What if Peanuts Were Good for You

Todays blog was inspired by Rick Springfield. Not the singer, the rooster from The Gentle Barn Tennessee. Scrolling through Facebook today I saw a post that said peanuts are his favourite food. Recently during my research I have run across articles about peanuts that are very different from the ones I used to see.

New studies, some of which are extremely extensive, are showing peanuts to be as healthy as tree nuts. No peanuts are not actually nuts. They are legumes and closer to soy beans than almonds. Breaking news is that they are actually as healthy as tree nuts.


New studies have backed up earlier findings about the health benefits of peanuts. Harvard Health cites a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. The study was quite extensive including 135,000 men and women aged 40 to 74 from Shanghai and 72,000 Americans between 40 and 79 living in the southern states. Of the 72,000 two-thirds of those studied were African American.

What difference does race make? It actually gives more realistic worldwide results than earlier studies of white, healthcare, high income earners.

The results showed a significant reduction in death from all causes. Particularly significant were the cardiovascular protective benefits of peanuts.


What about Fat?

With any nuts the fat content is a concern to those watching their diet. According to some research, peanuts, like almonds, can actually help with weight loss.

I’m not talking about eating peanuts by the bushel. However, a realistic serving of peanuts can provide protein and are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), especially oleic acid. MUFA helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol”. Peanuts are also high in resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that has been found to be protective against, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, stroke and a myriad of other diseases.

Medical Daily cites a study in the Netherlands which included 120,000 Dutch men and women between the ages of 55 and 69 starting in 1986 and continuing today. They found a “substantially lower mortality” in people that ate a half handful of nuts or peanuts daily.

The peanuts being studied are not highly salted or flavoured. They are simply raw or roasted plain. They are also talking about a handful at most.

When I first started eating almonds for health I thought I would gain weight because I would eat so many. What I actually discovered is that if I am eating the raw almonds, they are so highly nutritious that I am able to eat about 5 or 6 and that is all.
I have this same feeling about peanuts.

The nice thing about the health benefits of peanuts is that they are affordable. Some of the tree nuts are extremely expensive. It’s nice to know you can get the same benefits from peanuts.