If you’re nuts about peanuts, you’re in luck. These tasty legumes are jam-packed with nutrients, so they have favorable side effects on your body and high on energy. Some of these health benefits might even surprise you.
Peanuts are versatile. They can be consumed raw, roasted, or boiled and can be used in anything ranging from smoothies to trail mixes. They can also be found in different forms like peanut butter. This popular ingredient is used in sandwiches, baked goods, and even sauces.
Simply put, peanuts are delicious! And here are 13 awesome health benefits of peanuts.
1. Aids Weight Loss
In a balanced diet, peanuts aid weight loss. They’re full of unsaturated fats, protein, and fiber – all of which increase satiety. This means that you’ll stay full longer without binge eating later on. The result is reduced energy intake and, therefore, less weight gain.1 Boiled peanuts can be more helpful for weight loss than roasted or raw ones as the former contain lesser calories.
2. Lowers Cholesterol
Have high cholesterol? Eat peanuts and use peanut oil! Their rich levels of unsaturated fats reduce your total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.2 As a consequence, your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems take a nosedive.3 Any form of peanuts can help you here as they contain no cholesterol whatsoever.
3. Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes
Diabetes and heart disease go hand in hand. After all, diabetics often have high cholesterol, which places them at a great risk of heart disease and other complications. Because peanuts are beneficial to the heart, they can be used to decrease the severity of diabetes.4
Peanuts also have manganese, a trace mineral that regulates blood sugar. It offers protection from LDL cholesterol.5 Peanuts can be eaten in any form, raw or cooked, and still be a healthy choice for diabetics.
4. Lowers Blood Pressure
If you’re dealing with hypertension, peanuts will have favorable side effects because the omega-3 fatty acids in them will lower your blood pressure. And without hypertension, your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases will decrease.6
Salted peanuts will add to your sodium intake and worsen your blood pressure. So although you can have boiled or roasted peanuts, do not salt them.
5. Results In Healthier Skin
Unsaturated fatty acids have amazing anti-inflammatory properties. So if your skin’s stressed out, it’ll love peanuts! These fats protect the skin from sun damage, reducing the risk of wrinkles and sun spots. They even protect collagen-making cells called fibroblasts. With more collagen, fine lines will be less noticeable.
Other benefits of peanuts for the skin come from their power to heal wounds. This includes everything from minor cuts to acne. And lowered inflammation encourages the skin to recover faster.7 Peanuts are also a great source of vitamin E, which boosts the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for the skin. Peanuts in any form will provide you all of these benefits.
6. Prevents Cancer
Peanuts are a good complimentary food in the treatment of various types of cancer.
- Peanuts contain compounds called phytosterols that exhibit anticancer properties, especially against breast, colon, and prostrate cancer.8
- Eating peanuts or peanut products might even reduce the growth of cancerous cells in women with colorectal cancer.9
- They might also ward off skin cancer. Both unsaturated fats and vitamin E stop the damage and inflammation due to UV ray exposure. Your skin’s immune system also flourishes, resulting in stronger protection.10 11
7. Treats Arthritis
Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that impacts more than 50 million American adults.12 But thanks to the anti-inflammatory advantages of peanuts, joint pain can be decreased. The niacin in peanuts also improves arthritic symptoms while increasing joint mobility. Peanuts are a good natural alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).13 Cook them, roast them, or eat them raw, just as you like.
8. Represses Alzheimer’s
Peanuts, cooked or otherwise, can help you fight degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and make your body and mind remain in your control longer. They contain a compound called resveratrol that has been proven to reduce cell death, protect the DNA, and prevent neurological damage in Alzheimer’s patients.14 Boiling or roasting peanuts is preferable as the process might increase the levels of this compound.15
9. Protects The Heart
Like other nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, or even peanut oil can reduce the risk of heart diseases when consumed every day. The balanced nutrition in these nuts reduces the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, making it your go-to food for a healthy, strong heart.16
10. Prevents Stroke
Along with keeping your heart pumping steadily, peanuts also prevent the chances of a stroke. The vitamins in peanuts reduce the levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, which is one of the causes of stroke.17
11. Reduces Gallstones
Nuts such a peanuts can reduce gallstone occurrence by nearly 25%, especially in women. Aim to eat at least 100 g of peanuts, in any form, per week.18
12. Curbs Depression And Dementia
Eating peanuts can probably make you happy as they’re really tasty! But this is not how they help you handle your depression. Peanuts contain a substance that increases serotonin levels, which are a major cause of depression.19 This is also said to help treat conditions such as dementia. So feel no guilt for having peanut butter as your favorite food!
13. Prevents Fetal Disorders
The folic acid in peanuts might prevent fetal defects and ensure a healthy pregnancy. However, if you’re allergic to peanuts, the adverse effects might be severe on the baby. So be cautious.
Boiled, roasted, or raw peanuts have more or less the same benefits for your health. Specific types of peanuts are preferable only in cases like weight loss, as mentioned earlier. In all cases, eat peanuts along with its skin. In the case of roasted, boiled, or salted peanuts, eat them as soon as you prepare as their shelf life is shorter.
A Word Of Caution
Be careful if you’re allergic to peanuts. An allergic reaction can cause symptoms like hives, a sore throat, coughing, sneezing, rashes, and facial swelling. It can also easily turn into anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening.20
|↑1||Barbour, Jayne A., Peter RC Howe, Jonathan D. Buckley, Graeme C. Wright, Janet Bryan, and Alison M. Coates. “Lower energy intake following consumption of Hi-oleic and regular peanuts compared with iso-energetic consumption of potato crisps.” Appetite 82 (2014): 124-130.|
|↑2||Hodson, L., C. M. Skeaff, and WA H. Chisholm. “The effect of replacing dietary saturated fat with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat on plasma lipids in free-living young adults.” European journal of clinical nutrition 55, no. 10 (2001): 908.|
|↑3||Monounsaturated Fats. American Heart Association.|
|↑4||What Is Diabetic Heart Disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.|
|↑5||Manganese. Oregon State University.|
|↑6||Omega-3 fatty acids. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑7, ↑10||Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health. Oregon State University.|
|↑8||Awad, Atif B., Karen C. Chan, Arthur C. Downie, and Carol S. Fink. “Peanuts as a source of β-sitosterol, a sterol with anticancer properties.” Nutrition and cancer 36, no. 2 (2000): 238-241.|
|↑9||Yeh, Chih-Ching, San-Lin You, Chien-Jen Chen, and Fung-Chang Sung. “Peanut consumption and reduced risk of colorectal cancer in women: a prospective study in Taiwan.” World journal of gastroenterology 12, no. 2 (2006): 222.|
|↑11||Nichols, Joi A., and Santosh K. Katiyar. “Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and DNA repair mechanisms.” Archives of dermatological research 302, no. 2 (2010): 71-83.|
|↑12||Arthritis Facts. Arthritis Foundation.|
|↑13||Vitamin B3 (Niacin). University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑14||Li, Fei, Qihai Gong, Hongxin Dong, and Jingshan Shi. “Resveratrol, a neuroprotective supplement for Alzheimer’s disease.” Current pharmaceutical design 18, no. 1 (2012): 27-33.|
|↑15||Arya, Shalini S., Akshata R. Salve, and S. Chauhan. “Peanuts as functional food: a review.” Journal of food science and technology 53, no. 1 (2016): 31-41.|
|↑16, ↑17||Settaluri, V. S., C. V. K. Kandala, N. Puppala, and J. Sundaram. “Peanuts and their nutritional aspects—a review.” (2012).|
|↑18||Tsai, Chung-Jyi, Michael F. Leitzmann, Frank B. Hu, Walter C. Willett, and Edward L. Giovannucci. “Frequent nut consumption and decreased risk of cholecystectomy in women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 80, no. 1 (2004): 76-81.|
|↑19||Gharibzadeh, Shahriar, Motaharsadat Hosseini, Saeed Shoar, and Sayed Shahabuddin Hoseini. “Depression and fruit treatment.” The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences 22, no. 4 (2010): 451-e25.|
|↑20||Peanut Allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.|