Unless you have an allergy to tree nuts, hazelnuts are extremely healthy and beneficial to a great variety of people.
Hazelnuts are tree nuts that contain proteins, fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals that support a healthy heart, a digestive system, skin, muscles, bones, and joints and decrease the risk of developing cancer. When we look closer at the nutrients contained in hazelnuts, we see a good dose of vitamins B, C and E, calcium and magnesium.
The monounsaturated fats found in hazelnuts can greatly improve heart health. They are actually the recommended fat to be consumed daily by the American Heart Association. They combat bad LDL cholesterol and can increase the good HDL cholesterol while also minimizing inflammation in the body. The heart and blood pressure are also supported by the magnesium content in these nuts, which acts to balance the minerals calcium and potassium. Many studies also identify magnesium as a method of decreasing the risk of diabetes by improving glucose tolerance.
Hazelnuts further contain healthy amounts of vitamins C and E which work together to maintain the health of tissue in the body as antioxidants. As vitamin E fights free radicals preventing cell damage, it needs vitamin C regularly to restore its antioxidant ability and function properly. This process keeps the skin and collagen healthy. Individually, vitamins C and E also boost the immune system in both the short- and long-term.
Another important class of antioxidants found in hazelnuts is proanthocyanidins or PACs, a polyphenol that fights aging, prevents disease and treats urinary tract infections.
The B vitamins in hazelnuts also benefit cell health and function and increase the body’s ability to make energy. Maintaining healthy cells is important in preventing the development of cancers.
Many of the nutrients in hazelnuts work together to boost cognition and prevent the future development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia. These nutrients include vitamin E, thiamine, folate, manganese and fatty acids. Fatty acids and protein also fight against depression.
Tree nuts are a common allergen that can cause an allergic reaction with symptoms including hives, rash, trouble breathing, closing of the airway, asthma, swelling of the face and lips, and anaphylactic shock. If you have an allergy to tree nuts, avoiding hazelnuts may be in your best interest.
Possible short-term side effects
- allergic reaction
- provides vitamins and minerals
- improves glucose tolerance
- decreases risk of developing diabetes
- decreases bad ldl cholesterol
- increases good hdl cholesterol
- fights against inflammation
- boosts the immune boost
- provides antioxidants
- improves skin health
- boosts energy
- can improve urinary tract infections
- fights aging and disease
- fights depression and neurodegenerative diseases
- improves cognition
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Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS | 10-04-2016
Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS
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