Because peanuts contain saturated fat, they have long been thought of as unhealthy, but in fact, they have a balanced fat profile, with 50% made up of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Numerous studies have found that eating peanuts and peanut butter can help lower blood cholesterol levels, especially when peanuts are used to replace animal proteins that are high in saturated fats in the diet.
Peanuts are highly digestible, and packed with protein and many essential nutrients:
Copper: Copper plays an important role in helping to prevent and repair damage caused by free radicals in the body. Copper is also involved in many other important processes in the body, most notably, energy production and cell communication.
Folate and other B vitamins: Folate plays many important roles in the body, but it is especially important in protecting our cells from damage. If cells do become damaged, folate also helps to mark these damaged cells so our immune system can get rid of them. This system helps to keep damaged cells or cancerous cells from growing and spreading. Other B vitamins are also vital for energy production, cell signaling, and DNA synthesis and repair, amongst other things.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E’s most important work is to prevent damage to our cell membranes by free radicals.
Iron: Iron ensures our blood supply is robust and able to carry oxygen and nutrients to our tissues. It is also part of many proteins and enzymes in the body that support normal body functioning.
Magnesium: Magnesium is essential in the construction of proteins and in energy production and cell signaling pathways. It also plays a structural role in our bones and muscles.
Manganese: Manganese helps to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. It also maintains proper collagen production to help us heal from wounds, and is involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and cholesterol.
Zinc: Zinc is a part of many enzymes in the body that keep maintaining optimal physiological function. It supports healthy immune function, cell communication, eyesight, and growth and development.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus plays vital structural roles in all our bones and cell membranes. It is also essential to energy production and storage, and the transmission and storage of our genes. Additionally, it helps maintain pH balance so that your body can perform all its physiological functions.
Peanuts are nutrient-dense and provide lots of energy, which makes them a great replacement for other snack foods in your diet that may be less nutrient-dense. You can control your sodium intake by purchasing roasted, unsalted peanuts for both recipes and snacking.
Peanut butter is a great option to have around the house, especially for families on the go. It’s a great way to get quick protein in the morning, which will help you start your day with a balanced meal to keep you full longer.
How to buy: Choose unsalted peanuts for snacking and recipes. Look for peanut butter that only contains peanuts and possibly salt. Some grocery stores offer freshly ground peanut butter. Peanut butter should not contain any hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oils contain trans-fats, which can be very dangerous to our health because they raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol at the same time.
Storage: As peanut butter has a high oil content, store in the refrigerator until sell-by date. Whole peanuts should be kept in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Recipes: Peanut butter is classically great in Ants on a Log and in our Peanut butter & Banana Shake, but it can also be used in savory recipes. Our Senegalese Peanut Stew is extremely popular, and peanut noodle dishes like our Cold Soba with Spicy Eggplant Sauce is the perfect protein-packed vegetarian meal.