Hello my friends!
Peanuts seem to have gotten quite a bad rap lately. So, I’m here to stick up for peanuts and share why they shouldn’t be demonized and taken completely out of your diet (unless, of course, you have a peanut allergy or other digestive issues that prevent you from enjoying all their delicious health benefits).
Disclosure: I received these products in exchange for my honest review but all opinions are my own.
Health Benefits of Peanuts
- Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Studies of diets with a special emphasis on peanuts have shown that this little legume is a big ally for a healthy heart. In one such randomized, double-blind, cross-over study involving 22 subjects, a high monounsaturated diet that emphasized peanuts and peanut butter decreased cardiovascular disease risk by an estimated 21% compared to the average American diet.
- In addition to their monounsaturated fat content, peanuts feature an array of other nutrients that, in numerous studies, have been shown to promote heart health. Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. In addition, peanuts provide resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant also found in red grapes and red wine that is thought to be responsible for the French paradox: the fact that in France, people consume a diet that is not low in fat, but have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to the U.S. With all of the important nutrients provided by nuts like peanuts, it is no wonder that numerous research studies, including the Nurses’ Health Study that involved over 86,000 women, have found that frequent nut consumption is related to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Peanuts are low carb and have moderate protein and also a relatively high amount of fiber. A two-tablespoon serving sees it providing a mere 3.5 grams of net carbs!
- Check out more powerful nutrition facts about peanuts.
Adverse Effects of Peanuts
Unfortunately, some peanuts can become contaminated with aflatoxin, which is a carcinogenic mold.
The risk of aflatoxin contamination depends on how the peanuts were stored, and it is more common in warm, humid conditions.
This contamination can, however, be effectively prevented when the peanuts are properly dried after harvest, and by keeping the temperature and humidity low during storage.
If you are able to determine where your peanuts or peanut butter of choice are produced, it will give you a better idea of the production conditions.
Speaking of production conditions…I love Hampton Farms Peanuts and Peanut Products because I know that they take the highest quality of care with their peanuts (and other nuts…like their Honey Chipotle Cashews and Honey Roasted Almonds).
Hampton Farms sent me a few different products to try and review and I love all of them! (although, I do tend to avoid peanut butters that have extra oils in them and prefer organic peanut butters…which they do offer a yummy Organic Peanut Butter made with yummy Valencia Peanuts). I made some yummy peanut butter protein balls using the Organic Valencia Peanut Butter.
The honey sriracha peanuts were delicious on top of my salad!
I eat peanut butter every single day in my chocolate peanut butter protein smoothie…because how can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter?! Right?!
What are some of your favorite ways to eat and/or use peanuts and peanut butter? Or do you not eat peanuts? My husband ate the whole bag of the Maple Cashews lol so thank goodness he doesn’t like spicy things because the bag of Honey Chipotle Cashews are all mine! haha
Share some of your recipes please! I’m always looking for new and healthy peanut butter recipes! Oh and let me know if you’ve ever tried Hampton Farms products…If you’re the type that loves shelling your own peanuts…check out all their awesome peanut flavors like Dill Pickle!
Stay Healthy my Friends!
Carrie A Groff