Peanuts: Addictive and Healthy
By Paul Rothbart
Perhaps the most popular nut of all is the peanut. Of course, peanuts are legumes and not nuts. Unless you're George Washington Carver you don't care about that. What's a ballgame or the circus without peanuts? Shelled, unshelled, salted, unsalted, even honey roasted, there's a peanut for every taste. You can even cook with peanuts. Then there's peanut butter, the classic spread. It sometimes seems like the only people who don't like peanuts are the ones who are allergic to them. The great thing about peanuts is that they are as healthy as they are tasty.
Peanuts are packed with essential nutrients. A 100-gram serving contains 46 percent of the recommended daily allowance of protein and 22 percent of fiber. That same serving has a whopping 75 percent of the RDA of niacin and 22 percent of fiber. Peanuts also contain huge amounts of iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese. Peanuts are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
They Can Aid Weight Loss
Although they are high in fat, eating peanuts can be helpful in losing weight. They are high in both protein and fiber which fills you up, reducing cravings. It can help you consume fewer calories over the course of the day. Research conducted with healthy female tested subjects had them eat peanuts instead of their usual fat sources. Within six months, they averaged three kilograms of weight loss. Peanuts can be helpful in avoiding obesity, which can cause many health problems.
Help Prevent Gallstones
Gallstones are a fairly common problem. Health officials estimate that between 10 and 25 percent of American adults may have gallstones. Generally, gallstones are made of cholesterol and thus, high cholesterol can be a contributing factor. Peanuts contain a compound that inhibits the absorption of cholesterol. It is believed that this causes the body to have insufficient cholesterol to form gallstones. Further research is needed but observational studies have shown that the frequent consumption of peanuts does tend to lower the risk of gallstones.
Boost the Immune System
Your immune system is vital to good health as it fights harmful microbes that cause illness and disease. Peanuts contain many nutrients that boost immunity. They are loaded with Vitamins B1, B3, B9, and E. They also have magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. Peanuts are also rich in the antioxidants resveratrol, isoflavones, and p-coumaric acid. These compounds fight free radicals in the body that can cause diseases such as cancer.
When it comes to popular snacks, peanuts are high on the list. Crunchy and salty, they also have several health benefits that make them an excellent choice when you're feeling a bit hungry.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Highlands Ranch, Colo.