Peanuts may come in small packages, but they offer big-time health benefits—and that one-of-a-kind crunch factor. Imagine your favorite Kung Pao dish or a Chinese Chicken Salad without peanuts? No thank you! They’re also extremely travel-friendly, inexpensive, and readily available. And best of all, they are good for you. The science says: Listen to the peanut gallery! Here’s why:
• Peanuts are rich in healthy fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
• They’re a good source of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, which helps to control blood pressure and reduce the risk for diabetes. A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who ate one ounce of peanuts or one tablespoon of peanut butter five or more times per week reduced their risk for diabetes by 27 and 21 percent, respectively. And another study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating 2 ounces of lightly salted peanuts daily for 12 weeks helped reverse metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increases diabetes risk.
• They help with overeating. Studies published in the International Journal of Obesity found that peanuts and peanut butter were more satisfying than low-calorie but high-carbohydrate snacks such as rice cakes. And people who added peanuts to their diets spontaneously reduced their caloric intake from other foods and lost weight. Another study, published in Nutrition Research, found that adolescents who eat peanuts were less likely to be overweight or obese, had significantly higher intakes of several vitamins and micronutrients, and had lower LDL levels than their peers who didn’t eat peanuts.
A Word About Peanut Allergies
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology estimates that 3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts, and the numbers are rising. But could that be because we’re avoiding peanuts in greater numbers out of allergy concern? According to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, children who avoid peanuts during infancy and early childhood are 10 times as likely to develop an allergy as those who eat peanuts early in life. And a study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that the children of mothers who ate peanuts during pregnancy were less likely to develop peanut allergies.
If you don’t suffer from peanut allergies, March is National Peanut Month, the perfect time to put more peanuts on your plate with our collection of flavor-packed peanut recipes.
Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
- To Make Dressing: In medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, peanut butter, water, honey, ginger root, garlic, and chili sauce, and set aside.
- To Make Salad: Remove and discard seasoning packet from Yakisoba noodles. Loosen noodles, and heat according to package directions.
- Divide romaine, cabbage, sweet potato, bell pepper, and sprouts between two plates. Top each salad with half of the warmed noodles, and drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with green onions and herbs.
- Calories 380
- Carbohydrate Content 68 g
- Cholesterol Content 0 mg
- Fat Content 9 g
- Fiber Content 9 g
- Protein Content 16 g
- Saturated Fat Content 2 g
- Sodium Content 780 mg
- Sugar Content 22 g
- Trans Fat Content 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat Content 0 g