Three Health Benefits of Nuts
While nuts aren’t often mentioned as a healthy snack food, there are several good reasons why you should include peanuts in your diet. They are one of nature’s richest sources of protein and have been linked to lowering cholesterol, helping to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. And peanuts are also packed with health-giving antioxidants, making them a healthy choice for adding to your diet, whether as an ingredient on your favorite sandwiches or mixed into oatmeal for a delicious treat. Here’s a look at just some of the health benefits of peanuts.
Monounsaturated fats. peanuts are packed with monounsaturated oils, including both linoleic and arching acids, which are considered beneficial to your cardiovascular health. In addition to being the favorite peanut topping for sandwiches, peanuts are also rich in other healthful fats, including those found in salmon, nuts and other fish. A study involving elderly Japanese people who ate more peanuts than the others at a health food restaurant showed that they had lower blood pressure and lower levels of plaque in their arteries.
Peanut protein. While it’s true that peanuts don’t contain any dietary fiber, they do include protein, which is essential for a balanced diet. The type of protein found in peanuts is called tryptophan and is considered an essential amino acid by many researchers. Tryptophan is also the most abundant amino acid in the body, so eating peanuts are a good way to get your daily amount of tryptophan. If you want to boost the amount of vitamins A, D, and E you get, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients, nuts and seeds are a great source.
Nutritional value. Peanut butter is high in fat but low in saturated fat, making it an excellent choice for snacks and other spreads. Other legumes, such as Lima beans or chickpeas, are higher in protein but lower in fat so adding peanuts to your diet can give you even more protein without increasing your waistline. For a healthier treat, consider using peanut oil instead of peanuts and adding roasted peanuts or dried fruit to the mix for even greater added nutrition.
Antioxidant value. Peanuts contain lots of antioxidants, which can fight off free radicals in your body and help keep your immune system strong. In addition, peanuts are loaded with vitamins A, C, and E, which are all powerful antioxidants that help rid the body of harmful free radicals and environmental toxins. As an added bonus, peanuts are also rich in zinc, copper, and manganese, so adding nuts to your diet can provide you with even more antioxidants and further protect you against illness and disease.
Other than those three main health benefits, there are also numerous other benefits of peanuts and almonds that make them a worthy snack option. Many people prefer peanuts for their delicious nutty flavor, while others swear by the creamy peanut butter that is often topped with jelly. Meanwhile, some people claim that eating peanuts will reduce the likelihood of cancer or heart disease since nuts have been found to protect the membranes of blood vessels. Finally, peanuts are rich in fiber, which helps lead to regular bowel movement and may help prevent constipation. While they are certainly a worthy addition to your diet, you may want to avoid peanuts and almonds altogether if you suffer from allergic reactions to peanuts or other types of nuts.