How hazelnuts can boost our health.
Fans of Just Routine will know how keen we are on micronutrients because of their huge impact on our health. No wonder then research from Oregon State University caught our eye when they reported that older adults who added hazelnuts to their diet for a few months significantly improved their levels of two key micronutrients: magnesium and vitamin E.
Low levels of both micronutrients are common, with senior citizens more at risk because lower concentrations of both are associated with increased risk of age-related health problems including Alzheimer’s disease.
In the study, 32 people age 55 and older ate about 57 grams of hazelnuts (about one-third cup) daily for 16 weeks. Blood concentrations of magnesium increased along with elevated urinary levels of a breakdown product of alpha tocopherol, commonly known as vitamin E. One author of the study noted the novel biomarker to determine the improved vitamin E levels, combating the problems caused by elevated cholesterol levels in determining changes in α-tocopherol levels in the blood of older adults. Examining the urine instead to see how much of a vitamin E catabolite was in it was inspired, as it should only increase if the body is getting enough vitamin E. In addition, blood analysis showed decreases in glucose and low-density lipoproteins, also known as “bad” cholesterol, in addition to increases in magnesium.
There’s more to hazelnuts than analysed in this study, as a source of healthy fats, copper and B6. Some consider it a multivitamin nut!
Festive serving sugggestion for those without nut allergies – sprinkle crushed roasted hazelnuts over Brussels sprouts and add a handful of unsweetened dried cranberries for a delicious side dish to your Christmas turkey.
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