizing the skin pores as well as maintain an optimal balance of the oils your skin produces. This property of flavonoids can be highly beneficial for people who have oily skin.
Aside from the above mentioned health benefits of hazelnut oil, using this organic oil provides us several other advantages. Besides the fact that this oil acts excellently in balancing the skin oils, it helps to keep all types of skin hydrated and healthy.
There are many people who advocate the use of hazelnut oil as a substitute for olive oil for natural remedies for problems like earaches. According to one such recommendation, you may add few drops of hazelnut oil to a cotton swab and carefully apply the oil on the exterior ear cavity to help alleviate earaches and eliminate surplus wax. There is another suggestion that says after warming hazelnut oil in a microwave for about 30 seconds you may apply on the ear that is aching. It will bring relief after some time.
It has been seen that hazelnut oil is also beneficial for the health of our hair. Combing your dry or tightly curled hair with some hazelnut oil will help to tame the hair and, at the same time, moisturize it, especially during the winter months and also when they days are very humid. This oil also has the ability to bring relief to damaged hair. As far as its benefits for healthy hair are concerned, the benefits of hazelnut oil are similar to those of pistachio oil.
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Hazelnut oil is an excellent natural source of vitamin E - a very potent antioxidant. Antioxidants such as vitamin E have the ability to protect our skin from the harmful effects of free radicals. At the same time, they put off the appearance of sings related to premature aging, such as fine lines on the face and wrinkles.
Findings of various studies hint that a combination of vitamin C and vitamin E makes the fight against wrinkles and fine lines much effective. However, it is unfortunate that hazelnut oil does not enclose vitamin C.
Hazelnut oil possesses astringent properties and hence it can be employed as a natural astringent. Hazelnut oil also encloses tannins which act as both natural astringents and powerful antioxidants. Oils that possess astringent properties, such as hazelnut oil, can aid in cleansing as well as tightening the skin. It also helps to shrink the pores on the skin, thereby getting rid of bacteria. In other words, using hazelnut oil will prevent occurrence of acne and other skin-related diseases.
Other benefits of using hazelnut oil include its efficacy in keeping the skin hydrated. Since this oil is loaded with vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it helps to enhance the hydration of the epidermis of the skin. As it helps to keep the skin hydrated and healthy, hazelnut oil also increases the suppleness of the skin. All these help to make your skin stronger, healthier and suppler.
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Hazelnut contains large amounts of antioxidants that help the body to repair as well as protect itself from cell damage. These antioxidants also help the body to defend itself from oxidative stress. It is worth mentioning here that several antioxidants found in hazelnut are actually concentrated in the nut's skin. Moreover, there is evidence that confirms that the number of antioxidants in hazelnuts actually lessen after they are roasted. In other words, roasting hazelnuts robs a significant amount of antioxidants from them. Therefore, it is advisable that you consume raw, unpeeled hazelnut to intake the maximum amount of antioxidants present in them.
Ingestion of extracts of hazelnut has the potential to decrease the chances of developing colon cancer. Moreover, hazelnut contains many potent antioxidants and it is a storehouse of essential minerals as well as vitamins that make it a super food, especially in fighting cancer. Scientists have particularly studied vitamin E and proanthocyanidins for their potential to prevent as well as cure various forms of cancer.
While still there is no definitive evidence, findings of some studies have shown that hazelnuts together with many other varieties of nuts may possibly be helpful in reducing the levels of blood sugar. In this way, ingestion of this nut may prove to be useful for people with diabetes. The ability of hazelnut to reduce the levels of blood sugar is mainly attributed to its oleic acid content. Oleic acid is one of the main essential fatty acids present in hazelnuts.
Since hazelnut contains considerable levels of vitamin E, they are an excellent food that can boost the health of your skin, hair and nails. Vitamin E has the ability to works as an antioxidant, especially on your skin, thereby shielding you from the signs related to aging and even skin cancer.
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Aside from its therapeutic uses, hazelnut also has various other applications. These nuts are employed in the form of natural constituents in a variety of coloring agents. They impart a very delectable and pleasant brown hue to the strands. Use of such coloring agents not only ensures that the color lasts longer, but also offers an exceptional protection by maintaining the colored tresses conditioned. In this way, hazelnut ensures that the coloring agents protect the colored stresses from damages due to chemical application.
The oil hauled out of hazelnuts can also be used in your everyday hair care regimen. Simply apply a few drops of the oil on your scalp and hair and massage both for some minutes. Cover the head with a soft cotton cloth and allow the oil to remain overnight. You can rinse your hair on the following morning. If you wish, you may also use a mild shampoo after washing your hair, as this will aid in making the hair stronger right from the roots.
Hazelnuts are also an excellent source of various unsaturated fats, while they do not contain any cholesterol. It has been suggested that unsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, possesses the potential to check the levels of low density lipo-protein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol and promote the high density lipo-protein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol levels. In addition, consuming only one cup of hazelnuts fulfils 50 percent of the body's requirement of the essential mineral magnesium, which plays a crucial role in controlling the calcium levels in the body. When the levels of calcium go beyond the normal it is said to be detrimental for the health of your heart. Therefore magnesium helps to protect the heart by making enough space for it to take "rest" and also by putting off excessive straining.
As discussed above, magnesium has a crucial role in checking the levels of calcium from moving to and from the cells of our body in a healthy manner. Therefore, this essential mineral helps in contraction of muscles, thereby preventing any kind of overstress of the muscles. In turn, this helps to ease the muscle tension and neutralize as well as prevent cramps, spasm, muscle fatigue and even soreness. Findings of various studies have also suggested that intake of a healthy amount of this mineral may actually aid in making the muscles stronger.
Incorporating only a cup of hazelnuts in your diet provides you with 17 grams of valuable proteins daily. In addition, one cup of these brown kernels supplies our body with sufficient amount of dietary fiber. For vegetarians, hazelnuts are an excellent snack option as it helps boost the body's ability to burn fat faster and, at the same time, develop lean mass.
Since hazelnuts are excellent source of dietary fiber, adding these nuts to one's diet helps them to have a normal bowel movement. The dietary fiber in these nuts bind with stool, help to loosen them and, in this way, puts off constipation.
Magnesium as well as calcium are two minerals that are essential for the health of your bones as well as joints. Our body stores up surplus in the bones and these are very helpful when suddenly there is a deficiency of this essential mineral. In addition, hazelnuts enclose magnesium that is necessary for the growth and strength of your bones. Therefore, it is not surprising that hazelnuts are an unavoidable snack option for women in menopausal as well as post-menopausal phases.
Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient that ensures that the amino acids in our body functions properly. On their part, amino acids work to regulate and maintain the health of our nervous system. Therefore, any deficiency of vitamin B6 hampers the synthesis of myelin (the sheath that insulates the nerves and ensures swift transmission of nerve messages). Synthesis of myelin is essential for the nervous system to function optimally. In addition vitamin B6 is essential for the various neurotransmitters to function properly. These neurotransmitters include serotonin, melatonin and epinephrine. As hazelnuts contain this nutrient in sufficient amounts, ingestion of these nuts helps to promote the health and functionality of our nervous system.
Hazelnuts also enclose significant amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) as well as the essential omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients together with the B vitamin contained by the nuts play a crucial and effectual role in putting off as well as easing a variety of psychological problems such as depression, stress, anxiety and even schizophrenia. In addition, these constituents improve your memory and have a crucial role in the amalgamation or synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin. If you wish to remain free from these conditions or combat them effectively, it is suggested you grab a dark chocolate that has hazelnuts embedded in it.
Hazelnuts have a rustic brown hue and are loaded with magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and various other nutrients. All these elements have a beneficial effect in alleviating cramps, thereby helping in overcoming the problems related to menstrual cycle in a better manner.
Findings of various studies have hinted that hazelnuts are an excellent natural remedy for iron deficiency as well as other health problems that may occur due to deficiency of iron. This is because hazelnuts enclose high amounts of iron. Red blood cells in our body employ iron to absorb oxygen and spread it to different parts of the body, thereby protecting us from a variety of health problems. Consuming few hazelnuts supplies your body with roughly 30 percent of the recommended daily dose of iron.
Vitamin K helps the blood to coagulate and, hence, it has a crucial role in preventing too much blood loss. This vitamin works by activating platelet synthesis, thereby protecting us from conditions that may prove to be life-threatening. Moreover, vitamin K is essential for the body to absorb calcium in a proper way. Therefore, intake of vitamin K also helps in reducing the chances of developing fractures and other issues that are related to calcium deficiency.