February is American Heart Month. And what better time to focus on a heart-healthy food that doesn’t always get a lot of press: peanuts.
A Harvard study published last year found that people who ate a handful of nuts every day lived longer, healthier lives than those who did not eat nuts.
While peanuts are not technically nuts (they’re legumes), peanuts were recommended by the study findings, and they are recognized by the American Heart Association as being a heart-healthy food.
A serving of peanuts is one-ounce, which is a small handful, or about 40 peanuts (or 2T peanut butter) and 160 calories:
- Peanuts have more protein per ounce (7g) than any other nuts
- They contain over 30 essential vitamins and nutrients
- 12 of the 14 g total fat in peanuts come from heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids
- 40 peanuts contains 2.5 g dietary fiber, or 10% of your daily value for fiber.
I love pairing peanuts in sauces with noodles and tofu for a satiating blend of carbohydrate, fat, protein, and fiber. Here’s a great Peanut Noodles with Tofu recipe from Sunset Magazine.