How healthy are peanuts? The truth is, they’re rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals1–all of which put them on equal footing with just about every other superfood. But sometimes, it can be easy to overlook these nutrient-packed powerhouses due to their availability and lower cost. That’s why we’re going to list a few of the many benefits and traits peanuts share with some of their more exotic superfood friends, and help you get the most nutrition bang for your buck.
The Power of Antioxidants and Flavonoids – Blueberries
In addition to dietary fiber, peanuts and blueberries also contain antioxidants and flavonoids.
An antioxidant they share, known as “resveratrol,” has shown evidence for cancer prevention, as well as promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and diabetes.2
Flavonoids are also thought to be protective against cancer, as well as heart disease. Studies have also shown they can help support your immune system3, and possibly play a role in retaining cognitive function for the elderly4.
The Powers of Magnesium, Iron, Niacin and Lower Cholesterol – Kale
Peanuts and kale can both contribute hard-to-get nutrients that have great benefits, like magnesium and iron. A 2012 study found that people who consume foods rich in magnesium have fewer strokes5, while iron helps our bodies regulate cell growth and differentiation.
A serving of dry roasted peanuts has 8x more niacin than a serving of raw kale. Niacin has been shown to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 70% and was associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline when eaten (as opposed to taken in supplement form).6
Plus, peanuts and kale both have the power to help lower your cholesterol7,8. Sounds like more than enough reason to try a salad with some chopped peanuts!
(Want to learn more about how peanuts can help your heart? Check out our blog post here!)
The Powers of Monounsaturated Fats and Potassium – Avocado
Avocado and peanut butter have a lot more in common than being great on a slice of toast. The majority of fat they contain is heart-healthy poly- and monounsaturated fat, the same fat found in olive oil. In fact, peanuts contain almost 3 times the amount of monounsaturated fats per serving than avocado! Diets high in these types of fats have been shown to help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, while keeping your “good” HDL cholesterol high8.
Potassium is another important hard-to-get nutrient with big benefits—including research that shows it may reduce blood pressure9 and help protect against stroke10. Both peanuts and kale can contribute to your daily potassium needs. But then again, with peanut butter, you don’t have that narrow ripeness window or pit to deal with, so we’ll let you be the judge there.
As you can see, you shouldn’t let the mild-mannered appearance of peanuts fool you—they have plenty of superfood benefits hiding in their humble shells. But if you really want to power up your plate, make sure to mix plenty of different superfoods into your diet regularly. And the good news on that front: peanuts, peanut butter and peanut flour can be combined with pretty much any of them to taste even more amazing!
We promise with this team behind you, you’re sure to feel unstoppable.
Looking for ideas to sneak more of peanuts’ nutrition into your diet? Check here!
- 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.
- Sales JM, Resurreccion AV. Resveratrol in peanuts. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(6):734-70. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.606928. Review. PubMed PMID: 24345046.
- Peluso I, Miglio C, Morabito G, Ioannone F, Serafini M. Flavonoids and immune function in human: a systematic review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015;55(3):383-95. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2012.656770. Review. PubMed PMID: 24915384.
- Zielińska MA, Białecka A, Pietruszka B, Hamułka J. Vegetables and fruit, as a source of bioactive substances, and impact on memory and cognitive function of elderly. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2017 Apr 12;71(0):267-280. Review. PubMed PMID: 28402254.
- Susanna C Larsson, Nicola Orsini, Alicja Wolk; Dietary magnesium intake and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective studies, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 95, Issue 2, 1 February 2012, Pages 362–366, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.111.022376
- 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. PubMed PMID: 15258207; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1739176.
- Kim SY, Yoon S, Kwon SM, Park KS, Lee-Kim YC. Kale juice improves coronary artery disease risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men. Biomed Environ Sci. 2008 Apr;21(2):91-7. doi: 10.1016/S0895-3988(08)60012-4. PubMed PMID: 18548846.
- Kris-Etherton PM, Pearson TA, Wan Y, Hargrove RL, Moriarty K, Fishell V, Etherton TD. High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1009-15. PubMed PMID: 10584045.
- Gallen IW, Rosa RM, Esparaz DY, Young JB, Robertson GL, Batlle D, Epstein FH, Landsberg L. On the mechanism of the effects of potassium restriction on blood pressure and renal sodium retention. Am J Kidney Dis. 1998 Jan;31(1):19-27. PubMed PMID: 9428447.
- Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP. Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. BMJ. 2013 Apr 3;346:f1378. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1378. Review. PubMed PMID: 23558164; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4816263.