- Protein and fiber. Peanuts improve satiety and help maintain weight loss. Several studies have found that eating small amounts of nuts helps dieters lose weight; when nuts were allowed in their eating plans, they did not feel deprived.
- Nutrients. Peanuts are abundant in the vitamins niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, choline, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E and rich in minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese and selenium.
- Disease control. Studies have found eating peanuts five times a week decreased heart disease and reduced the risk of diabetes, gallbladder disease and colorectal cancer. Peanuts and peanut butter are included on the DASH diet eating plan, which helps lower blood pressure.
- Antiaging. Peanuts have been found to contain the potent antiaging molecule resveratrol, the same phytochemical found in red wine and grapes. Studies have shown that resveratrol can fight the proliferation of fat cells and improve the uptake of sugar from the blood. The resveratrol in peanuts is found in the seed itself and the skin.
- Cholesterol. When postmenopausal women with high cholesterol were fed a low-fat diet that included healthy fats from peanuts, their cholesterol improved. The phytosterols that peanuts contain have been shown to reduce cholesterol.
Another interesting tidbit: The health benefits are not limited to just the peanut itself. Peanut oil and fat-free peanut flour have been shown, in hamster studies, to significantly lower cholesterol and have heart-protective effects.
This Matters: You don't need a lot to get these benefits. Just a daily handful or peanuts—or a tablespoon of peanut butter—will do it.
For more information on peanuts, click here.
For my most favorite recipe in the world that includes peanut butter, click here.