11 Apr My 5 Healthy Reasons to Enjoy Peanuts
By Toby Amidor, MS, RD
This post was sponsored by Planters Peanuts who also sent me samples.
Since I was a little girl, I’ve always adored peanuts. But as I got older I realized it’s not only the taste I love, but also the fact that these nuts (technically legumes) are brimming with good-for-you nutrients. Here are 5 reasons why peanuts can fit into your healthy eating plan and creative ways to enjoy them.
#1: Plant-Based Goodness
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans strongly recommends adding plant-based foods into your healthy eating plan. However, they weren’t just talking about adding fruits and vegetables. The latest dietary guidelines stressed choosing nuts and legumes, including peanuts. Fruits and vegetables are definitely an important part of a healthy diet, but they don’t have every single nutrient your body needs. Adding nuts and legumes enables you to take in even more nutrients that are essential to your body in order to keep you healthy.
One ounce (about 39 pieces) of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts contains 170 calories, 14 grams of fat (mostly unsaturated), grams 7 grams of protein, and a good source of fiber. Fat and protein take longer to digest and fiber helps slow down absorption, which means that munching on peanuts can help you stay satisfied for longer.
These babies are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, and energy-releasing B-vitamins niacin and folate. Further, peanuts also contain minerals like magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
#3: Healthy Fats
Although peanuts contain 14 grams of fat in a 1-ounce portion, the source of the fat is healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats. Eighty-percent of the fat found in peanuts is made up of these good fats. Consuming healthy fats also helps lower cholesterol and keep blood vessels healthy.
#4: Heart Healthy
Planters Dry Roasted and Cocktail Peanuts meet the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Nut and Heart Disease Health Claim which states, “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, including peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Further, you’ll find the American Heart Association (AHA) Heart-Check mark on the label of peanut containers, which makes them a certified heart healthy snack!
#5: Versatile in the Kitchen
Although you can absolutely enjoy snacking on a handful of peanuts, you can also create a variety of healthy dishes using them. Here are a few ideas:
- Make your own trail mix using unsalted peanuts, dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips, and whole grain pretzels.
- Use a combination of peanut butter and chopped peanuts to make a delicious peanut soup.
- Add coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts to make a broccoli and peanut stir-fry. Add pieces of skinless chicken breast for even more protein
- Top oatmeal or yogurt with sliced strawberries and peanuts.