Organic Hazelnuts from VitaMe


Organic Hazelnuts from VitaMe

Hazel is a shrub native to Europe and western Asia. Hazel leaves are deciduous, rounded, softly hairy on both surfaces, and with a double-serrate margin. The flowers are produced very early in spring, before the leaves, and are monoecious with single-sex wind-pollinated catkins. Male catkins are pale yellow, while female catkins are very small and largely concealed in the buds with only the bright red. The fruit is a nut (hazelnut), produced in clusters of one to five together, each nut held in a short husk which encloses about three quarters of the nut. The nut is spherical to oval, yellow-brown with a pale scar at the base. The nut falls out of the husk when ripe, about 7-8 months after pollination.

Hazel nuts are harvested annually in mid autumn. As autumn comes to a close, the trees drop their nuts and leaves. Most commercial growers wait for the nuts to drop on their own, rather than use equipment to shake them from the tree.

Recently a group of Italian researchers at National Institute for Cancer Research has confirmed the presence of taxanes in the shells and leaves of hazel plants, including paclitaxel, 10-deacetylbaccatin III, baccatin III, paclitaxel C, and 7-epipaclitaxel. The finding of these compounds in shells, which are considered discarded material and are mass produced by many food industries, is of interest for the future availability of paclitaxel "Taxol". Paclitaxel is a mitotic inhibitor used in cancer chemotherapy. It was discovered in a National Cancer Institute program at the Research Triangle Institute in 1967 when Monroe E. Wall and Mansukh C. Wani isolated it from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, Taxus brevifolia and named it 'taxol'. When it was developed commercially by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) the generic name was changed to 'paclitaxel' and the BMS compound is sold under the trademark 'Taxol'.

Hazelnut has a significant place among the types of dried nut in terms of nutrition and health because of the special composition of fats (primarily oleic acid), protein, carbohydrates, vitamins (vitamin E), minerals, diabetic fibres, phytosterol (beta-cytosterol) and antioxidant phenolics. The nutritional and sensory properties of hazelnut make it a unique and ideal material for food products. Hazelnuts are a good source of energy with their 60.5% fat content.

Hazelnuts are the best known source for Vitamin E which is essential for the healthy heart muscles and other muscles of the body as well. It is also necessary for normal functioning of the reproduction system. Vitamin E prevents the disintegration of red blood cells, thus it serves as a protection against deficiency of blood which is called anemia. Another benefit of Vitamin E which is found in hazelnut is to prevent the factors which prepare the basis for cancer disease. If cancer is already formed in the body, then it fights to defuse the harmful cells. Beta-sitosterol, which is found amply in hazelnut, is an important mean of decreasing cholesterol and preventing diseases.

Consuming hazelnut is very important for healthy life. Eating only 25 gr hazelnuts a day can be a very good protection against many diseases. According to results of a research, people who consume hazelnuts or hazelnut oil, have 50% less risk of dying because of hearth attack when compared to those who never consume hazelnuts. It is the most beneficial nutraceutical element for heart health.

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