Healthy Swellness: Nuts about nuts

August 18, 2014

Raw shelled big peanuts in a bucket on white background, closeup

When I interviewed chef Scott Conant a couple of years ago, he told me about his guilty food pleasure: peanut butter. Not some fancy, organic, all-natural kind, but one of the varieties you’ll find on every grocery shelf – it’s probably the one you enjoyed as a kid.

Are peanuts an essential for you, too? Do you devour it the way those contestants on Survivor do when they get some PB as a food reward? They’re all over it like Kanye is Kim, but I guess being deprived of food and flavour for weeks will do that to you.

I always have peanuts and peanut butter at home, and I eat it at least once a week—on toast or a bagel before I go for a run, or with chocolate when I’m craving something sweet, or sometimes I add them to açai bowls or salads for a bit of crunch. Maybe it’s my Quebec roots showing—did you know Quebec residents are more likely to eat peanut butter at least weekly than the rest of Canada? (85 percent compared to 78 percent.)

I know I turn to peanuts as a simple way to get some protein, but that’s not the only thing great about them:

  • Peanuts are a natural source of heart-healthy plant sterols
  • A handful of peanuts as a snack will not only make you feel full, but it’s packed with vitamins and minerals including fibre, folate, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and selenium
  • Peanuts are naturally sodium-free (that’d be the unsalted variety—in case that wasn’t obvious…).
  • Peanuts are cholesterol-free.

All this talk about peanuts giving you a nutty craving? Check next week for a healthy salad recipe I think you’ll love!

P.S. For more healthy info  on peanuts and about different peanut varieties, head on over to the Peanut Bureau for a visit.

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