Are peanuts good or bad for you?

October 2020

Peanuts are an excellent plant-based source of protein, fiber and many vitamins and minerals essential to maintain good health. They are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, knowns as the "good fats," found in some plant and animal foods, such as vegetable oils, salmon and some nuts. Peanuts are also are a plentiful source of B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and phosphorous. And despite being high in calories, peanuts are low in carbohydrates.

Nutrition facts and health benefits of peanuts

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of raw peanuts contain 567 calories and the following nutrients:

macronutrients

protein
carbohydrate
fiber
sugars

25.8 g
16.13 g
8.5 g
4.72 g

fats

monounsaturated fats
polyunsaturated fats
saturated fats

24.43 g
15.56 g
6.28 g

minerals

potassium
phosphorous
magnesium
calcium
sodium
iron
zinc

705 mg
376 mg
168 mg
92 mg
18 mg
4.58 mg
3.27 mg

vitamins

vitamin B-3 (niacin)
vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
vitamin B-1 (thiamine)
vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
riboflavin (vitamin B-2)
folate (vitamin B-9)

12.07 mg
8.33 mg
0.64 mg
0.35 mg
0.14 mg
240 mcg


Good fats
The healthful fats found in peanuts are an essential part of a balanced diet and keep your brain function sound. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fats (the unhealthy fat found in processed foods). Because there is also a small amount of saturated fat in peanuts, it is best to eat peanuts in moderation to get their optimal health benefits.

The consumption of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats is scientifically proven to improve blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Another reason for eating these healthful fats is that they give you energy. When you exercise, your body burns calories from the carbohydrates you ate. However, after some 20 minutes of exercising, your body depends on calories from fat to keep you going. In addition, fatty acids are essential in keeping your brain capacity.

Protein
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100g of peanut contains 25.8g of protein, the main building blocks of our body cells. For this reason, peanuts are a great choice of plant-based protein for vegetarians. One ounce of peanuts (about 28 unshelled nuts) contains about 7 grams of protein.

Fiber
Peanuts are a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber is found as part of complex carbohydrates, which are found in whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, and contain longer chains of sugar molecules. It's not digested and absorbed by the body. However, fiber feeds the good gut bacteria and allows for the absorption of the carbohydrate to be slower into the bloodstream. This is important because it won't spike glucose levels and insulin levels differently from other types of carbs. The Heart Association remarks that eating fiber-rich foods improves blood cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Vitamins and minerals
Besides the healthful combination of good fats, protein and fiber, peanuts also contain vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), folate (essential for brain development), biotin (very important during pregnancy), phosphorus and magnesium, among other key vitamins and minerals.

So are peanuts good or bad for you?
By now, you know peanuts are full of healthy nutrients. Although some types, like raw peanuts, are preferable to others, you can't go wrong with peanuts. You can enjoy peanuts, peanut butter and our all-natural PB Bites and PB Crumbs in moderation as a snack and get the same health benefits as well.