Small lifestyle changes with big results
With every new year, it’s natural to want to make some big changes. Maybe it’s working out more, maybe it’s eating more sensibly, or maybe it’s just maintaining a more positive outlook (which has definitely been more difficult the last couple of years). But the good news? Not every big change takes big steps. In fact, with just one daily serving of peanuts (about 1 handful), you’ll be supporting all of those changes through the new year and beyond!
Eating for Health
Every serving of peanuts packs 7g of hunger-satisfying protein, which is more than you’ll find in any other nut. That’s along with heart healthy fats and oils, 0 cholesterol, and 19 vitamins and minerals—including many that are hard to get in our diets otherwise.
With all of that nutrition condensed into one tiny shell, it’s no wonder why so many cultures around the world incorporate peanuts into their daily diets (and on that note, you can check out some of our favorite recipes from China, India and Nigeria in our blog here). But some diets have been identified as especially beneficial.
The Mediterranean Diet, for example, consists of an emphasis on fresh vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein—including peanuts. Studies on the effect of this diet show it can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease1 and support our brains as we age2, among other benefits.
By combining the most beneficial foods for the brain from the Mediterranean Diet and DASH diets, researchers created the MIND Diet.
Using this diet, researchers reported a 53% lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease3, as well as a decreased risk of Parkinson’s Disease and a slower rate of its progression4.
There are three important ways peanuts and peanut butter can help support an active lifestyle: energy, recovery and maintenance.
- Energy: Peanuts contain healthy fats, making them an energy-dense food.5 Our bodies use these healthy fats as a “fuel” to hit the trails, the gym, or your to-do list.
- Recovery: Post-workout, you’ll need protein to help your body recover. That’s because protein is essential for acquiring the types of amino acids that help your muscles repair, grow and stay healthy.6
- Maintenance: If weight loss is part of your resolution, a meta-analysis study found that nut intake may be associated with a decreased risk of obesity and lower body weight measures.7
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Supporting your overall health means finding foods that keep you feeling your best, and peanuts have plenty to love.
- Live a longer life: A healthy, plant-based diet with plenty of nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of dying prematurely from multiple causes, including cardiovascular disease. (one of the leading causes of death worldwide).8
- Disease prevention: For adults aged 50-71, researchers have found overall nut consumption also lowers your risk of dying from cancer and cardiovascular disease, in addition to respiratory, infectious renal and liver diseases.9
But peanuts can do more than support a healthy body, they can also support a healthy mind!
A study of college students ages 18-33 found peanut and peanut butter consumption was associated with improved memory, and decreased anxiety, depression and stress.10
Small Bites for a Big Difference
If you want to start the new year with a new, healthier routine, peanuts have your back with plenty of protein and nutrients to support you every day—whether it’s in body or mind.
If you’re looking for more ways to give your daily diet a boost, be sure to check out a few of our favorite recipes! Including free downloadable Celiac and diabetes-friendly cookbooks.
Want to dive into the latest research? Check out our interactive Research Library.
- Tindall AM, Petersen KS, Kris-Etherton PM. Dietary Patterns Affect the Gut Microbiome-The Link to Risk of Cardiometabolic Diseases. J Nutr. 2018 Sep 1;148(9):1402-1407. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy141. PubMed PMID: 30184227.
- Karstens AJ, Tussing-Humphreys L, Zhan L, Rajendran N, Cohen J, Dion C, Zhou XJ, Lamar M. Associations of the Mediterranean diet with cognitive and neuroimaging phenotypes of dementia in healthy older adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Feb 1;109(2):361-368. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy275. PubMed PMID: 30698630; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6367961.
- Morris MC, Tangney CC, Wang Y, Sacks FM, Bennett DA, Aggarwal NT. MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Sep;11(9):1007-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2014.11.009. Epub 2015 Feb 11. PubMed PMID: 25681666; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4532650.
- Agarwal P, Wang Y, Buchman AS, Holland TM, Bennett DA, Morris MC. MIND Diet Associated with Reduced Incidence and Delayed Progression of Parkinsonism in Old Age. J Nutr Health Aging. 2018;22(10):1211-1215. doi: 10.1007/s12603-018-1094-5. PubMed PMID: 30498828.
- Arya SS, Salve AR, Chauhan S. Peanuts as functional food: a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2016 Jan;53(1):31-41. doi: 10.1007/s13197-015-2007-9. Epub 2015 Sep 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 26787930; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4711439.
- Kreider RB, Campbell B. Protein for exercise and recovery. Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Jun;37(2):13-21. doi: 10.3810/psm.2009.06.1705. Review. PubMed PMID: 20048505.
- Cintineo HP, Arent MA, Antonio J, Arent SM. Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training. Front Nutr. 2018;5:83. Published 2018 Sep 11. doi:10.3389/fnut.2018.00083
- Kim H, Caulfield LE, Garcia-Larsen V, Steffen LM, Coresh J, Rebholz CM. Plant-Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All-Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle-Aged Adults. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Aug 20;8(16):e012865. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.012865. Epub 2019 Aug 7. PubMed PMID: 31387433.
- Amba V, Murphy G, Etemadi A, Wang S, Abnet CC, Hashemian M. Nut and Peanut Butter Consumption and Mortality in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 2;11(7). doi: 10.3390/nu11071508. PubMed PMID: 31269682; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6682967.
- Parilli-Moser, I., et al., Consumption of peanut products improves memory and stress response in healthy adults from the ARISTOTLE study: A 6-month randomized controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition, 2021.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.09.020