Better Health on a Budget

Jan 20, 2023Blog

If it feels like things have gotten more expensive lately, it’s not just your imagination. Recently, food prices have been escalating, leading many families to look for meals and recipes that help stretch their dollar further.
When it comes to eating on the cheap, though, things like fast food or processed snacks can end up being pretty costly — from putting a dent in your budget, to hindering your long-term health, to even damaging the planet.
But unlike those typically unhealthy options, peanuts provide benefits that can help on all three fronts!

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Better Eating on a Budget

Peanuts and peanut butter account for about two thirds of all nut consumption in the United States annually, and it’s easy to see why. For starters, in one single serving (about one ounce) of roasted peanuts, you’ll find a diverse assortment of 19 vitamins and minerals, heart-healthy fats, 0 cholesterol and 7g of hunger-satisfying protein.

Peanuts aren’t just incredibly nutrient-dense; they’re also cost-effective. In fact, dollar for dollar, peanuts and peanut butter are one of the most affordable protein sources around, beating out all other nut and animal-based proteins. Which is certainly a good thing, as trading animal-based protein for plant-based protein might just help you live a longer life.1

But it’s not just longevity that peanuts can help with. In fact, peanuts and peanut butter can offer benefits for every stage of life:

  •  Support for healthy development in children, including the brain, bones, muscles and immune system. Peanuts also contain arginine, which is an amino acid associated with higher growth velocity.2
  • Protection against certain cancers, with antioxidants and phytosterols that have shown to be beneficial against brain, skin, stomach, colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers.
  • Healthy weight management support, through greater hunger satisfaction. In a recent study, it was found that participants who snacked on peanuts and peanut butter tended to consume fewer calories than those who ate other nuts, including almonds.3
  • Keeping our minds sharp as we age, thanks to compounds that increase brain blood flow, protect against Alzheimer’s disease, and even fight anxiety and depression. Niacin in particular is associated with a reduced rate of cognitive decline.4

Good for you, and better for the planet.

So why are peanuts more affordable than other nuts? The short answer is that peanuts are just made differently. Literally. Because peanuts are technically legumes, they’re easier to grow and harvest than pricier tree nuts. But those aren’t the only benefits peanuts can offer the planet:

  • They require less water than tree nuts.5 Compared to almonds, peanuts need less than half of the water to grow. (2,782 vs. 8,000 cubic meters per in-shell ton)
  • They enrich soil with nitrogen to make the land more fertile — including producing 90% of their own nitrogen. Which means they help create a more sustainable world.
  • They produce fewer greenhouse gasses. Peanut butter produces just 2.9 units of CO2 emissions, which is less than half that of eggs (4.8 units) and less than a quarter for cheese (13.5 units).

Combine those facts with the long shelf life of peanuts and peanut butter, and you have a convenient, sustainable, cost-efficient choice that you can always keep on-hand.

For a healthy budget, body and planet, choose peanuts.

From trimming the fat on your expenses to supporting a healthy lifestyle and planet, peanuts and peanut butter offer big benefits at a bargain. Plus, with their exceptional protein content, they can help your meals stretch further, without sacrificing nutrition or satisfaction.

Looking for ideas to get started? We’ve got you covered with recipes for any time of day — along with vegetarian-, celiac– and diabetes-friendly cookbooks that you can download for free.

Sources:

  1. Huang J, Liao LM, Weinstein SJ, Sinha R, Graubard BI, Albanes D. Association Between Plant and Animal Protein Intake and Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2020 Sep 1;180(9):1173-1184. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.2790. PMID: 32658243; PMCID: PMC7358979.
  2. van Vught, A.J.A.H., et al., Dietary arginine and linear growth: the Copenhagen School Child Intervention Study. British Journal of Nutrition, 2013. 109(6): p. 1031-1039.2. Kennedy D. O. (2016).
  3. Cassandra Jay Nikodijevic, Yasmine C. Probst, Sze-Yen Tan, Elizabeth P. Neale, The Effects of Tree Nut and Peanut Consumption on Energy Compensation and Energy Expenditure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Advances in Nutrition, 2022,
    ISSN 2161-8313, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advnut.2022.10.006.
  4. Morris MC, Evans DA, Bienias JL, Scherr PA, Tangney CC, Hebert LE, Bennett DA, Wilson RS, Aggarwal N. Dietary niacin and the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease and of cognitive decline. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;75(8):1093-9. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2003.025858. PubMed PMID: 15258207; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1739176.
  5. “The Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint of Crops and Derived Crop Products.” M.M. Mekonnen and A.Y. Hoekstra. UNESCO Institute for Water Education, December 2010. http://wfn.project-platforms.com/Reports/Report47-WaterFootprintCrops-Vol1.pdf.