Your heart and brain will go nuts for peanuts. Plus, they help lower your risk of weight gain. Here are five ways to enjoy them.
1. As a spread.
Stir a tablespoon of all-natural, unsalted peanut butter into your morning oats and get an extra 4 grams of quality protein as well as all-day satisfaction: A study from Purdue University showed that consuming peanuts for breakfast increased the hormone peptide YY, which promotes satiety and helps control appetite for up to 12 hours.
2. As a flour.
Swap peanut flour for traditional wheat flour to create a gluten-free, high-protein, high-fiber treat.
Dry-roasting peanuts means no added fat or sodium, and having a handful in the afternoon can combat the sleepies as well as that urge to hit the vending machine: Peanuts contain high levels of arginine, an amino acid that promotes production of nitric oxide, opening blood vessels and improving blood flow while also prompting the body to release insulin, helping stabilize blood sugar. Plus, peanut skins contain resveratrol, the same phytochemical found in red wine, which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, anti-aging and fat burning.
Throwing a tablespoon of powdered peanut butter — PB which has been pressed to remove the oils and stickiness — into your postworkout shake assimilates like a dream, delivering a big hit of glutamine to restore nitrogen balance and phosphorous to help synthesize protein, repair cells and tissues, and make ATP for energy.
5. As an oil.
Peanut oil contains the same healthy components as olive oil (monounsaturated fatty acids) as well as niacin, both of which help decrease LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol and combat heart disease. Peanut oil adds a sweet, nutty flavor to any dish and has a high smoke point (450 degrees), making it ideal for stir-fry dishes.