Are hazelnuts good for you? A lot of people ask themselves that question after munching on a serving of this delicious snack. Here's some good news: Recent research shows that people aged 55 and older can benefit quite a bit from eating these tasty and healthy nuts.
A December 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that 32 adults in this age group who added hazelnuts to their diet for a few months significantly improved their levels of two important micronutrients — vitamin E and magnesium. Researchers analyzed blood and urine samples from participants who ate about two ounces of hazelnuts per day for a period of 16 weeks. Sure enough, results showed increased blood concentrations of magnesium and higher urinary levels of vitamin E after the study was complete.
Researchers say the findings are important because many people in general do not consume enough vitamin E and magnesium in their diet. Folks aged 55 and older are particularly at risk of having lower concentrations. Considering there is a link between lower levels of vitamin E and magnesium and an increased risk of age-related health issues later on — such as Alzheimer's disease — this simple food addition could potentially help people quite a bit in the future.
"The findings demonstrate the power of adding hazelnuts to your diet, of just changing one thing," said the study's corresponding author Maret Traber, PhD, in a press release. "Vitamin E and magnesium are two of the most underconsumed micronutrients in the US population, and there's much more to hazelnuts than what we analyzed here. They're also a great source of healthy fats, copper, and B6. People don't like taking multivitamins, but hazelnuts represent a multivitamin in a natural form."
Who knew that making such a small change could make such a big difference for your health?
Next, learn about the tastiest superfoods that can help you live longer in the video below: