What is your go-to snack? Potato chips? Grapes, apples, or bananas? What about peanuts?

I just learned that peanuts have been proven to help prevent strokes! Not only do they safeguard the heart, a handful of peanuts or walnuts a day can help enhance brain function, aid in slowing the aging process (!) and, apparently, there’s more!

The benefits peanuts offer to the human body are due to their proteins and their rich concentration of calcium. The proteins help to enhance intelligence and memory by stimulating brain cells and aiding in repairing damaged nerve cells. Calcium supports bone formation.

Peanut skins possess antioxidant properties, which can defend against free radical damage and delay aging. The vitamin E and zinc in peanuts moisturize the skin, helping to keep that youthful glow.

For those with a slow digestive system, peanuts are rich in fats and fiber. This helps to stimulate the gut, promote bowel movement, and aids in alleviating constipation.

I began by telling you that peanuts may help in preventing strokes. Certain properties in peanuts help to break down cholesterol, preventing its buildup in blood vessels, thereby aiding in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Additionally, the dietary fiber in peanuts can lower blood pressure and helps prevent the formation of blood clots.

A Japanese study showed that those who consume nuts (especially peanuts and walnuts) at least five times a week (28 grams per serving) experienced a 14 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Healthy living certainly does include eating natural foods that enhance a strong and happy body. Who knew that a bag of delicious peanuts could help this process in so many ways!

FYI – When buying peanuts, be sure to look for peanuts with an unblemished appearance, avoiding those with spots, cracks, or moisture. Do not consume peanuts with a rancid or moldy odor. Heavier peanuts are typically of better quality.

And, when purchasing peanut products, opt for small packages that can be consumed in one serving. Once opened, store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator to prevent mold.