Peanut: Small Name, Big Benefits

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Nuts in the shell are not only beautiful, but having to shell them builds relationship and keeps us mindful. "Peanuts offer all the health benefits of tree nuts—which is great because peanuts tend to be cheaper and more widely available than a lot of other nuts. In addition, peanuts offer a few bonus benefits that you don’t get from tree nuts.

• Peanuts are high in protein and other nutrients. Because they are actually legumes and not true nuts, peanuts are higher in protein than most nuts—and the protein they provide is more complete. Peanuts are also a better source of folate, which not only protects against birth defects but also helps build strong bones and provides protection against heart disease and cancer. In addition, peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, a nutrient that many of us don’t get enough of in our diets.
• Peanuts have some “designer” antioxidants.  You’ve probably heard of resveratrol. It’s a special antioxidant, found in red wine and grape juice, that’s thought to have heart-protective and cancer-preventive qualities. But you may not have heard that next to grape skins, peanuts are one of the richest sources of resveratrol. 
• Peanuts are high in phytosterols. Eating foods that contain phytosterols helps to promote healthy cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. There’s also some interesting new research on the cancer-fighting potential of phytosterols. Some studies have specifically linked peanut consumption (as opposed to overall nut consumption) to lower rates of colon cancer."

(Thank you to the folks at quickanddirtytips.com for this information.)