Shelled, unshelled, salted or not salted—peanuts and peanut butters are one of the most popular nut choices in the US. Not only do they taste good, peanuts are a great source of protein and healthy fat and are chocked full of healthy nutrients. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this little nut so great.
Did you know?
While most people group peanuts with nuts like almonds and cashews, peanuts aren’t a nut at all. Surprisingly enough, they actually belong to the legume family and are more closely related to beans like lentils and soy.
Peanuts are a great source of many of the vitamins and nutrients we need on a daily basis. Here’s a quick look at all they offer:
- Rich in protein, especially for a plant-based food
- High in fat
- Low in carbs
- Rich in antioxidants
- May help to reduce the risk of heart disease
- Good source of biotin, copper, niacin, folate, manganese, vitamin E, thiamin, phosphorus and magnesium
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to enjoy the taste and health benefits of peanuts. Peanuts rank as one of the eight most common food allergens. Peanut allergies are estimated to affect roughly 3 million Americans. Reactions to contact with the ‘nut’ can range from mild to severe and potentially life threatening. In fact, peanut allergies are sometimes considered to be the most severe food allergy.
Flavor and nutrient-rich, peanuts are as popular as they are healthy! They’re a great addition to your balanced diet as a healthy fat, but since they’re high in fat and calories, remember to be mindful of your portion sizes. Peanuts can be found in grocery stores year round, and while snacking on peanut kernels is one of the most popular means of consumption, you can also purchase a variety of other peanut products at your local grocery store. Next time you visit the grocery store, look for:
- Peanut oil,
- Peanut butter and
- Peanut flour.
Looking for recipes to test your new peanut-powered products? The Peanut Institute has a ton of recipes to help you enjoy peanuts with every meal.