Eat This Type Of Nut For Better Skin Health & Sleep 

Image by Nataša Mandić / Stocksy

For those of you who needed an excuse to whip up some healthy Nutella—and then slather it on anything from bananas to pancakes to your morning oatmeal—I have great news. A new study showed that hazelnuts have some pretty exciting health benefits.

Published in the Journal of Nutrition, this small study followed older adults who ate hazelnuts for 16 weeks. The results showed that by the end of the study period, the participants had raised their magnesium and vitamin E levels significantly. And this is great news, seeing as vitamin E has myriad health benefits for the skin, cardiovascular system, and the immune system (just to name a few), and magnesium plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. How many hazelnuts did they have to eat? About 57 grams per day, which is about 2 ounces of nuts, which feels manageable.

So while vitamin E and magnesium are present in other types of foods—and this study was funded by the Oregon Hazelnut Industry, which is definitely something to keep in mind—it's always nice to know that eating a specific food can lead to a clinically relevant increase in certain nutrient levels. This is especially true when you learn that leading doctors suspect that as many as 80 percent of us are deficient in magnesium, and deficiencies in this nutrient can lead to a host of undesirable symptoms like insomnia, headaches, muscle cramps, and even anxiety. Digestive issues and a low-fat diet can also put you at risk for vitamin E deficiencies, which could have consequences for your skin, immune, and cardiovascular health.

Most of us know that nuts are healthy foods; they're high in healthy fats and great at balancing blood sugar and keeping us satiated. This study gives us an excuse to enjoy hazelnuts on the reg, knowing our vitamin E and magnesium levels will thank us for it. That's food as medicine at its best, if you ask me. Pass the Nutella, won't you?

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