You know how they say that big things come in small packages? Well, this statement holds true when it comes to peanuts. Peanuts have a sizable amount of calories and fat but they are also a good source of protein, fiber and contain 17 different vitamins and minerals. Talk about a nutrition powerhouse! Let’s dive deep and learn more about these versatile and very likable legumes.
Nutrient breakdown of Peanuts
Peanuts are usually grouped in the nut category because they have a similar nutrient profile but peanuts are actually legumes which makes them family members of beans and lentils.
1 oz of peanuts (about 1 handful) provides:
7 grams of protein
5 grams of carbohydrates
14 grams of fat
2 grams fiber
These crunchy legumes are also high in vitamin B3 and manganese and good sources of vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and copper.
Health Benefit of Peanuts
1) Heart Health Booster
You have probably heard that peanuts are high in fat and this unfortunately gives them a bad reputation but nothing to fear here. Peanuts are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats which are great for heart health. In fact, studies have shown that mono and polyunsaturated fats can improve lipid profiles and lower blood pressure. These two biomarkers reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
2) Diabetes Type 2 Fighter
Consumption of peanuts has been associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and better blood sugar control. With type 2 diabetes, the body loses the ability to use insulin properly. When this happens, blood sugar levels rise often leading to health complications over time. One of the goals in pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels in check. Research has found that pairing peanut butter with foods that are high in carbohydrate helps lessen the glucose spike from those high carb foods. In addition to this, peanuts are a good source of magnesium which has an important role in blood glucose control by reducing the body’s insulin resistance.
According to the MIND trial, a study designed to test if a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diet can help adults maintain brain health, people who eat peanuts may have a lower risk of age-related cognitive decline. New research from the University of Barcelona also concluded that consumption of peanuts may improve cognitive decline. Researchers believe that the improvements in memory function can be attributed to polyphenols which are natural compounds found in peanuts, dark chocolate, tea and berries. They act as antioxidants and reduce inflammation in the body.
Snacking on plain peanuts is great but we’ve got you covered with our Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter bar, which is loaded with peanuts. Also check out these amazing recipes that include our Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bar. We can’t get enough and know you’ll enjoy them as well. Check them out below:
You can even use the Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter bar in a salad. Yes, we said salad! Try our BeBOLD Salad.
Mariana Dineen MS, RD, CDN, LD, LDN is a registered dietitian and the founder of Elemento Health. Mariana was born and raised in Mexico but currently lives in Chicago with her husband and 3 children. Her mission is to change the nutrition landscape and make an impact on the health outcomes of Hispanics by providing culturally authentic nutrition care.