There’s a “new healthy” sweeping the nation, as Americans become increasingly conscious about what they’re consuming. Food trends like kale, quinoa, acai bowls, and avocados have caught on and you can now find more exotic ingredients that have gone mainstream in the United States in recent years. However, one healthy food you might be missing is one that’s probably been with you since childhood: peanut butter. There are many peanut butter benefits and if you suffer from a peanut allergy, there are new types of nut butters out on the market that you can try as well. Peanuts are versatile, from peanut snacks to being part of an entree with peanut noodles or even as peanut oil to cook other food in. Let’s talk about peanut benefits, peanut allergy causes, and some creative ideas for incorporating peanuts into your daily life.
What Are Some Benefits of Peanut Butter?
If you’re looking for a breakfast that sticks with you, peanut butter toast can be a great option, given that peanuts can give you 15% of the Reference Daily Intake level of protein per serving. By law, peanut butter has be 90% peanuts and around 90% of households in the United States eat peanut butter. Chunky versus smooth? The National Peanut Board reports that 60% of Americans would rather have smooth peanut butter compared to chunky.
Peanuts are also low carb, contains healthy fats, 19 nutrients, and lots of fiber — all things that are good for you! Just one ounce of raw peanuts has over seven grams of protein and almost 2.5 grams of fiber! Regular consumption of peanuts can lower your risk of developing diabetes, improve of your heart health, and support efforts to maintain your weight. What’s not to love about a big scoop of peanut butter?
What Are Some Peanut Allergy Causes?
There are a number of peanut allergy causes, though many of these can seem random. Children are more prone to developing food allergies, because of their immature digestive system, so there’s a chance that a child may grow out of the allergy. However, if you had a peanut allergy when young, and it goes away, you could have a higher chance of having one later in life.
If you’re already allergic to some food, your chances of being allergic to peanuts could also be higher. Similarly, if you have a family history of a peanut allergy or other strong allergies — even if they’re not food related — you may be more at risk for developing a peanut allergy.
Interestingly enough, if you have eczema, you may also be more prone to developing a food allergy, like a peanut allergy. As you can see, peanut allergy causes are varied and aren’t necessarily something you can avoid.
If you already have a peanut allergy, you’ll want to make sure you avoid direct and cross-contact with peanuts, even if it’s just a mild one. Check at restaurants and the ingredient labels on things you buy. If you have a more severe allergy, you may want to be careful about picking up items that say they were manufactured at a facility that also handles nuts.
Looking to Eat More Peanuts? Here Are Some Ideas
Peanut butter is the obvious choice of consumption, but there are other fun ways to incorporate peanuts into your diet. Incorporating them into trail mix, sprinkling them onto salads or ice cream, or adding them to milkshakes or smoothies is a great way to take advantage of some of the health benefits of peanut butter.
For kids, adding to oatmeal, pairing with fruit like bananas or apples, making ants on a log (celery with peanut butter and raisins), or making “puppy chow” (chocolate and peanut butter covered Chex mix) can be fun additions to a lunch box or to the breakfast table.
And of course, making a batch of peanut butter cookies will probably go over well with the members of your family!
Find creative ways to incorporate peanuts into your day! They’re a small food that can pack a powerful health punch, and that can be turned into a host of delicious meals, snacks, and even beverages!