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Peanut Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals

Peanuts and peanut butter stand out as unique healthful foods for more than just their protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They have also been recognized as a great way to get multiple nutrients in a small portion from a single food source versus a supplement. Peanuts and peanut butter are full of vitamins and minerals that are integral to growth, development, metabolic function, and immunity. All of the vitamins and minerals in peanuts work by multiple mechanisms and are likely having synergistic effects toward improving health status.

Role of Micronutrients in Peanuts and What A Small Handful Adds To Our Diets

NutrientFunction in Body1 Ounce of Peanuts

Peanut Vitamins

NIACINNiacin helps convert food to energy. The digestive system, skin, and nerves also use niacin to function. Further, research shows that dietary niacin may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.

Excellent source

25% of RDA


Folate is especially important in infancy and pregnancy.

It helps produce and maintain cells.  Research shows that people who take in higher dietary folate may have an advantage when it comes to prevention of heart disease.


10% of RDA

PANTOTHENIC ACIDPantothenic acid is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.More than 5% of RDA
THIAMIN (B1)Thiamin is essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. It also helps cells in the body convert carbohydrates into energy.Almost 5% of RDA
RIBOFLAVIN (B2)Riboflavin has a key role in metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.Almost 5% of RDA
CHOLINECholine is critical for normal membrane structure and function. It is also important to lung function and memory development in infants.Almost 5% of RDA
VITAMIN B6Vitamin B6 is involved in protein and red blood cell metabolism and has a role in the nervous and immune systems. A higher intake of dietary vitamin B6 may be beneficial for heart disease.Over 5% of RDA

Vitamin E is commonly known as an antioxidant, but it is also involved in immune function and regulation of certain metabolic processes. Since studies that have supplemented vitamin E have been mixed, eating peanuts is a great way to get it from a dietary source. Vitamin E is considered a hard-to-get nutrient for men and women.

Excellent source 20% of RDA

Minerals in Peanuts

MAGNESIUMMagnesium has multiple roles in the body. It maintains normal muscle and nerve function thereby keeping our heart rhythm steady. It supports a healthy immune system. It also promotes normal blood pressure, keeps bones strong, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. A number of studies have shown that magnesium intake is associated with reduced inflammation and a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.Good source 12% of RDA
PHOSPHORUSPhosphorus primarily functions in the formation of bones and teeth. It also helps synthesize protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues.Almost 10% of RDA
POTASSIUMPotassium is critical to maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It is important for brain and nerve function and is necessary for normal growth and muscle.Almost 5% of RDA

Zinc supports our immune systems, helps in wound healing, and is involved in building proteins. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during

pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.

Almost 10% of RDA

Iron is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes that maintain good health. It is involved in oxygen transport and helps regulate cell growth and


Almost 10% of RDA

Copper plays a role in the production of key proteins in our body such as collagen and hemoglobin, which

transports oxygen

Excellent source 21% of RDA
MANGANESEManganese is a cofactor for many enzymes.


Source 26% of RDA


Selenium is an antioxidant helping to prevent cellular damage from free radicals. It regulates thyroid function

and plays a role in the immune system.

Almost 5% of RDA

RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance

Nutrients for dry roasted, salted peanuts obtained from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/

Nutrients of Concern

It doesn’t take many peanuts to help bump up the levels of nutrients that we need each day. Since there are tons of micronutrients in peanuts, just a small handful can naturally provide many of the vitamins and minerals that are hard to get. In fact, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program chooses to include peanut butter in food packages.

According to the 2020 – 2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, Americans tend to lack macro and micronutrients like magnesium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin E. An early study looked at the diets of almost 15,000 American children and adults to assess the impact of peanuts. Researchers found that those who consumed peanuts and peanut products achieved higher Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber than those who did not eat peanuts. Overall, peanut-eaters had higher-quality diets than non-eaters.

In a human study conducted at Purdue University, eating about 3 ounces of peanuts a day lead to significant increases in the intake of fiber, magnesium, folate, vitamin E, copper, and the amino acid arginine. Also in the study, initial baseline values of blood magnesium fell below recommended levels, but these levels increased in all of the peanut eaters to above recommended levels corresponding with a range required to lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

Last reviewed: August 2022


U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020.

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Larsson SC, Wolk A. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. J Intern Med. 2007 Aug;262(2):208-14. Review. PubMed PMID: 17645588.

Gao X, Martin A, Lin H, Bermudez OI, Tucker KL. alpha-Tocopherol intake and plasma concentration of Hispanic and non-Hispanic white elders is associated with dietary intake pattern. J Nutr. 2006 Oct;136(10):2574-9. PubMed PMID: 16988129.

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