Today I want to talk to you about Peanuts!
There are two misconceptions when it comes to peanuts;
1. They are classed as a ‘nut’ when they are technically a legume, e.g. soybeans, peas, lentils, beans etc.
2. They are healthy, when in fact they are not!
Some people just love peanuts and peanut butter. Others consume peanuts without even realising through nut bars, protein bars, muesli bars and cereals. Either way I’d love you to consider the following.
Here’s two reasons why we are NOT crazy about peanuts!
1. Sure, peanuts aren’t the absolute worst thing you can consume, however many people will eat peanuts regularly as a snack or include them in meals thinking they are healthy, when in fact peanuts are prone to mould and fungi (which could be a reason peanuts are a common allergen) and if they aren’t organic, peanuts are also among the most pesticide-saturated foods in the Western diet.
Okay, listen up!
A study in 1993 found that there were twenty-four different types of fungi that colonized inside peanuts, even after sterilising their exterior.
A toxic mould called aflatoxin tends to contaminate peanuts, as demonstrated in studies in England and at MIT. In 1988 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) placed aflatoxin B1 on the list of human carcinogens, and aflatoxin is considered a potent chemical carcinogen twenty times more toxic than DDT.
A number of epidemiological studies were done in Asia and Africa that demonstrated a positive association between dietary aflatoxins and liver cell cancer.
2. Secondly peanuts you purchase from the supermarket are covered in salt and coated in unhealthy fats. Have you heard of the omega 3:6 ratio? Omega-3 and omega-6 are two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are both required in the body but have opposite effects when it comes to the inflammatory response and cardiovascular health. Too much omega-6 or too little omega-3 can contribute to a number of diseases, so we need a healthy balance of both. Peanuts are loaded with omega-6 fats so it can distort the omega 3:6 ratio knocking your body out of balance. This is another reason peanuts should be consumed sparingly or not at all.
• Try to select brands that use a range of nuts other than peanuts, such as almonds, macadamias and brazil nuts.
• Try to select brands that use activated, organic nuts.
• If there are no activated brands I recommend sticking to organic nut butters.
• Make your own nut butter, see below recipe for a macadamia nut butter extracted from my iBook Lunchbox Solutions. The iBook also contains the recipe for a traditional nut butter, chocolate nut butter, brazil nut butter and banana nut butter.
Macadamia Nut Butter
150 grams (1 cup) macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut syrup (or 1 tablespoon honey)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste!
1. Start grinding the nuts in a food proc- essor fitted with a metal chopping blade (a blender will not work). Grind for approximately 1-2 minutes or until you have a fine “meal” consistency.
2. Then add the raisins (if using), oil, butter and salt and blend until well mixed. If you are not using raisins, add a tablespoon of honey.
3. You will need to stop the food processor and push down the mixture from the sides with a spatula a couple of times to ensure you capture all the ingredients.
4. Continue blending until well mixed.
Variation: Add Banana!
Add 1/2 banana to the Macadamia Nut Butter if using straight away. Add to the blender and combine with the rest of the ingredients.
Note: This butter will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
This recipe is extracted from my co-authored iBook, Lunchbox Solutions. For over 100 delicious recipes plus helpful nutritional information for you and your family please click through to our purchase page: Lunchbox Solutions.
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Yours in Health,
(Bach. Chiropractic, Bach. App Clinical Science
Registered internationally, no longer practicing as a chiropractor in Australia.)
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“The Beauty Detox Solution”, Author: Kimberly Snyder, C.N. 2011
M.CC Lancaster, F.P. Jenkins and J.M. Philip, “Toxicity Associated with Certain Samples of Ground-Nutes”, Nature 192 (1961): 1095-96.
G.N. Wogan and P.M. Newberne, “Dose-Response Characteristics of Aflatoxin B1 Carcinogenesis in the Rat, “Cancer Research 27 (1967): 2370-76. G.N. Wogan, S. Paglialunga and P.M. Newberne, “Carcinogenic effects of low dietary levels of aflatoxin b1 in rats, “Food and Cosmetics Toxicology 12 (1974): 681-85.
Omega 3:6 Ratio Explained