Friday, April 13, 2012

How Can Hazelnuts Make You Healthier?

Who would have thought that a food as small and insubstantial looking as the humble hazelnut could be such a powerful aid towards good health! Packed inside every hazelnut is a rich source of calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, protein and dietary fibers.

And here’s something else you probably didn’t know about hazelnuts, Turkey produces by far the most hazelnuts of any country in the world. And there is documentary evidence that they have been produced as a significant food source for well over 9000 years – that’s around 7000 years before Christ.

Harvest time for hazelnuts is in mid-autumn when the trees drop their nuts and leaves. Most commercial growers take the sensible approach and let the rich bounty simply drop to the floor rather than use expensive and cumbersome equipment to shake them from the trees.

Health benefits of hazelnuts abound. They are extremely high in antioxidants which help to rid the body of harmful free radicals, the cause of serious diseases including many cancers, and the advance of heart disease. Free radicals are also a significant and unwelcome contribution to the aging process.
Scientists have discovered that free radicals are the chief cause of aging, and any food that helps stave off that eventuality should become a part of your regular diet. Antioxidants strengthen the blood vessels which help to keep the vital flow of blood to all the organs.



That’s why nuts in general, and hazelnuts in particular, should be regarded as part of your daily diet, just like fresh fruit and vegetables. Try to get into the habit of consuming 25-30 grams of hazelnuts a day to ensure your daily dose of vitamin E  - vital in warding off cardiovascular diseases and various cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Even if cancer is formed, vitamin E can help to remove the harmful blood cells that lead to its formation. Who would have thought that this food source, of which half a dozen can easily be held in the palm of one hand, could contain such powerful life sustaining properties?
Hazelnuts and hazel nut oil is the best known source for Vitamin E, also essential for healthy heart muscles and other muscles of the body. Vitamin E has other major benefits too. It’s necessary for normal functioning of the reproduction system and prevents the disintegration of red blood cells, thereby protecting against anemia. Beta-sitosterol, of which the hazel nut has an ample supply, helps to reduce cholesterol too.

Hazelnuts have some other very useful and unexpected attributes to benefit you with every delicious bite. They contain Arginine, which, while helping to relax the blood vessels, can aid in increasing sexual stimulation and in achieving powerful erections in men. Ask anyone in the sex industry and they will tell you Arginine is a key ingredient in several highly expensive male potency pills – and yet you can derive the same benefits just by munching daily on a few hazelnuts.
The more scientists research, the more they discover that poor blood flow through the arteries are responsible for some of modern civilizations most debilitating and chronic illnesses including the dreaded Alzheimer's disease, dementia, depression and other serious mental health problems.
The hazel nut also contains a variety of good oils which are essential to the processes of your body. Once again, the vitamin E in hazelnuts assists with the formation of healthy red blood cells, muscle cells and other important tissues.

The magic of all nuts is that while they have a high fat content. Oils founds fat in nuts assist the body to absorb some very important vitamins – specifically K, E, D, and A. The benefits brought by these vitamins include glowing skin and a rich glossy sheen to hair. These vitamins can even help to maintain optimal body temperature, because with extra fat the body can stay warm even in cold climates.
The Swiss have long since discovered that hazelnuts make a wonderful addition to chocolate confectionery and pralines Рthe delicious inner cr̬me fondant found in some expensive chocolate brands. Hazelnuts can also be crushed and added on bread as a nutty buttery spread РNutella being a popular brand.

Hazelnuts are close to being the complete package in terms of a good quality food source. They are naturally rich in vitamins B1, B2 and B6 vitamins. They contain Calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Iron for healthy blood production function, zinc a powerful mineral to aid the immune system, potassium for the nervous and muscle systems.
It’s therefore hardly surprising that the hazel nut has, for several millennia, been held in such high esteem among dried nuts. Their rich nutrition and health giving benefits include an ideal composition of fats protein, carbohydrates, vitamins (vitamin E), minerals, and dietary fibers.


John Grant now enjoys spending his time traveling around the world and writing about great nutritional foods such as Hazelnuts.