We often hear about the advantages of adding more nuts to our diet. Images of healthy eating often feature almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, etc. One type we may often overlook is good old peanuts. Several regional cuisines in India make use of peanuts in different ways. Peanuts can be so familiar to us that we may not even realise their potential. Peanuts are actually a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also relatively more affordable than other kinds of nuts. You don't have to opt for fancy expensive ingredients to follow a healthy diet. Here is why and how you should be consuming peanuts more regularly.
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Why You Should Consume Peanuts More Regularly?
Peanuts are considered superfoods and can be easily incorporated into our regular diet in various forms. However, this is not the only reason why we should consume peanuts regularly. Here are not just one but five compelling reasons why you should eat peanuts more often.
1. Because Peanuts Help Boost Heart Health
The oleic acid present in peanuts is said to help in reducing bad cholesterol. This nut contains healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that are good for your heart. Peanuts also contain niacin, magnesium, copper and resveratrol - all of which play a role in keeping your heart healthy.
2. Because Peanuts Are Suitable For Diabetics
Peanuts have a low glycaemic index and thus may be recommended to those with diabetes. They are low in carbs while being high in fibre. Consuming peanuts leads to a gradual increase in blood sugar levels rather than sudden spikes and this makes them a healthy snack.
3. Because Peanuts Are A Great Source Of Protein
When it comes to plant-based protein, peanuts are a reliable choice. Peanuts have approximately 25 gms of protein per 100 grams. They not only give you an energy boost but also strengthen your muscles and bones in the long term.
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4. Because Peanuts Are Brain And Bone Boosters
Along with protein, peanuts contain manganese and phosphorus. These minerals are also important for bone health. Additionally, peanuts have vitamin B, niacin, resveratrol and folate. All of these can contribute to improved cognitive abilities and a sharper brain.
5. Because Peanuts Give You Glowing Skin
The fatty acids in peanuts can give your skin a natural glow. Peanuts contain zinc as well as vitamins E and C, which can stimulate collagen production. These nuts are also rich in antioxidants that can protect your skin from damage.
Are Peanuts Good For Weight Loss?
Peanuts are high in calories and fat. But this does not automatically translate to weight gain. Peanuts can be moderately added to one's weight loss diet. They are low in carbs, but rich in fibre and protein. Consuming peanuts can promote satiety while keeping your energy levels up. They are a healthy way to beat your untimely cravings.
Is Peanut Butter Healthy?
Peanut butter is a beloved condiment around the world. It is used as a spread/ dip as well as an ingredient for cooking and baking other dishes. Homemade peanut butter can retain many of the benefits discussed above. However, commercially available options tend to be high in sugar, unhealthy fats and additives. This reduces its overall nutritional value and strips it of potential health advantages. You can try making peanut butter at home, and controlling the amount of sugar you add. Watch the recipe video here. You can consume this version of peanut butter in moderation without guilt.
Here Are 5 Healthy And Interesting Ways To Add Peanuts To Your Diet:
1. As a chutney
The lovely flavour and binding texture of peanuts make them a great ingredient for different kinds of chutneys. You can make a curd-based peanut farali chutney to pair with your Indian snacks. Click here for the recipe. If you're in the mood for something spicy, opt for Maharashtrian Shengdana chutney. Find the recipe here.
2. As a chaat
Peanuts are often added to chaat and bhel items for extra crunch. But if you wish to feature them more prominently, opt for peanut sundal. This South Indian-style chaat is flavoured with ginger, coconut, mustard seeds, asafoetida and more. Sounds yummy, doesn't it? Here's the full recipe.
3. As a sweet
Craving something sweet yet nutritious? Then peanut chikki is the way to go. This particular recipe uses jaggery in place of refined sugar. So you can rest assured that you are opting for a healthy dessert. Once you try it, this crunchy chikki might just become your new favourite. Click here for the complete recipe.
4. As a snack
Roasted peanuts are a great snack by themselves. You can season them with a few spices of your choice, if you wish. You can also use them to make other snacks, like this protein bar with peanut butter, oats and honey. Find the full recipe here. Another sweet option is these 3-ingredient protein balls - recipe here.
5. As a sauce
Peanuts are a dominant flavour in many Asian dishes. The easiest way to introduce peanuts into your main meals is in the form of a sauce. You can then use this peanut sauce as a salad dressing, a coating sauce for chicken/tofu and/or for tossing along with noodles. Here's an easy recipe for peanut sauce. For a different version of this sauce, click here. A classic combination you must try is chicken satay with peanut sauce. Find the recipe here.
Now you have so many ways to enjoy peanuts. Start adding it to your diet now!
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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.