Peanuts In A Nutshell
Peanuts are really something to go nuts for when you are talking nutrition. For years peanuts had a bad rap. They are high in calories and high in fat. I still can hear the lectures on the evils of these little nuts (they are really legumes) from my mother as I devoured handfuls at a time as a snack. Though, I am definitely in the “all things in moderation” camp, it turns out my love for peanuts wasn’t so bad after all. Peanuts, in a nutshell, are good for you.
5 Reasons To Eat Peanuts in a Nutshell
Heart Healthy Fats: The fat in peanuts is monounsaturated and they are heart healthy. In fact, the fat in these little gems helps to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. Furthermore, they have no cholesterol.
Protein: Peanuts are a great source of protein. In fact, 1 ounce, which is about a handful, has 7 grams of protein. Peanut-butter has 8 grams of protein in two tablespoons. I like peanut-butter as an alternative protein source for my meat hater daughter. So the question is, how much protein do you need in a day. Well, there is a simple formula that will tell you.
Take your body weight and divide it in half and subtract 10. So, in my daughter’s case, she weighs 90 pounds. Divide that in half and we are at 45 pounds. Subtract 10 and that = 35. She needs 35 grams of protein per day to support healthy hair, muscles, skin, organs and brain power. With two tablespoons of peanut butter or one handful of nuts she will be getting 1/5 of her daily protein needs. That is huge for one simple snack.
[Body weight in pounds] – 1/2 – 10=grams of protein needed.
Polyphenols: Polyphenols are the king of the heap when it comes to antioxidants. We are learning more and more about polyphenols all the time but they are being praised for many wonderful benefits:
- inhibit fat cell formation
- fight auto-immune diseases
- stabilizes blood sugars and prevents diabetes
- prevents breast cancer
- promotes memory retention and fights dementia
- prevents osteoporosis
One specific polyphenol is resveratrol. Resveratrol is the compound found in red wine that prevents cardiovascular disease, inflammation and some cancers.. Specifically this compound has been shown to inhibit the growth of stomach and colorectal tumors. For non-red wine drinkers, peanuts are a healthy supplement to your diet .
Well, the list goes on and on. High concentrations of polyphenols are found in blueberries, plums, red wine, green tea, and, of course, peanuts. Might just want to grab a handful of these beauties!
Fiber: One ounce of peanuts has about 2 grams of fiber. Fiber is essential in keeping our blood sugars regulated and our gastrointestinal systems regulated and eliminating toxins from our body. Fiber is very good stuff! So, how much fiber should you have each day? Well, the rule of thumb is 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories you eat. Typically, if you are 50 or under, the recommended daily dosage is 25 Grams for women and 38 grams for men For men over 50 the dosage is 30 grams and for women over 50 it is 21 grams.
Nutrients: Peanuts are packed full of desirable nutrients. They are a great source of vitamin E, B vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, folate, and niacin. In fact they contain 85% of the recommended daily allowance of niacin. Niacin is a nutrient that helps to power the brain. Biotin is another health benefit which is great for your hair cells and promotes hair growth. Who doesn’t want great looking hair??? I sure do!
Other nutrients found in this healthy snack include minerals such as copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
So, peanuts in a nutshell? Well, no matter how you look at it, they are a powerful source of health and nutrition.
You can buy peanuts in a nutshell, raw, salted, honey roasted, or dry roasted. Though I would urge you to stay away from added salts and sugars, it has been found that dry roasting actually increases their anti-oxidant properties by over 20%. Dry roasted peanuts just happen to be my fave! What about you?