Eating nuts is a great and healthy snack. You'll often see mixed nuts packaged with pecans, peanuts, cashews, and other popular nuts.
You don't often see hazelnuts in packages in local grocery stores, but that's not the case everywhere.
Most people think of hazelnuts as that tasty coffee flavoring, but you can enjoy these nuts on their own and in other ways.
If you have acid reflux disease or are trying to limit your acidic food intake, you may be wondering whether hazelnuts are acidic or not.
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Are Hazelnuts Acidic?
Hazelnuts are acidic! But before you write off these nuts because they're technically acidic, let's look at their pH level. Hazelnuts have a pH of 6.8. That's extremely close to a neutral rating of 7. Since their pH rating is so close to neutral, their acidity is minimal and shouldn't give you any issues.
So the acidity level in hazelnuts is low enough you still want to eat them, but are they actually good for you?
Are Hazelnuts Healthy?
Generally speaking, hazelnuts are pretty healthy. While they have higher calorie content, they're rich in healthy fats and nutrients that aid our bodies in several ways.
Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, copper, manganese, and thiamin. In addition to these vitamins and minerals, they have a good amount of folate, vitamin B6, potassium, and zinc.
They are a great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.
Antioxidants are important to our overall health because they help to protect our bodies from oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can cause cell structure damage, increase aging, hearts disease, and even cancer. Hazelnuts are a great way to incorporate more antioxidants into your diet.
The antioxidants in hazelnuts have been proven to reduce inflammation in the body and cholesterol levels.
A two-month study was conducted, and it showed that those who ate hazelnuts with or without the skin decreased their oxidative stress compared to those who didn't eat hazelnuts.
Most of the antioxidants in hazelnuts come from the skin, so it's better to eat them with the skin on.
In addition to assisting in reducing oxidative stress, the antioxidants in hazelnuts can improve your heart health.
One study showed that bad cholesterol levels went down when people consumed hazelnuts, whereas their good cholesterol levels remained unchanged.
Mineral-rich hazelnuts have even shown the ability to normalize blood pressure in individuals who ate them often.
Many nuts, including hazelnuts, have a high concentration of proanthocyanidins. This antioxidant has been undergone various animals tests where it's shown to reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer.
In conjunction with vitamin E, that antioxidant provides a layer of protection against cancer that one wouldn't have when they don't eat these nuts.
Of course, eating hazelnuts will not guarantee you won't develop cancer, but studies show there's a decreased chance.
Will Eating Hazelnuts Cause Heartburn?
Everyone is different, but since hazelnuts have a pH of 6.8, it's doubtful you'll get heartburn from eating them.
I'm sure if you were to eat an excessive amount of them, you might experience heartburn or acid reflux, but since these nuts are high in calories, it's unlikely you'll be able to eat enough of them to cause this reaction.
If you're eating them with other acidic foods or seasonings, this can increase your chance of experiencing acid reflux and heartburn.
Hazelnuts Are a Great Addition to Desserts
Hazelnuts make the perfect addition to desserts or coffee. If you have a party coming up or are just craving something sweet, here are some of the best hazelnut dessert recipes.
You can't go wrong with a chocolate cake or torte. Next time you need to impress a crowd with your baking skills, try making this hazelnut chocolate torte.
The chocolate is flavored with hazelnuts, and you can even sprinkle some roasted or raw hazelnuts on top to add that special touch.
When it's your turn to host brunch at your house, finding something unique to make can be tedious. Next time you can't think of what to serve your guests, try this strawberry hazelnut French toast.
The recipe calls for hazelnut extract or liqueur but if you're looking for that extra crunch, add some hazelnuts to the top before serving it with syrup. This meal even makes for a delicious dessert after a savory meal.
Savory Meals With Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are not just for snacking or making desserts. There are hundreds of savory lunch and dinner recipes floating around on the internet.
Using hazelnuts in a savory dish may sound odd, but don't knock it until you try it.
If you're a pasta lover, you need to try this pasta recipe. It's brown butter brussels sprouts with hazelnut and pasta.
You'll combine hearty brussels sprouts, your favorite pasta, a buttery sauce, and roasted hazelnuts. You can't forget to top it with fresh parmesan cheese.
Do you need the perfect Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dish? Instead of stovetop stuffing, try this sausage and sage stuffing with cranberries and toasted hazelnuts.
This stuffing combines the savory flavors of the sausage and stuffing with the sweetness of cranberries and hazelnuts.
I promise this will be a new addition to your holiday menu. But you don't need it to be the holidays to make.
You can absolutely eat hazelnuts when you pick them off the tree. Eating raw hazelnuts is entirely safe and normal.
Keep in mind that if you want to bite into these nuts seconds after you pick them from the tree, you'll need to have something with you to break them open.
If you don't, you can wait until you get home and use something there before eating them raw.
Hazelnuts are grown in many countries in the world, but there are a few that produce much more than others.
The country that produces the most hazelnuts per year is Turkey. Turkey grows over 400,000 metric tons of hazelnuts annually. Coming in at a close second is Italy and then the United States.