One type of tree nut is packed with key micronutrients that are crucial to good health but that most older Americans lack.
That’s the finding of new research at Oregon State University. One of the study authors said the nut is so potent that it is “a multivitamin in a natural form.”
The study comes from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Researchers found eating hazelnuts raised seniors’ levels of two important micronutrients…magnesium and vitamin E.1
Hazelnuts contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals. But their magnesium and vitamin E content is particularly important. They are called “shortfall nutrients.” That’s because people tend to lack them in their diets.1
Researchers recruited 32 older adult subjects. Scientists gave them about one-third of a cup of hazelnuts daily for 16 weeks. They took blood and urine samples to measure nutrients, lipids, glucose, and insulin.
The subjects ended up with significantly higher amounts of magnesium and vitamin E in their systems. They also had a decrease in blood sugar and “bad” LDL cholesterol.3
Professor Maret Traber was the study’s corresponding author. “The findings demonstrate the power of adding hazelnuts to your diet.”
She points out that “there’s much more to hazelnuts than what we analyzed here. They’re also a great source of healthy fats, copper, and B6.”
Besides those nutrients, hazelnuts are high in thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (B1), niacin (B3), folate (B9), vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, and zinc.4
The Varied Benefits of Hazelnuts
The researchers point to vitamin E and magnesium as being the star attractions contained in hazelnuts. But what are the specific benefits of these nutrients?
- Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and energy production. It is needed for bone development and is required for the maintenance of DNA and RNA. There’s evidence that it fights depression and type 2 diabetes.67
- Vitamin E promotes healthy skin, vision, blood, and brain function. It’s also an antioxidant, so it fights the free radicals that trigger heart disease and cancer. There’s also evidence it fights liver disease.
Hazelnuts also provide…
- Healthy fats. These include mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Also omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. They lower your risk for heart disease and cancer. They may also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.78
- This is an essential trace mineral. It helps maintain the nervous and immune systems. It helps create red blood cells.
- Vitamin B6. This nutrient is important for metabolizing protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Research shows that it may prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease.9
- This trace mineral is required for proper nervous system function. It’s also essential for bone health, helps reduce inflammation, and is involved in regulating blood sugar.10
Do your health a favor and eat one 1-ounce serving of hazelnuts a day. That’s about 12 nuts. It’s may be the closest thing in nature to a multivitamin.