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Pilates Teachers Self-Care Saturday: Discovering the Delights and Benefits of Hazelnuts


Healthful Indulgence: Savour the simple pleasure of hazelnuts, a heart-healthy snack.
Nourishing Snack: A bowl of glossy hazelnuts ready to enrich your diet

Hi everyone, and welcoming you to another Self-Care Saturday. Today, I'd like to shift our focus slightly from our usual Pilates discussions to delve into a topic equally important for maintaining our health and wellbeing: nutrition. Specifically, let's talk about a delicious and nutritious snack that's perfect for a Pilates teacher's lifestyle – the humble hazelnut.


What is a Hazelnut?

Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are the sweet, round nuts of the hazel tree. They are commonly harvested in orchards across Europe, Turkey, and parts of North America. Recognisable by their smooth, glossy shell and rich, buttery flavour, hazelnuts are not only a treat to our taste buds but also pack a punch in terms of nutritional value.


Why Hazelnuts Over Other Nuts?

Here’s why I think you should consider hazelnuts as your go-to snack, especially over other nuts:

  1. Rich in Nutrients: Hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, manganese, and copper. Vitamin E is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and eyes, and it also plays a role in strengthening the body’s natural defence against illness and infection.

  2. Good for Your Heart: Hazelnuts contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats, which are good for heart health. They help to reduce cholesterol levels, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.

  3. Antioxidant Properties: These nuts are loaded with antioxidants, which protect your body from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of premature aging and diseases such as cancer.

  4. Supports Muscle Strength: For Pilates teachers, maintaining muscle health is crucial. Magnesium – a mineral in which hazelnuts are rich – aids in muscle function and helps prevent cramps, essential for those who lead active lifestyles.

  5. Brain Health: Hazelnuts improve brain health. Thanks to their high levels of vitamin E, manganese, and healthy fats, which are all vital for maintaining cognitive function and neurological health.


How Much is Too Much?

While hazelnuts are nutritious, moderation is key, as with all good things. Nuts are calorie-dense; hazelnuts, for instance, contain about 178 calories per 28 grams (approximately 20 nuts). Hence, a healthy portion would be about a handful of hazelnuts per day. This quantity ensures that you enjoy all the nutritional benefits without consuming excessive calories that could disrupt a balanced diet.


Incorporating Hazelnuts into Your Diet

Incorporating hazelnuts into your diet is remarkably easy and can be deliciously versatile:

  • As a Snack: Simply roasted and lightly salted hazelnuts can make for a satisfying, crunchy snack.

  • In Salads: Chop them and sprinkle over salads for an added texture and flavour.

  • With Yogurt or Porridge: Mix chopped hazelnuts into your morning yogurt or porridge for a nutrient-rich start to your day.

  • In Baking: Use ground hazelnuts to replace flour in recipes like cakes and bread for a nutty flavour and a boost of nutrients.


Final Thoughts

Choosing hazelnuts as a snack is a fantastic way to enrich your diet while enjoying something delicious. Their benefits range from boosting heart health to enhancing muscle strength, which are essential for us as Pilates teachers who need to keep our bodies in peak condition. Next time you're looking for a nutritious snack, why not reach for a handful of hazelnuts?


Here's to your health and wellbeing, and remember, a little goes a long way!

Enjoy your Self-Care Saturday, and keep nourishing your body just as well as you nourish your soul with Pilates.

Michael

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