How Peanuts Support Women’s Health

It’s easy to put off improving our nutrition for ‘another day,’ but it’s important to remember that the choices we make today (and every day) can quickly become a pattern.

Women face a higher risk of dying from heart disease than men,1 and may be at risk for other conditions such as hypertension,2 certain cancers,3 and even Alzheimer’s disease.4

For mothers, poor nutrition and lifestyle behaviors can be passed on and may place children at risk for a cognitive impairment, lower resistance to infections, and higher rates of disease and death.5

That’s why it’s so important to find a healthy routine that you can stick to—if not every day, at least most days—so you can set yourself up for a lifetime of better health. And peanuts and peanut butter provide a nutrient-dense option that can deliver exceptional health benefits for women of all ages—and all in as little as one serving per day.

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For Children

Starting healthy habits early in a girl’s life can have an enormous impact when she becomes a woman.

Start Early. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing complementary foods in a baby’s diet at around 6 months old.6 This is a great time to introduce baby-friendly peanut foods for 2 reasons: it can reduce the risk of developing peanut allergies, and studies show pairing vegetables with a preferred taste (like thinned peanut butter) can significantly increase veggie intake.7
(Learn how to safely introduce peanut foods by visiting preventpeanutallergies.org.)

Support their most precious time. The first 2 years of life is the period known as “B24” in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, which highlights peanuts as “an important source of iron, zinc, protein, choline, and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.”8

Growing up strong. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are crucial for supporting the kind of rapid brain development that occurs in a child’s first 2 years. Arginine, also found in peanuts, is an essential nutrient that’s associated with higher growth velocity and linear growth.9

For Adults

In our adult years, it’s important to build and maintain healthy habits that will carry us into our golden years.

Support for before and after workouts. If you’re staying active, you know how important protein can be. It helps our muscles grow, recover and stay healthy.10 And at 7g per ounce, peanuts have more protein than any other nut.11

Keeping hearts healthy. The Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating a plant-based diet with nuts, legumes, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of dying prematurely from multiple causes—including cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death worldwide.12

Protecting against cancer. Phytosterols, like those found in peanuts, may inhibit the growth of cancers that affect millions of women—including lung, stomach, ovarian, colon and breast cancers.13-16

For Senior Years

Snack better and live longer. For adults aged 50-71, overall nut consumption lowers mortality risk by 22%, as well as the risk of dying from cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, renal and liver disease.17

Staying sharp with peanut butter. Consuming 10g of peanut butter, peanuts, or tree nuts daily was associated with a 44% reduced risk of death from neurodegenerative diseases.18

An excellent source of niacin. Adults 65 and older who consumed more niacin from foods showed slower rates of cognitive decline, and a 70% lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease.19

Supporting a Healthy Life Starts Now.

When it comes to health, women face unique challenges that call for unique nutrition. Making sure your diet is packed with nutrient-dense foods (like peanuts) that can offer a variety of vitamins, minerals and more is essential to feeling your best—today, and into the future.

Sources

1. Heart disease in women is not like heart disease in men. Columbia University Irving Medical Center (2023). Feb 28, 2022. https://www.columbiadoctors.org/news/heart-disease-women-not-heart-disease-men. Accessed Apr 16, 2024.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Estimated Hypertension Prevalence, Treatment, and Control Estimates Among US Adults. https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/data-reports/hypertension-prevalence.html. Accessed Feb 24, 2022.
3. Cancer facts & figures 2024. American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/2024-cancer-facts-figures.html. Accessed April 16, 2024.
4. Beam CR, Kaneshiro C, Jang JY, Reynolds CA, Pedersen NL, Gatz M. Differences Between Women and Men in Incidence Rates of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;64(4):1077-1083. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180141. PMID: 30010124; PMCID: PMC6226313.
5. 1. L. Elder, E. Ransom, Nutrition of Women and Adolescent Girls: Why It Matters. Population Reference Bureau (2003). https://www.prb.org/resources/nutrition-of-women-and-adolescent-girls-why-it-matters/. Accessed Apr 16, 2024
6. Pediatrics, A.A.o. Infant Food and Feeding. 2021; Available from: https://www.aap.org/en/patient-care/healthy-active-living-for-families/.
7. Johnston, C.A., et al., Increasing vegetable intake in Mexican-American youth: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Diet Assoc, 2011. 111(5): p. 716-20.
8. USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 2020; Available from: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf.
9. van Vught, A.J., et al., Dietary arginine and linear growth: the Copenhagen School Child Intervention Study. Br J Nutr, 2013. 109(6): p. 1031-9.
10. 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.
11. USDA National Nutrient Database.
12.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.
13.Woyengo TA, Ramprasath VR, Jones PJ. Anticancer effects of phytosterols. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;63(7):813-20. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2009.29. Epub 2009 Jun 3. Review. PubMed PMID: 19491917.
14.Awad AB, Chan KC, Downie AC, Fink CS. Peanuts as a source of beta-sitosterol, a sterol with anticancer properties. Nutr Cancer. 2000;36(2):238-41. PubMed PMID: 10890036.
15. Awad AB, Fink CS. Phytosterols as anticancer dietary components: evidence and mechanism of action. J Nutr. 2000 Sep;130(9):2127-30. Review. PubMed PMID: 10958802.
16. van den Brandt PA, Nieuwenhuis L. Tree nut, peanut, and peanut butter intake and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer: The Netherlands Cohort Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2018 Jan;29(1):63-75. doi: 10.1007/s10552-017-0979-7. Epub 2017 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 29168062; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5752734.
17. 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.
18. van den Brandt PA, Schouten LJ. Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Jun;44(3):1038-49. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv039. Epub 2015 Jun 11. PubMed PMID: 26066329.
19. Morris MC, Evans DA, Bienias JL, Scherr PA, Tangney CC, Hebert LE, Bennett DA, Wilson RS, Aggarwal N. Dietary nia-cin and the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease and of cogni-tive decline. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;75(8):1093-9. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2003.025858. PMID: 15258207; PMCID: PMC1739176. https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp.2003.025858