Many people do not realize that peanuts are not really a nut at all, but a member of the legume family, make them a sort of cousins to peas, beans and lentils. Like many other legumes, peanuts actually do have a number of health benefits they can bring to the table and below are five good reasons why they should be included in a healthy diet.
Promotes Heart Health
This may come as a surprise, but even though peanuts (and natural peanut butter) are a high energy food which contains generous amounts of both protein and fat, it has been shown that regular consumption can reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart attacks. This can also be done without incurring weight gain, another risk factor for conditions like heart attacks.
Regulates Blood Sugar
One exciting study shows that including peanut or peanut products in your diet can help stabilize the blood sugar and keep it in a safe range, even after a meal that’s high in carbohydrates. This especially seems to be the case if the peanuts are consumed in the morning, as apparently these healthy effects can last throughout the day. This discovery is great news for diabetics looking to manage their condition naturally.
Supports Healthy Weight
This may also sound surprising, but studies have also shown that those who consume peanuts and natural peanut butter regularly have leaner body mass, even though they take in more calories. Some researchers theorize that the high fat and protein content of the peanuts can keep people feeling satisfied for longer and this prevents overeating.
Stimulates the Brain
Peanuts, like fish, are great brain food! This is likely because these little legumes are packed with Vitamin B3. This vitamin is associated with overall improved cognition and can have a positive effect on functions like memory, alertness and processing speed.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Like many other members of the legume family, peanuts are rich in a variety of naturally protective nutrients. Consuming them regularly means a steady intake of these antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress throughout the body and reduces the chances of developing serous chronic conditions like heart attacks, stroke, dementia and certain forms of cancer.
So don’t be afraid of snacking on peanuts or cracking open a jar of natural peanut butter. Many people do tend to shy away from this food because of its high-calorie and high-fat content, but there is certainly no need to be nervous. The evidence as discussed above clearly points to peanuts as being a source of healthy fats that will actually boost cardiac function, help maintain a healthy body mass and reduce changes of serious chronic conditions. And not only do peanuts achieve all that, they taste delicious, too. What’s not to love?
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