Peanuts are as healthy as they are famous. Peanuts are also known as groundnuts and are technically legumes. They are high in fat consisting mostly mono and poly-unsaturated fatty acids and thus used to make peanut oil. They are also a good source of proteins and have low carbs thus making them a good diet choice for most people living with diabetes.
Peanuts are also very rich in minerals and vitamins. These vitamins and minerals may include; Biotin which is very important during pregnancy, Copper, Niacin which is linked to reduced heart disease, Foliate also important in pregnancy, Manganese, Vitamin E which is a great antioxidant, Thiamin which helps in the conversion of carbs to energy, Phosphorus which plays a great role in growth and maintenance of the body and Magnesium which protect against the heart disease.
Peanuts also contain various plant compounds which are also very essential for healthy living. These compounds include; antioxidants such as coumaric acid and resveratrol and anti-nutrients like phytic acid.
Main Health Benefits Attributed To Peanuts
Peanuts offer a lot of health benefits just as the tree nuts. In fact one may go for peanuts as they are even sold and a fair price and are also readily available compared to other types of nuts. The following are the healthy benefits;
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
Since peanuts are legumes, they are higher in proteins than all other nuts and the protein they provide is more complete. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats the type of fat which is emphasized in the heart healthy diet thus making the small legume a friend to a healthy heart. If peanuts are accompanied with a healthy diet the population risk of cardiovascular disease would therefore be expected to decrease remarkably.
Peanuts as a source of antioxidants
These tasty legumes are also as rich in antioxidants as most fruits. Roasted peanuts rival the antioxidant content of blackberry and strawberry and are far rich in antioxidants than apples, carrots and beets. Peanuts are also very rich in resveratrol an antioxidant commonly found in red wine and grape juice and is thought to have heart and cancer protective qualities. Study also shows that peanuts may potentially reduce the risk of stroke because of its richness in resveratrol.
Peanuts are highly satiating
Despite being energy dense, they have a high satiety value and chronic ingestion evokes strong diet compensation and only a little change in the energy change. Also when the consumption of other meals such as potato chips is compared to that of peanuts, the overall energy intake was reduced in the peanut group. This suggests that peanuts may be the healthy preferred snack if one wants to maintain a healthy weight.
Peanuts are high in phytosterols. The consumption of phytosterol rich food helps in the promotion of healthy cholesterol levels and protection against heart diseases. Most gallstones are largely composed of cholesterol and thus the cholesterol- lowering effects of peanuts is the best explanation on how peanuts prevent gallstones.
Lower Type II Diabetes Risk
A medical research showed that increased nut and peanut butter consumption may lower the risk of type II diabetes.
Why You Should Consider Peanuts If Struggling With Weight Loss
Most people have always tried to avoid peanuts as they think this would contribute to them adding weight. Eating peanuts for the sake of losing weight almost feels as an oxymoron as peanuts are good sources of fats but this is not the case. The following shows how peanuts can help you in managing weight;
- Since peanuts and peanut butter are rich in fiber and protein, they keep you satisfied and full for quite a long time. This helps you manage your hunger and thus you are not going to keep on eating.
- The protein and fiber present in peanuts are likely to stick with you for almost two hours and thus within this hours you will be able to keep off from the carbohydrate rich foods as they may cause some weight gain.
- Peanuts can increase the metabolic rate and this helps in the weight loss as the individual are likely to be super active.
- The fat in the peanuts provides satiety and taste satisfaction so you cannot afford to feel deprived.
- Since peanuts stabilize your blood sugar with their low glycemic index as they are digested more slowly and release sugar gradually into the blood stream. This gives a long-lasting energy and decrease the craving
Healthy Peanut Products
Peanuts can be said to be a raw material to a lot of healthy products. They can even be consumed in different forms depending on the individuals. Some of the peanut products may include: jumbo raw peanuts in shell, jumbo roasted peanuts in shell, roasted Virginia peanuts salted or unsalted with no shell, honey roasted peanuts, organic raw peanuts, butternut peanuts, blanched peanuts, dry roasted peanuts, chocolate peanuts, chocolate peanut fudge, yogurt peanuts, boiled peanuts, peanut flour among others.
Peanuts in Your Diet
Peanut can be so tempting and if one cannot observe its healthy consumption, they may not end up realizing the benefits attributed to peanuts. The following are some of the ways in which we can take peanuts and remain healthy;
- Sprinkle a handful of peanut over salads
- Add peanuts to cooked meals
- Snack on celery sticks with peanut butter or peanut butter with fruits
- Add peanut flour on you baked recipe
- Have handful peanuts as snacks
Healthiest Peanut Butter
- Avoid added oil peanut butters as it is the case with most cheap peanut butters. This adds fat to your diet and the best thing is to check on the labels for the option that states peanut only.
- Skip the peanut butter with added sugar as the more natural the butter is the healthier they are.
- Avoid low fat as in this you are likely to find some sugar and other additives.
- Also avoid too much of peanuts as their high intake may upset the omega 3/6 ratio within your body
Choosing the Healthiest Peanuts
When purchasing, it is always good to check for moisture and signs of insect damage. You can shake the unshelled peanut and it should not rattle because if it did then it means they have not dried up. Shelled peanuts should be kept in an alright container in a freezer or fridge to protect them from excess exposure to heat.
DieTrebel – http://www.dietrebel.com/peanuts/
Authority Nutrition – https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/peanuts/
Nuts.com – https://nuts.com/nuts/peanuts/
Harvard.edu – http://www.health.havard.edu/blog/peanuts-linked-heart-longevity-benefits-pricey-nuts-201503057777