Don’t overlook or underrate the power of peanuts as a nutty super food, say experts.
Nutritionist and weight management consultant Kavita Devgan, author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People, says ‘good’ fats are essential for good health. Devgan says: “Nut butters, particularly peanut butter, is a source of unsaturated fats, which are proven to be good for our heart and general health. Plus, it is a good source of fibre and protein too. And both provide satiety, so keep you full for longer.”
“It also delivers the antioxidant vitamin E, magnesium and some hard to find zinc. Of course moderation is the key as it tends to be steep in calories and sodium,” she said.
But beware. Pick your peanut butter with care and don’t over eat. Too much of even a good thing is bad.
“Look for peanut butter that is low on sodium and added sugars, and stick to two tablespoon per day,” Devgan said, suggesting that it’s best consumed with crackers, or paired with a fruit like apple or maybe baby carrots.
“When added to a sandwich, it provides the much needed protein and good fats, along with the carbs of the bread making the meal complete.”
Peanuts alone are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that help lower the bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol level in the blood. It is also rich in vitamins E and biotin, which are known to be great for hair and skin health, says Oliver Mirza, managing director and CEO, Dr. Oetker India Pvt Ltd.
A nutritionist by education, he recommends regular consumption of peanuts or peanut butter that has over 90% peanut content. Just two tablespoons a day give you nutrition with taste, Mirza says, sharing some facts about health benefits of peanuts:
1. A protein power bank: Peanuts are a rich source of good protein. 30 gm of peanuts give you around 8 gm of protein which is more than any other food. It also has fibre, healthy fats, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and a lot more that provides you with energy.
2. A source of healthy fat: Your body needs a good supply of healthy fats to stay fit. The fat in peanuts is heart-healthy monounsaturated. Therefore, like many other superfoods, peanuts are friendly fat food.
3. Antioxidants in abundance: Peanuts also deliver oleic acid. It helps you cut cholesterol in the body, fight free radicals and inflammation. It is great for skin too.
4. Good for the heart: Raw peanuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats. According to a scientific study at Purdue University in the US, consumption of peanuts reduces cardiovascular disease risk factors. The Adventist Health Study on peanuts also found that it is likely to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
5. Brain food: Peanuts are high in niacin, resveratrol and vitamin E, which are influential in protecting against Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline.
6. Helps in weight loss: The protein and fibre content of peanuts makes you feel full for longer. This means, you are less likely to crave for food and over eat.