Why You Should Be Eating More Peanuts
Peanuts get sort of a weird reputation. They’re popular with the lunchbox kids and airlines, but they’re probably not the first food item that you’ve been thinking you need more of in your life. But the more research that gets done on the tasty legumes, the more researchers realize how good they really are for you. Here are some ways to rethink your relationship with peanuts and why you need them in your life.
Peanuts are protein packed, and not as fattening as they were once considered. Peanuts are 20-30% protein so they are a very concentrated source when you are trying to fill up on the go or in any other scenario. As far as the fat content, 85% of it is unsaturated and 50% of that is monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fat can help clear the body of the “bad” LDL cholesterol, so it’s actually doing something good. Plus eating some fat is a way to ensure that you feel full after a snack or meal anyway.
Peanuts are also a great source of potassium and the B vitamins, both of which are better to get through your diet than from any other source. The potassium helps with metabolizing food, and also with regulating the water levels in your body. All those vitamins in peanuts also mean that they can make your hair, skin, and even your muscle tone look better. Peanuts are also high in fiber to keep you feeling full and cut down on cravings.
One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that eating an ounce of peanuts or peanut butter five days a week can cut down the risk of developing diabetes by 30%. They have also been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and some other chronic diseases.
When you go to add more peanuts to your diet however, tread carefully when it comes to the peanut butter. Most peanut butters are full of stuff you don’t want, like sugar, sodium, and hydrogenated oil. All of those make it not only delicious but also solid at any temperature to keep the fat from separating out. Go for natural brands instead (which are still delicious) to avoid making your sandwich into a desert rival. Check the label and make sure that peanuts are the only ingredient in the jar.
In addition to being a great spread on a variety of foods, peanut butter is also great for cooking. Peanut sauce is one of the most fun ways to dress up tofu, but it works for chicken too. It can even be worked into vegetable dishes. Don’t forget that peanut butter is also a great burst of protein for your smoothies, which can make them that much more tasty and filling.Of course pretty much any sweet treat can pair with peanuts pretty easily. Just make sure that no one is allergic before you go serving up delicious peanut filled snacks at your next party.
About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.