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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Healthy Eating arrow Are Peanuts Healthy? Nutrition Facts and 10 Health Benefits

Are Peanuts Healthy? Nutrition Facts and 10 Health Benefits

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: January 21, 2023
4 min read 1143 Views 0 Comments
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Peanuts are a common ingredient in many dishes worldwide as well as some of the most popular snacks. But can peanuts be part of a healthy diet? We take a look at all there is to know about this well-known legume.

are peanuts healthy

The peanut, scientifically known as Arachis Hypogaea, is a product that has been the protagonist in many dishes for years, especially spread on bread in the form of peanut butter. 

But, even though we have already welcomed this grain into our homes and peanut butter consumption is widespread around the world, it is common to ask: are peanuts healthy? Why is peanut allergy so common if it’s considered a healthy food?

The Health Reporter team tells you all about this food and its nutritional value. Join us to discover 10 health benefits of peanuts.

What Is a Peanut?

Peanut is a member of the bean and lentil family, although it is commercially classified as a nut, along with almonds and walnuts. Overall, peanuts are high in monounsaturated fats and a rich source of vegetable protein.

They are great for athletes due to their energy contribution and are recommended during pregnancy because of their folic acid content. In addition, eating peanuts combined with cereals forms a complete protein with a whole chain of amino acids, making it ideal for plant-based and vegan diets.

Are Peanuts Healthy?

The peanut is a healthy grain containing all 3 macronutrients, with good fats being the most relevant, followed by high-quality proteins and complex carbohydrates.

Even though peanuts are one of the most common causes of food allergy, they have great nutritional value and aid in weight loss.

Peanuts are also suitable for high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss, such as the ketogenic diet.

10 Health Benefits of Peanuts

#1 Provide satiety thanks to their fiber content, which favors weight loss

#2 Favorable for heart health

#3 Help to reduce the risk of diabetes

#4 Help lower cholesterol

#5 Contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that prevents diseases and premature aging

#6 Long-lasting food that can be stored for 3 months in the fridge if it is raw peanuts without shells and up to 6 months in the pantry if it is shelled peanuts

#7 May help prevent some types of cancer

#8 Versatile food that can be used for sweet and savory recipes

#9 Peanut butter is an ideal pre-workout food because it requires no cooking, making it a quick and easy option, providing energy for workouts

#10 Can preserve cognitive functions and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s 

3 Side Effects of Peanuts

#1 Possible allergic reactions (it is recommended to read the labels of the products since, even though it is not clear on the front cover, many snacks may contain traces of peanuts among their ingredients)

#2 Gas and bloating in people with intolerance to peanut components

#3 May cause constipation in some people

Nutrition Facts of Peanuts

Nutritional value (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount
Calories (kcal)587
Sodium (mg)410
Net Carbs (g)12.9
Fiber (g)8.4
Sugar (g)4.9
Fats (Total)49.7
Protein (g)24.4

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174262/nutrients 

High in calories and fats

Peanuts provide mainly fat, which makes them a high-calorie food that should be consumed in moderation.

High in protein

Peanuts have the same amount of protein as tuna or eggs per 100g, although eating more than 40g per serving is not suggested due to the fat content. For a complete protein, combine a tiny amount of peanuts with a portion of cereals like rice or oatmeal, which include carbs.

High in carbohydrates

A 28g serving of peanuts contains only ~4g of carbohydrates, but it is very easy to exceed this amount as you could eat more without realizing it, especially with peanut butter.

If you are on a low-carb diet, you should be aware that peanuts add carbs to your daily requirement and should be consumed in moderation.

Rich in vitamins and minerals

Peanuts have a very diverse vitamin profile that includes vitamins B3 and B6 essential for the health of the nervous system. They also have minerals such as potassium, copper, and magnesium, which are also important for maintaining neurological functions.

High-Protein Salad With Peanuts and Palm Hearts

Ingredients

  • 1 can of palm hearts
  • 30g unsalted peanuts
  • 80g mushrooms
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 50g mozzarella cheese cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • Sea salt

Directions

Mix the 3 tablespoons of orange juice with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and set aside to use as a dressing.

Drain the hearts of the palm and cut them into small pieces, and set aside.

Lightly sauté the mushrooms with a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of garlic powder.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and add the dressing just before serving.

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FAQs

Are salted peanuts good or bad for you?

If eaten in moderation, salted peanuts can be part of a healthy diet. However, it is ideal to consume the salt-free presentation, especially for people suffering from cardiovascular disease that can be affected by sodium.

What is the glycemic index of peanuts?

Peanuts have a glycemic index of 14, which is low, so they don’t elevate blood sugar and are suitable for people with diabetes.

Do peanuts make you gain weight?

Yes, peanuts are a food high in calories from fat, so they can cause body weight gain. However, they can be consumed in moderation in a weight-loss diet.

Is it good to eat peanuts every day?

Yes, you can eat a serving of peanuts daily to get your daily intake of healthy fats and plant-based protein.

How many peanuts should I eat per day?

The maximum recommended serving of peanuts per day is 40g, which provides 235 calories. If you are on a weight loss diet, eat only 20g for a lighter snack of fewer than 150 calories.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Peanuts are not only a nutritious food, they’re also valuable for the planet, as, according to the National Peanut Board, the cultivation of peanuts uses minimal water, and everything from the root to the shell is used.

It is important to include peanuts in the daily diet from an early age since it has been described in some studies that children exposed to raw peanuts from 1 year of age develop fewer peanut allergies than those who rarely ate peanuts or rarely ate nuts in general.

Eating peanuts is beneficial as a protective agent of the cardiovascular system due to their richness in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Conclusion

Peanuts are a food with many health benefits that can help you reach a healthy weight.

Eating peanut butter and unsalted peanuts can help improve heart health and nervous system health.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: January 21, 2023
4 min read 1143 Views 0 Comments
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