Bioactive Compounds of Hazelnuts as Health Promoters
Pp. 155-179 (25)
Joana S. Amaral and M. Beatriz P.P. Oliveira
Hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) belongs to the Betulaceae family and is one
of the most popular and commonly consumed tree nuts worldwide. Hazelnuts are
highly nutritious, providing macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates),
micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and several bioactive phytochemicals. So far,
different phytochemicals have been described in hazelnuts, such as phenolic acids,
flavonoids, condensed tannins and phytosterols. Among the array of phytochemicals
present in hazelnuts, several have been associated with interesting properties such as
antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and hipocholesterolemic activities
thus potentially contributing for beneficial health effects related to hazelnut
consumption. Even though hazelnuts have a high fat content, its inclusion has been
recommended as part of a healthy-diet. The health benefits of hazelnut consumption
have been mainly associated with its favourable lipidic composition and fat-soluble
bioactives but also to its content in other compounds such as L-arginine and antioxidant
phytochemicals. This chapter aims at providing detailed and up-to-date information on
hazelnut bioactive compounds composition and related health aspects, including data
from epidemiological and clinical studies.
Chemical composition, Hazelnut, Health benefits.
ESTiG, Instituto Politecnico de Braganca, Campus de Sta. Apolonia, 5301-857 Braganca, Portugal.