The phrase “small but mighty” might be used to perfectly describe members of the legume family, particularly peanuts. You may simply eat peanuts as a quick afternoon snack or even use them as an appetizer at a party, but as it turns out, peanuts come with some powerful health benefits.
Top 5 Benefits
Below are the top 5 health benefits of peanuts:
- Nutrient-Filled: Peanuts contain many nutrients that are essential to the body: minerals such as calcium, cooper, iron, magnesium and zinc, and vitamins such as vitamins A, C and E. They’re also considered to be an energy-dense food as they have 567 calories per 100g along with having high amounts of fiber, potassium and protein.
- Cholesterol Management: This may be surprising, but peanuts may actually help you manage your cholesterol. Peanuts contain a high amount of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which work to lower bad cholesterol levels while increasing the amount of good cholesterol in the blood.
- Heart-Healthy: This is perhaps the biggest benefit peanuts (and the entire legume family) are known for. Peanuts contain polyphenolic antioxidant resveratrol, which benefits heart health and can even help protect you against heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, infections and degenerative nerve diseases. Walnuts are also known to promote heart and brain health.
- Prevent Prostate Cancer: As prostate cancer affects millions of men nationwide, eating a healthy diet is one of the biggest ways to lower your risk. The mineral selenium found in peanuts and pecans has been linked to prostate cancer prevention.
- Calcium-Rich: Milk isn’t the only thing that helps you reach the suggested daily calcium intake. Peanuts contain about 92mg of calcium, equaling 9 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
Now for the big question most of you may be wondering: what about peanut butter? We have some good news for all of you peanut butter lovers: peanut butter does in fact contain many of the same healthy vitamins, minerals and fats that peanuts do! Just be wary of the peanut butter and chocolate combination. Though delicious, the chocolate cancels out any of the health benefits you would have received by just eating peanuts.
Small but Mighty
Along with these health benefits of peanuts, an added benefit is that peanuts are incredibly easy to include in your daily diet. Just eating a handful of peanuts can account for most of the recommended daily allowance for many of the nutrients outlined above. Try incorporating peanuts into some recipes so you can enjoy the health benefits while enjoying tasty and healthy meals.
Peanuts may be tiny, but they add a lot of flavor to these delicious recipes:
- Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli & Peanuts: this healthy side dish is delicious, and the best part is that you can easily add some chicken to make this your main dish.
- Farmers’ Market Fried Rice: fried rice is one of our favorite meals – mainly because you can choose what you include based on what fruits and vegetables are in season.
- Sweet & Sour Pork: using peanut oil, the sweet-tangy sauce on top of pineapple, tomato and pork make this a delicious stir-fry meal.
Especially when considering the many health benefits of peanuts, maybe being part of the peanut gallery isn’t so bad after all!