Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Snack Series: Raisins and Peanuts

Dear hungry people -- this will be my last snack series post. I've really enjoyed sharing with you simple snacks and fascinating health information. The simple snack of today is raisins and peanuts. It's quite a nice salty sweet combination that you can find anywhere. I ate this a lot when I spent a year volunteering in Nicaragua. Every ten days, I would have a four day break, and I often traveled. While other snacks abounded, peanuts and raisins were cheap and everywhere and I often bought them during my travels. Even here in the US, if you're on a road trip and starving, you can certainly find peanuts and raisins at gas stations and travel plazas.

Raisins have health benefits, and according to this article, "let us watch their brilliance." They can help relieve constipation because they absorb water when ingested. Raisins are good sources of magnesium and potassium, which help fight against acidosis of the blood. Acidosis can cause skin diseases, cancers, arthritis, damage to internal organs, and gout. The iron in raisins helps treat anemia, and phenolic phytonutrients help fight fever by combating bacterial and viral infections. And listen to this, I had no idea that raisins contain a nutrient called boron, which is necessary for the body in small amounts to help with bone formation. Boron also helps fight against osteoporosis in menopausal women. And, another shocker, is that raisins contain oleanolic acid, which helps prevent tooth decay by preventing the growth of certain types of bacteria. I would have thought that the sugar in raisins would be bad for teeth, but no, the oleanolic acid counter balances it!

I'm sure you all know that peanuts are not nuts, but legumes, and are in the same family as lentils, chickpeas, and peas, according to this article. Peanuts are heart-healthy, thanks to their mono-unsaturated fats, and they may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Peanuts may also reduce the risk of stroke, colon cancer, and age-related diseases.

Other posts you may enjoy:

Spelt English Muffins, Peanut Butter, and Bananas

Peanut Butter Bran Muffins

Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts


Trail Mix

Granola Bars


Granola


Fish Stew (with peanuts!)

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