Eat Peanuts Daily, Decrease Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
- Peanut flavoring – salted, spicy, honey-roasted, or unsalted – did not impact positive health benefits of peanuts, according to new study.
- Daily peanut consumption reduced blood pressure in all participants during the first two weeks, even in those with high blood pressure.
- Total cholesterol and triglyceride levels decreased for daily peanut-eaters who had high levels at the start.
Daily Peanut Consumption Decreases Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Regardless of Flavoring, According to New Study
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that even different flavors of peanuts result in positive health benefits.
“Regardless of flavoring, peanut consumption offered significant benefits to participants with elevated serum lipids and blood pressure,” says Dr. Richard Mattes, Professor of Nutrition Science at Purdue University.
Their study, “A Randomized Trial on the Effects of Flavorings on the Health Benefits of Daily Peanut Consumption,” aimed to determine whether peanut flavorings affected health benefits. Results showed that all varieties of peanuts significantly decreased mean diastolic blood pressure in all participants. For participants with high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels decreased after daily peanut intake.
Peanuts continue to be the most popular nut, and for good reason. Not only because they are the most affordable, but also because they contain complex nutrients that are good for your health and for preventing disease.
Ounce for ounce, peanuts are the most nutrient-dense nut and contain more protein and arginine than any other nut. They consist of eight essential nutrients, are an excellent source of niacin and manganese, and are a good source of fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, copper and phosphorus. Peanuts also have potassium, phytosterols, resveratrol and healthy fats, all of which may benefit health and help prevent chronic disease.
About the Study
The study, conducted at Purdue University, Indiana, included a total of 151 men and women who were of normal weight, had no diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension, and had no history of gastrointestinal disease.
Participants incorporated peanuts into their daily diet for 12 weeks. They were randomly assigned to eat three 0.5-ounce portions of three peanut flavors or just 1.5 ounces of one flavor, and they were eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. Researchers took blood samples every four weeks and other health measurements every two weeks.
Results showed a significant decrease in mean diastolic blood pressure in all participants. For those who had high blood pressure, the changes were greatest over the first two weeks, and were sustained throughout the study. Interestingly, the findings were similar for salted and unsalted peanuts. While all participants decreased their blood pressure, slightly greater decreases were observed among the salted or unsalted peanut-eaters compared to the spicy or honey-roasted peanut-eaters.
The paper explains that these results may be due to the arginine found in peanuts, “which promotes the production of nitric oxide – a vasodilator that potentially leads to a decrease in blood pressure.” USDA data show that peanuts contain more arginine than any other whole food, and in fact, more than any other nut.
Additional findings include reduced total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in participants who had high levels at the beginning of the study. These results have also been shown in previous studies.1,2
This study was supported by a grant from the US Agency for International Development Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program Prime Award.
- Kris-Etherton PM, Pearson TA, Wan Y, et al. High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70(6):1009–1015.
- Lokko P, Lartey A, Armar-Klemesu M, Mattes RD. Regular peanut consumption improves plasma lipid levels in healthy Ghanaians. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007;58(3):190–200. doi:10.1080/09637480701198067.