The nut that cracks two common nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies and diseases go hand in hand.

Did you know, for example, that magnesium deficiency increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease?

Or that vitamin E deficiency makes you more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease?

The scary thing is, a lot of Americans aren’t eating enough of these essential nutrients. especially older Americans.

The typical American diet provides less than the recommended dosage of both micronutrients. Plus, older adults tend to eat even less of these nutrients than younger adults, and they have other risk factors for deficiency, like:

  • Worse nutrient absorption
  • Faster nutrient excretion through urine
  • Medications that contribute to nutrient depletion

So, what should you do to make sure you’re getting enough of these disease-fighting nutrients?

You might think supplements are the solution. But not necessarily. Food is always the best source of the nutrients your body needs. It provides nutrients that are easier for your body to absorb. Plus, getting your nutrients from food reduces the risk of overdoing any one nutrient (which has its own set of disease risks and side effects).

Fortunately, there’s one tasty food that can give you a healthy dose of vitamin E and magnesium…

Peak Golden Oil

Helps Your Body Maintain Optimum Immune Balance!

Hazelnuts: the nuttiest way to get your nutrients

A new study from researchers at Oregon State University found that a single food can help older adults raise their vitamin E and magnesium levels — the hazelnut.

The study included 32 people ages 55 and older who ate about 57 grams of hazelnuts per day for 16 weeks. After the four-month period was up, researchers found that study participants had successfully raised their vitamin E and magnesium levels.

Researchers checked magnesium levels through blood tests but vitamin E through urine tests. Why?

Because it’s hard to get an accurate reading of vitamin E levels through blood in older adults. They tend to have high cholesterol, which causes vitamin E (also known as alpha-tocopherol) to stay in the blood. This makes it seem like older adults are getting more vitamin E than they really are.

Checking vitamin E levels through the presence of a metabolite in urine gives a better picture of how much vitamin E older adults are really getting (something that’s good to know in case you ever get tested for vitamin E deficiency).

All in all, this study offers a safe, simple solution to a common problem — micronutrient deficiencies that prevent you from living your best, healthiest life in your older years.

“The findings demonstrate the power of adding hazelnuts to your diet, of just changing one thing. Vitamin E and magnesium are two of the most under-consumed micronutrients in the U.S. 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,” said Maret Traber, the study’s corresponding author and a professor in the OSU College of Public Health and Human Science.

Hooray for the healthy hazelnut!

In the study, researchers had older adults eat 57 grams of hazelnuts per day. That’s roughly 2 ounces or one-third cup.

Adults are supposed to get about 15 mg of vitamin E per day and between 320 and 420 mg of magnesium (more if you’re male, less if you’re female). A one-ounce serving of hazelnuts gives you around 12 percent of your RDA for magnesium and 21 percent of your RDA for vitamin E.

If you’re not in the habit of including hazelnuts in your diet, there are plenty of ways to get your fill:

  • Eat them plain. They’re delicious raw, roasted or toasted.
  • Add them to yogurt.
  • Put them in your oatmeal.
  • Make homemade hazelnut muesli.
  • Mix them in your salad.
  • Put chopped hazelnuts on fruit for a healthy dessert.
  • Try dark chocolate covered hazelnuts for a more decadent dessert.

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  1. Hazelnuts improve older adults’ micronutrient levels — MedicalXpress
  2. Daily Consumption of Oregon Hazelnuts Affects α-Tocopherol Status in Healthy Older Adults: A Pre-Post Intervention Study — Journal of Nutrition
  3. Micronutrient deficiencies in the elderly – could ready meals be part of the solution? — Journal of Nutritional Science
  4. Vitamin E: Fact Sheet for Consumers — National Institutes of Health
  5. Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals — National Institutes of Health
  6. The nutty secret Italians use to look and feel great — Easy Health Options
  7. Can You Eat Raw Hazelnuts? — SFGate


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and