Hazelnuts are an unsung hero food. They’re good for your heart, they help promote weight loss, and they are packed full of antioxidants. In fact, they can even be considered a super antioxidant because of their richness in the “stuff.”
It’s nuts how good they are for you! Pun intended. But what are antioxidants? Why are they important? What do hazelnuts have to do with antioxidants? And better yet, how can you add more to your diet?
By the time you’re done here, you’ll be able to answer all of that and then some!
What Is A Super Antioxidant?
A superfood is a nutrient-dense food. So, a super antioxidant would therefore be a food that is thoroughly packed full of antioxidants, like hazelnuts. Furthermore, antioxidants are best found in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and even herbs and spices.
Why Are Antioxidants Important?
High levels of free radicals are linked to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are continually forming within the body. Without the antioxidants, the unstable molecules (free radicals) can reach high levels in the body.
While antioxidants are naturally found in the body, additional sources from food can help combat free radicals from reaching high levels.
But wait, where do free radicals even come from? They are produced when the body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to other pollutants such as tobacco.
Hazelnuts Are A Super Antioxidant Source
The majority of hazelnuts’ antioxidant property resides in the skin, which is also rich in fiber. Even though the skin is considered a by-product of hazelnuts it actually contains 5 phenolic acids (antioxidant group). Some studies show that the removal of the hazelnut skin significantly reduces the antioxidative potential.
Hazelnuts are an incredibly high source of Vitamin-E. Just a single ounce of hazelnuts contains 21% of the recommended daily intake.
Vitamin-E is a fat-soluble source of antioxidants. Since Vitamin E is fat-soluble, it is absorbed in your fat cells and stays in your body longer than a water-soluble antioxidant source.
Some studies show that the antioxidants in the skin are reduced after roasting, however, there are studies that show the opposite. One study, in particular, found that the antioxidant properties in the skins of roasted hazelnuts were comparable to those of their raw counterparts.
5 More Foods That Are Rich In Antioxidants
Hazelnuts aren’t the only super antioxidant out there. While they are our favorite, there are other foods you can incorporate into your diet to increase your antioxidants.
1. Dark Chocolate
Try our dark chocolate covered hazelnuts! They’re packed full of antioxidants and ready to fight free radicals! All the yum, none of the guilt!
Another tremendous super antioxidant is blueberries! Their main antioxidant compound, flavonoids, come from the polyphenols, antioxidant family. Based on several studies, blueberries directly increase the levels of antioxidants in the body.
Artichokes contain an antioxidant, luteolin, which prevents cholesterol formation in the body. So not only are they a rich source of antioxidants they’re also heart-healthy!
Kale is packed full of vitamin C, flavonoids, polyphenols, and beta-carotene antioxidants. Cooked kale has a lower antioxidant count than raw kale so it’s great to add to your diet via smoothies and salads.
Beets are rich in betalains, another group of antioxidants, that’s also responsible for giving them their coloring. They also contain compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.
Antioxidants Are Nuts!
By this point, you should be itching to add antioxidant-rich foods to your diet! If beets aren’t really your thing, then try these chocolate covered hazelnuts. They’re a super antioxidant that you can thoroughly enjoy!