The Top Health Benefits of Peanuts
The New Year is an exciting time of renewal. And, getting our bodies healthier, leaner and in-shape is typically on our ‘to do’ list. As anyone who’s gone on a diet or begins choosing healthier foods knows, our good intentions can go by the wayside very quickly.
Fortunately, there are foods that most everyone loves that are healthy and will not go by the wayside – one of them is the beloved peanut.
I love peanuts and how easy they are to incorporate into a healthful diet. You can use peanuts in savory or sweet dishes – soups, stews, sauces, snacks, desserts, in salads or smoothies, on sandwiches and the list goes on. Peanuts are absolutely delicious and there are so many reasons why they belong in everyone’s repertoire of healthy foods. They optimize overall health, brain health, weight and longevity, just to name a few reasons. What we eat, not just how much (as many believe), has a powerful effect upon our weight and our health.
One huge plus for this tasty nut is that peanuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, nutrients, polyphenols and even rival fruit as a powerful source of antioxidants. Some of the critical nutrients found in peanuts that optimize cellular health (including the all-important mitochondria inside each of our cells: without healthy mitochondria, our health and energy falters) include:
- p-Coumaric acid: A polyphenol that is one of the main antioxidants in peanuts that promotes gut health and helps reduce inflammation.
- Resveratrol: A powerful antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Resveratrol can also help increase DNA telomere protection.
- Phytosterols: Peanuts contain considerable amounts of phytosterols, the most common of which is beta-sitosterol. Phytosterols block the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract, which helps lower cholesterol levels in the body.
The Top 8 Health Benefits of Peanuts:
- Can Help You Live Longer
- May Help Decrease Blood Pressure
- Can Help Promote Weight Loss Including Belly Fat
- Can Help Improve Gut Health
- Can Help Relieve Inflammation
- Can Help Reduce LDL (Bad) Cholesterol
- Promotes Heart Health
- Can Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Decline
Many people believe that peanuts promote weight gain. In fact, research shows they do not increase weight gain, despite their high fat content. One reason is peanuts are so satiating, even with increased consumption, weight loss still occurs. Plus, the fat in peanuts is a healthy monounsaturated fat that can even reduce belly fat. Remember, it is the quality of the food that matters most in regards to health and weight loss.
Peanuts come in a variety of options, such as creamy peanut butter, whole unshelled salted peanuts or shelled peanuts that are salted, boiled, dry-roasted and roasted.
To get the most enjoyment and nutrition from peanuts, be sure to incorporate them daily in every form, from savory to sweet options such as with this healthy and delicious treat!
HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BARS
- 3/4 cup finely ground peanut flour
- 2 oz butter
- 1/4 cup Swerve sweetener
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- Vanilla 1 tsp
For the Topping
- 1/2 cup stevia-based chocolate chips
- Mix all the ingredients for the bars together and spread or pat out into a small 6 inch pan
- Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave oven for 30 seconds and stir.
- Add another 10 seconds if needed to melt fully.
- Spread the topping on top of the bars.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour or two until the bars thicken up. The bars are so delicious when you let them completely cool in the refrigerator.
Because peanuts are so healthful, it makes sense to add them to your diet where you can, knowing you are not only optimizing health, but also adding a nutritious food, you and yours will always look forward to.