Historical relics have revealed that our ancestors from as far back as the Neolithic Age consumed hazelnuts. The nuts kept well, making them a very important food. Since the hazelnut plant is very robust, it was able to rapidly re-propagate itself after the last Ice Age. Ten thousand years ago, it was specifically indigenous to regions north of the Alps and the forested areas of central Europe. Today, it is also widespread in German gardens. In addition to healthy fatty acids and zinc, hazelnuts contain a particularly high amount of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that evidently exercises an important function in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Alongside important minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and iron, hazelnuts also contain secondary plant substances and dietary fibre that facilitate digestion.