After menopause, the risk of developing heart disease increases. Therefore making small but significant dietary lifestyle changes is essential to reducing your chances of developing the potentially fatal condition. Peanuts have been shown to be one food menopausal women can consume in order to improve their heart health. Read on to learn more.
Are Peanuts Good for Your Heart?
Peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts. Which means that the peanut has the same quantities of vitamin E, antioxidants, and protein as its bean siblings. In addition, the complex carbohydrates found in peanuts protect against obesity, a condition that can lead to or worsen cardiovascular disease. The legumes water and fiber content can also help to regulate digestion and reduce cholesterol: important when attempting to obtain a healthier heart.
What Is the Best Way to Eat Peanuts?
The tastiest and healthiest way to consume peanuts is to either roast or boil them in the form of peanut oil or peanut butter. This is because roasted and boiled peanuts contain more resveratrol - an antioxidant that reduces the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, than any other peanut preparation. If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get your dose of peanuts, try eating a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Do Peanuts Contain a Lot of Fat?
Peanuts are well known for their high fat content; however, much of this is monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to improve heart health. Diets that feature monounsaturated fats, and peanuts in particular, have actually been found to reduce a women's risk of developing heart disease by approximately 20%.
Are There Other Health Benefits?
Peanuts high fiber content means they are a useful treatment for bloating and the other digestive problems that accompany menopause. Their antioxidant content is also thought to help prevent the types of cancers that can occur during or after menopause. In addition, peanuts contain vitamin D and calcium, both of which are nutrients that promote bone health and fight osteoporosis. In terms of brain health, peanuts contain niacin and other B-complex vitamins that may prevent the onset of memory problems later in life.
Try eating peanut butter sandwiches with honey and fruit for a healthy and fulfilling lunch. Peanuts can also be added to your favorite tossed salad or to any Asian-inspired stir-fry vegetable dish. Having just a few peanuts a week can help improve your heart and overall health. Click on the following link for more information on recommended foods during menopause.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.