Even without understanding the health benefits of peanuts, Americans of all ages simply love them.
Their iconic flavor, creamy texture, and remarkable ability to meet both our sweet and savory cravings entice the average person to eat more than 7 pounds of peanuts a year.
Peanuts make up the majority of U.S. nut consumption — and they aren’t even nuts!
The good stuff grows underground and we get to enjoy the edible seeds. Botanically speaking, peanuts are legumes, but they share a lot of the same nutritional characteristics as tree nuts. And they can be ground into America’s best-loved nut butter.
Go ahead, grab a jar, and join us as we dig into the health benefits of peanuts and peanut butter.
The Nutritional Profile of Peanuts
Ask any health nut and they’ll tell you that peanuts are jam-packed with nutrients.
When tallying up the benefits in a serving of peanuts, one serving equals one ounce. This is about 28 peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter.
We’re diving into the crunchy, gooey goodness to explain what these nutrients are and why they matter.
The humble peanut is one of the most protein-dense foods out there, with 7.3 grams of protein per serving, according to the Peanut Institute.
Protein serves as an essential building block in the body, promoting the growth and repair of muscles and other tissues, keeping your organs and bodily processes running smoothly, and helping you stay energized.
With so much plant protein, they’re naturally a perfect choice for our Perfect Snacks. Our original Peanut Butter protein bar — the recipe that started it all — contains a whopping 17 grams of protein thanks to the main ingredient and about two dozen other superfoods.
One serving of raw peanuts contains 6.9 grams of monounsaturated fat and 4.4 grams of polyunsaturated fat (aka “fatty acids”), compared to only 1.8 grams of saturated fat.
Don’t let that three-letter word scare you; this low ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat is similar to what you’d find in olive oil. Unsaturated fats not only make our food delicious — think of all those yummy peanut oil recipes — but they also promote heart health, cell growth, low cholesterol, and even weight loss.
As a result, peanuts are Heart-Check Certified by the American Heart Association, which recommends these “good” fats in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
In just a small handful of peanuts, you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from A (arginine) to Z (zinc).
One serving contains 200 mg of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, along with 48 mg of magnesium and 26 mg of calcium to keep your bones strong and your heart healthy. It’ll also deliver 2.4 mg of the antioxidant Vitamin E and 107 mg of phosphorus, which helps every cell in your body function properly, plus a dozen other essential micronutrients.
Peanuts: The Perfect Snack?
So, based on peanuts’ nutritional profile, you’re ready to swipe right. You can let yourself fall in love, too — numerous studies show that a handful of peanuts eaten five times per week can offer significant long-term health benefits. This simple snack can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 35% and the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 20%.
Peanut-based snacks are especially good when you’re hungry. They’ll satisfy your cravings and help you feel full longer which can help promote a balanced weight. Start your day with peanuts or peanut butter, too — they’ll help slow your body’s carb consumption and keep your blood sugar levels regulated throughout the day.
They’re also so great because they’re kid-friendly. You know the classics: PB-and-J, ants on a log, trail mix. But we’ve reimagined the cookie jar classic into a Peanut Butter Cookie Snack Bar. It’s eight superfoods and tempting cookie dough texture will make you a snack time superhero.
Or, for the times you find yourself craving something sweet, try our delectable Peanut Butter Cups. You don’t even have to share.