Tree nuts like almonds and walnuts have been the subject of many studies, but sometimes ground nuts like peanuts get left out. In fact, peanuts aren’t technically nuts at all – they’re legumes. Despite the difference in taxonomy, it’s hard to deny the similarities between tree and ground nuts.
It’s important to know whether or not peanuts have the same benefits because they are much less expensive than tree nuts, which could make those health benefits more accessible to the public and low-income families. Finally, research has expanded to include this ground nut and the results are positive. It turns out the benefits of peanuts are just as wide-ranging and surprising as those from tree nuts.
1. Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Many tree nuts have been found to reduce heart disease, but it wasn’t until a 2016 study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine that peanuts were shown to have the same benefits. According to Harvard Health Publications, after looking at over 200,000 people of various ethnicity, researchers found eating peanuts regularly reduced the risk of heart disease as well.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
Boston University explains that people at risk for hypertension can lower their blood pressure by following the DASH diet guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and also by eating lots of protein. Why exactly protein might help is unclear, but the data is pretty clear.They recommend incorporating protein from a variety of sources to make a healthy diet plan, and peanut butter is a good choice of plant protein.
3. Lower Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol can block arteries and harm the cardiovascular system, but research shows eating 67 grams of nuts a day, such as a small bag of peanuts, lowers this bad cholesterol.
4. Lower BMI
If you want to lose weight, ground nuts might be the secret weapon. One study focusing on children at-risk for obesity asked them to eat peanuts or peanut butter after coming home from school three to four times a week. The students who consumed peanuts probably had better BMIs because it filled them up, so they didn’t choose unhealthy snacks according to Daily Mail.
5. Stabilize Blood Sugar
Something similar happened in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition the New York Times reports. In that study, participants ate peanuts or peanut butter for breakfast. This helped them feel full, so they didn’t even want to eat as much as many as 12 hours after consuming the ground nuts. Taking samples of glucose levels also revealed the peanuts helped manage blood sugar.
6. Cut Hunger Cravings
Why do ground nuts fight hunger? In an interview with New York Times,nutrition researcher Dr. Richard Mattes explained that nuts are so satisfying because they’re are high in protein and fiber. That alone makes them satisfying, but their crunchiness might add a psychological signal of being full as well. Obviously, ground nuts can play an important role in contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
7. Prevent Constipation
As many as 4 million people experience constipation pretty frequently and results in 2.5 million doctor visits a year says John Hopkins Medicine. However, a simple solution for many may be to increase fiber in their diets. Fiber helps soften stools and gives them bulk so they are easier to pass. John Hopkins recommends eating peanut butter and nuts as a good source of fiber.
8. Prevent Allergies from Developing
According to Allergy UK, peanut allergies are increasing all across the world. Considering that some people have severe allergic reactions just being near peanuts, this is a huge health risk. Luckily, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that feeding peanuts to infants before 11 months of age reduced their risk of developing peanut allergies by 80 percent.
9. Increase Lifespan
Partly because of all these benefits, ground nuts like peanuts have been shown to increase lifespan. The New York Times advises that many studies have shown that peanuts and other nuts reduce mortality rates in many ethnic groups, so even those who may have been at high risk because of smoking, obesity, blood pressure and diabetes will benefit from eating peanuts.
10. Boost Energy
If you are feeling a little low on energy, open up a bag of peanuts or whip up a PB&J. According to the Journal of Nutrition, even though they’re small, peanuts pack a lot of energy. Try eating them before your workout to get the benefits.
Peanuts and peanut butter aren’t just a delicious snack; they provide incredible health benefits as well. Although people used to think too much peanut butter might be a bad thing since it was high in calories and fat, the new evidence is in, and it shows that people couldn’t have been more wrong. The more often you eat ground nuts, the more likely you are to gain these healthy benefits.