The inexpensive, accessible and oh-so-easy-to-eat peanut has been shown to do all that and more.
Whether your goal is weight loss or better overall health, there are some convincing arguments for including peanuts in your diet on a nearly daily basis.
Note: Since peanuts are high in fat, moderation is key here: 1 to 1-½ ounces a day can provide the health benefits outlined here.
Editor's Note: We also recognize that peanut allergies are a very real concern for many, as discussed in Peanut Allergies at School. All recommendations here are for those who can safely consume peanuts.
1. Keep your appetite from going nuts
You may also eat less when you have peanuts or peanut butter at breakfast, said Kathy McManus, Director of the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, “Because they have the effect of stabilizing blood sugar, you’re not going to feel hungry as soon.”
2. Crack down on your sodium consumption—without giving up your salty snack fix
3. Reduce your risk of diabetes and control blood sugar
Peanuts can slow the absorption of carbohydrates and, when you eat them in the morning, can keep your blood sugar levels lower all day long.
4. Keep your heart healthy
5. Protect yourself from colon cancer
Healthy Peanut Snacks
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- Peanut butter smoothie: 6 ounces Greek yogurt, ½ banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 ounce peanuts
- Homemade trail mix: 15 peanuts, 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 medium apple with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- Popcorn trail mix: 1 cup popcorn with 2 tablespoons peanuts and 1 tablespoon raisins
Snack ideas courtesy of Kathy McManus
Peanut Butter–Banana Bread
Peanut Butter, Banana, and Flax Smoothies
Peanut Butter Hummus with Cucumber Dippers
Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts
Peanuts add the perfect savory flavor to this Asian-inspired healthy dinner.