Achieving your peak mental performance doesn’t happen by accident. It takes the right combination of diet, exercise, and other healthy habits. But it all starts with the fuel we give our bodies.
Peanuts and peanut butter provide a unique combination of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, protein and more that can help support your health in both body and mind. And the best part? They can do it all with just a small daily serving — which means they’re also time-saving and cost-effective.
Promoting Better Focus
Have you ever been in a meeting or class and found it hard to concentrate? It could be because your body’s missing out on the energy it needs to focus.
Peanuts contain protein, fiber and healthy fats, which classifies them as an ‘energy dense food.’ Those nutrients can help power our bodies, while keeping us mentally focused on the task at hand — instead of thinking about the next meal.
Supporting Your Mental Health
A 2014 study on mice found that an antioxidant in peanuts, known as p-coumaric acid, helped to reduce stress and anxiety. Researchers noted that the antioxidant could even have similar stress-reducing effects as some of the leading anxiety-reducing drugs.1
In 2021, University of Barcelona researchers studied the potency of peanuts’ mental health abilities with a group of college students ages 18-33. They found those who regularly consumed peanuts and peanut butter experienced improved memory function, as well as decreases in anxiety, depression and stress.2
Improving Brain Health
Of course, keeping our brains healthy is the surest way to better mental performance (which is a ‘no-brainer,’ if you will). And if that’s your goal, research suggests you might want to take your peanuts with the skin on.
Authors of a 2016 study found that eating peanuts with the skins improved both cerebrovascular function (which supplies blood flow to the brain) and cognitive function in men and women. The authors also noted the results were likely due to the bioactive compounds found within the peanut skins.3
Strengthening Cognition with Age
Cognition includes just about everything we depend on our brains for, from learning and recalling information, to making decisions, to problem solving and paying attention to our surroundings. Which, unfortunately, can decline over time. But with the right nutrition, you can slow the progression dramatically, or even prevent it entirely.
When researchers tracked the dietary patterns of adults ages 55 and older for 15 years, it was found that just one serving per day (about 10g) of nuts was associated with a higher cognition score and a 40% lower likelihood of poor cognitive function. Peanuts accounted for 84.2% of all nuts consumed throughout the study.4
Nutrients that Protect Your Brain
Two peanut nutrients that could be driving those results are niacin and vitamin E. When studied, results showed that niacin intake from foods was associated with a slower annual rate of cognitive decline, and a 70% lower Alzheimer’s risk.5
In regards to brain health, resveratrol is another very interesting nutrient in peanuts. In 2018 lab tests, it showed the ability to actually reverse cognitive defects, as well as restoring cognitive function in mice with neurological disorders.6
The Best Food for Your Best Mind
Whether you want to support your mental health for the day-to-day, or stay sharp for years to come, peanuts and peanut butter have shown strong results in as little as one daily serving.
Check out our recipe page for ideas on how to incorporate more peanut power into your daily diet. Or, for even more brain food, read up on a diet designed for keeping minds healthy — simply known as the MIND Diet.