Nuts have always been regarded as an excellent health food staple, but recent research suggests that there may be even more health benefits to snacking on those little crunchy guys than originally thought. While they're technically not nuts but legumes, there are now more reasons than ever for you to start adding peanuts to your everyday healthy snack selection, provided you don't have a nut allergy or other dietary restriction. Let's take a look at some of the great things that consuming peanuts may be able to do for you.
1. They could reduce your risk of dying from certain illnesses.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that eating 15 grams of peanuts or other nuts per day could significantly lower your risk of dying from certain diseases, like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and neurodegenerative disease. Fifteen grams of peanuts equals about half a handful—it doesn't seem like that much, but even starting small can have a big impact.
2. They could cut your risk of developing cancer.
The benefits of eating peanuts may even extend to lowering your risk of developing certain cancers. A 2006 study in the journal World of Gastroenterology suggests that of the participants studied, the women who ate meals with peanut products in them at least a couple times a week were less likely to get colorectal cancer than those who didn't eat peanuts at least twice a week. However, more results are needed to determine whether there is a direct causal relationship between the two.
3. They can lower cholesterol.
Peanuts are loaded with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids along with omega-3s, which can provide positive effects for your cholesterol levels and the health of your blood vessels. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats both can lower cholesterol, which leads to a reduction in heart disease risk and even a lower chance of developing diabetes. Omega-3s may be able to provide you with a better defense against coronary artery disease as well.
4. They can support your brain.
Packed with folate, peanuts may be able to help support brain health. While folate is essential for pregnant women and the development of their babies, it's important for children and non-pregnant adults to have adequate levels of folate in their bodies as well. Most people get enough folate from their diet, so if you eat peanuts you'll likely be receiving some brain support from this nutrient that can help prevent cognitive decline in the forms of fuzzy thinking, mental fatigue and forgetfulness.
If you're able to consume peanuts and other nuts safely, you may want to try including them as a regular part of your snack food rotation for many of these great health benefits. Check out our selection of nutrient-packed snacks and other great wellness essentials at eVitamins today, and come back next time for more health news.