With the worldwide hazelnut shortage glaring down on our Nutella-loving souls, we thought you might want to know about some of the important health benefits of hazelnuts.
Hazelnuts are one of the tastiest of the healthy nuts. Not only are they made into Nutella–very possibly one of the tastiest foods ON THE PLANET–but they are also found in coffee, desserts, ice cream, and MANY more dishes. In fact, you’ll find that hazelnut is used to make praline, can be made into cooking oil (similar to peanut oil), and is even fermented to make delicious Frangelico liqueur.
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These little nuts are not just supremely tasty (especially when mixed with chocolate and spread on toast!), but they’re also VERY healthy. Here are the top benefits of hazelnuts:
- Fight Cancer — Hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the cells of your skin and internal organs–both against damage from the outside and the inside. They also contain beta-sitosterol and manganese, two nutrients that will help to fight–and prevent–cancer.
- Boost Bone Health –-Manganese is one of the minerals you can get from hazelnuts, and this mineral plays a central role in bone health. Manganese stops your bones from becoming brittle, prevention osteoporosis and other bone disorders. Plus, the nuts contain folic acid, which reduces your risk of bone breaks.
- Improve Heart Health –– The natural fats found in nuts will prevent inflammation in your heart and blood vessels, reducing your risk of heart disorders. The Vitamin E in the nuts will stop cholesterol from clinging to the walls of your arteries, and nuts are an excellent source of heart-healthy digestive fiber!
- Aid in Digestion — Did you know that your digestive system NEEDS fiber in order to function properly? Nuts are a good source of both soluble and insoluble digestive fiber, which will balance out the bacteria in your gut, reduce constipation, and keep your digestive tract healthy.
- Provide Iron — Iron is one of the most important minerals for your overall health, as it’s necessary for the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry all of the oxygen and nutrients around your body, so more of them means better nourishment for your entire body.
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- Maintain Nervous Health — Hazelnuts are loaded with Vitamins B1 and B2, two important vitamins that will keep your nerves functioning properly. By eating more hazelnuts, you keep your nervous system working well.
- Boost Immunity –– From hazelnuts you get nutrients like calcium, potassium, and manganese, all of which play important roles in your immune function. Not only will these minerals improve circulation, but you’ll find that they will help your immune system to work better.
- Provide Protein — Protein plays a VERY important role in not just your muscles, but also in the functioning of your heart and vital organs, your immunity, and the overall health of your body. All nuts are loaded with protein, and hazelnuts in particular contain a surprising amount–2 grams of protein in just 10 hazelnuts!
- Provide Copper –– Hazelnuts are rich in copper, a mineral that by itself does little, but which helps your body to absorb more iron. Without copper, your body cannot absorb the iron it needs to produce more red blood cells.
- Provide Proanthocyanidins –– Proanthocyanidins are compounds that prevent blood clotting, meaning hazelnuts can help to reduce your risk of heart problems. The compounds also prevent urinary tract infections, and act as an astringent to improve your overall health.
Yes, by now you can no doubt see why it’s in your best interest to eat a few more hazelnuts every day!