Peanuts – Mother Nature’s Health Food
Peanuts and peanut butter are whole foods that pack a lot of nutrition into just one serving. In the legume or dried bean family, peanuts are a terrific protein source. But the story gets better and better when you consider the significant amounts of the following nutrients found in a single ounce of peanuts.
Research studies on large groups of people have found that people who often eat peanuts and nuts have much lower risks of heart disease. Also, scientists are finding that diets high in monounsaturated fats, the type found in peanuts, may also protect against heart disease.
Peanuts and peanut butter are whole foods that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, ample protein and beneficial unsaturated fats. Since they are a plant food, they naturally contain no cholesterol.
Peanuts and peanut butter contain high quality plant protein. When comparing peanuts to similar foods, peanuts have more protein than any other legume or nut. This is especially important for children, vegetarians and people eating more meatless meals.
Peanuts and peanut butter contain mostly beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats as compared to saturated fats have been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels. Lowering your blood cholesterol level may reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.
One ounce or one small handful of peanuts contains 2 big grams of fiber. This is 9% of the fiber you need each day!
One ounce of peanuts provide 16% of your daily need of vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to act as an antioxidant which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Peanuts are an important source of essential minerals such as magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Some of these "hard to find" minerals such as copper and magnesium may protect against coronary heart disease.
B vitamins such as folate can help prevent birth defects. They also reduce amounts of homocysteine in the blood that may be a risk for heart disease. Peanuts are a good source of folate.
Phytochemicals are natural substances in plants which may provide a wide range of health benefits such as reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Peanuts contain resveratrol which is one of the many phytochemicals found in plant foods.
The information above may be found on The Peanut Institute’s website. Please visit their website to learn more about peanuts and peanut butter.