Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Peanuts Can Help Children Meet Dietary Requirements

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Peanuts Can Help Children Meet Dietary Requirements

Article excerpt

A study from The Pennsylvania State University shows that just one serving of peanuts or peanut butter a day can help children and adults meet requirements for nutrients that are often lacking in American diets.

The data originated from a U.S. Department of Agriculture national survey conducted to determine what people were eating. Those who consumed peanut butter and peanuts had higher intakes of several hard-to-get nutrients than did those who did not consume peanuts.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has discovered that vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, are all lacking in typical American diets. Those who ate peanut butter and peanuts had increased amounts of vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and dietary fiber in their diets. The peanut eaters also had leaner bodies than the non-peanut eaters.

Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State and the study author, emphasized that including peanuts and peanut butter daily in a calorie-balanced diet could help people achieve important nutrient goals. For this reason, peanuts have often been referred to as Mother Nature's multivitamin.

Vitamin E, which is difficult to obtain from foods, is thought to help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and dementia. One serving of peanut butter contains 18 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin E; one serving of peanuts contains 16 percent.

One serving of peanuts contains almost 10 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance of folate, a nutrient that helps to break down the amino acid homocysteine, which in high levels can lead to artery damage and an increased risk of heart attack. …

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