Hazelnuts are not only delicious; they are surprisingly nutritious. As with other foods in the nut family, hazelnuts have unsaturated fat, and are extremely rich in protein and vitamins. They can be eaten raw, roasted, in a paste, or as a cooking oil. Hazelnuts are also extremely popular in coffee creamers and fancy liqueurs. Eat your way to multiple health benefits with hazelnuts. With their chocolaty and nutty taste, hazelnuts are a great addition to any diet.

But, Why Hazelnuts?

The hazelnut has an oblong shape and is a bit smaller than an acorn. Hazelnuts are often also used in praline, a confection made from nuts and sugary syrup. Praline tastes like chocolate, and hazelnuts enhance the flavor. Hazelnut paste can be enjoyed alone, on bananas, or as a sandwich. It is especially nutritious when peanut butter is added.

This little nut is a powerhouse of nutritional goodness. Native Americans added the nut to a tea to cure hives, and to reduce fever. The bark can be used as a poultice to close wounds, treat tumors, and sores, or so it is believed. You can use hazelnut oil on the skin as a moisturizer and sunscreen. It is often utilized in aromatherapy and massage. Because it’s edible, the oil can also be used as a salad dressing.

Here is a list of some of the surprising benefits of hazelnuts:

1. Delicious Heart Health

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Isn’t it wonderful when something tastes great and is good for you? This description suits hazelnuts. The unsaturated fats lower LDL’s, the “bad” cholesterol, in the blood. Lowering LDL’s means lowering heart attack and stroke risks.

2. Edible Cancer Prevention

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Due to its richness in Vitamin E, preliminary studies show that hazelnuts can prohibit the growth of cancer in the bladder and other areas. Hazelnuts are also magnesium-rich. Consumption of hazelnuts has been shown to positively affect enzymes in the mitochondria.

3. Enhanced Muscles

Packed with protein, hazelnuts feed your muscles. Build up strength through adding muscles to your diet. More muscle means that fat is burned faster, and most people have an easier time losing or maintaining a healthy weight.

4. Savory Skin Health

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Enriched with Vitamin E, hazelnuts help protect against the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays. Benefits are also reaped through protection against skin cancers, and reversing the effects of skin aging. Who knew getting healthy could taste so great?

5. Delectable Bone Health

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Magnesium is key in building health bones and, fortunately, hazelnuts are very rich in magnesium. New bones are grown and old bones are strengthened. This is especially important for older women who are at risk for osteoporosis.

6. Pleasant Health to the Nervous System

Hazelnuts also provide a surprising lift to the nervous system. Seratonin, melatonin, and epinephrine all effect mood and the sleep cycle. The Vitamin B6 in hazelnuts enriches these chemical connections in the brain.

7. Exquisite Digestive Health

Magnesium-rich hazelnuts are credited in the digestion of fatty acids and bad cholesterol. Enzymes are produced that further metabolize protein and carbohydrates. High fiber contents also aid in digestion and colon health.

8. Palatable Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a very important role in overall health. Free-radicals prevent the cells from being properly oxygenated and as a result illness occurs. A build up of free-radicals cause a domino effect in the body, infecting other cells, and leading to serious diseases.

9. Rich in Vitamin B

Hazelnuts provide a healthy burst of needed energy in the body. Additionally, these benefits play an important role in metabolism and digestive health. Vitamin B is naturally found in hazelnuts, and assist in weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.

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