5 Major Health Benefits of Hazelnuts
1. Promote Heart Health
Tree nuts are a well-known combatant in the fight against heart disease, and hazelnuts are no exception. There are a handful of vitamins and minerals found in hazelnuts that promote heart health. Aside from being a great source of fiber, they contain a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to reduce LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and increase HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind).
2. Help Manage Diabetes
When planning a diabetic diet plan, it’s important to focus on choosing monounsaturated fats over trans fats or saturated fats. Hazelnuts are a great source of these good fats, and eating recommended portions of hazelnuts as a substitute for more damaging,”bad” fat foods is a great way to ensure you gain the benefits of good fats without worrying about gaining additional weight.
3. Filled with Antioxidants
Hazelnuts have many vitamins and minerals that are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants wipe out damaging free radicals in the body and help prevent major disease and illness like cancer and heart disease. Hazelnuts are a great source of vitamin E, which helps to fight aging and disease by reducing inflammation. One serving of hazelnuts can also provide almost an entire day’s amount of manganese, which is not an antioxidant but is a huge contributor to enzymes that are. Hazelnuts also have the highest content of proanthocyanidins (PACs), a class of polyphenols that give foods like red wine and dark chocolate their “astringent mouth feel” compared to other nuts.
4. Boost the Brain
Hazelnuts should be considered a brain-boosting powerhouse. They’re full of elements that can improve brain and cognitive function and help prevent degenerative diseases later in life. Because of high levels of vitamin E, manganese, thiamine, folate, and fatty acids, a diet supplemented with hazelnuts can help keep your brain sharp and working at its best, making hazelnuts excellent brain foods.
Higher levels of vitamin E coincide with less cognitive decline as individuals age and can also have a major role in preventing and treating diseases of the mind like Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s. Manganese has been proven to play a major role in the brain activity connected to cognitive function as well. Thiamine is commonly referred to as the “nerve vitamin” and plays a role in nerve function throughout the body, which plays a key role in cognitive function. It’s also why thiamine deficiency can be damaging to the brain.The high levels of fatty-acids and protein help the nervous system and also help to combat depression.
5. Help Prevent Cancer
Thanks to hazelnuts’ high number of antioxidants, they’re important cancer-fighting foods. Vitamin E is the most notable as a cancer-prevention supplement. Studies have shown vitamin E’s capabilities for decreasing risk for prostate, breast, colon and lung cancers, while also preventing the growth of mutations and tumors. Vitamin E has also shown possibilities of aiding in multi-drug resistance reversal and cancer treatments.