One type of tree nut is packed with key micronutrients that most seniors lack.
That’s the finding of new research at Oregon State University. One of the study authors said the nut is so nutritious that eating it is like taking “a multivitamin in a natural form.”
Researchers found eating hazelnuts raised seniors’ levels of two important nutrients…magnesium and vitamin E.
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 be deficient in them.
Hazelnuts Compensate for Nutrient Shortfall
Researchers recruited 32 older adult subjects. Scientists gave them a third of a cup of hazelnuts daily for 16 weeks. The researchers 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.
Professor Maret Traber was the study’s author. “The findings demonstrate the power of adding hazelnuts to your diet,” she said.
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.”
Hazelnuts are also high in thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (B1), niacin (B3), folate (B9), vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, and zinc.
The Many Health Benefits of Hazelnuts
The researchers point to vitamin E and magnesium as being the nutritional star attractions in hazelnuts. Here’s what those nutrients do for you:
- Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve function, blood sugar control, and energy production. It is needed for bone development and is required for the maintenance of DNA and RNA. There’s evidence the mineral fights depression and type 2 diabetes. 
- 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 helps prevent liver disease.
Do your health a favor and eat a 1-ounce serving of hazelnuts every day. That’s about 12 nuts. It’s may be the closest thing in nature to taking a multivitamin supplement.
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