Fast Facts About Peanuts

Fast Facts About Peanuts

The Health Benefits of Peanuts & Peanut Butter

► Peanuts and peanut butter are naturally cholesterol-free.

► Peanuts and peanut butter are protein powerhouses, containing more protein than any other nut and providing approximately 15% of your protein needs daily (more than 7g per 1 oz of peanuts or 2 tbsp of peanut butter). 

► Current research shows that a diet rich in plant foods can offer protection from chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Peanuts can be substituted for animal proteins, which are high in saturated fats and increase heart disease risk. Peanuts also contain bioactive compounds that may stop cancer cells from growing.

  • Resveratrol, which is a powerful antioxidant found in peanuts, protects against several types of cancer and heart disease and may also extend lifespan.
  • P-coumaric acid, a polyphenol contained in peanuts, may protect against cellular damage and has shown potential for defending against cancer.
  • Phytosterols in peanuts have been associated with lower risk of cancer and heart disease in many studies. Peanut oil contains 38-43% more phytosterols than olive oil. 

► Peanut consumption offers protection against diabetes.

► Nutrient-dense peanuts and peanut butter contain many vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in the American diet. 

  • Peanuts are an excellent source of niacin, providing approximately 25% of your daily needs per serving (4mg per 1oz). A high intake of niacin from foods may lower Alzheimer’s disease risk by 70%.
  • Peanuts are a good source of magnesium, which is important for bone health and reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Peanuts provide 12% of your daily magnesium needs per serving (50mg per 1oz). 
  • Peanuts also contain vitamin Ebiotin, and copper, along with a host of other nutrients. In fact, eating peanuts may increase blood levels of nutrients including vitamin E, niacin, and magnesium in diabetics. 

► Peanuts contain approximately 80% unsaturated fat, which is considered the “good” fat. This beneficial plant fat can help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation, which is often a precursor for chronic diseases. 

► Each 1 oz serving of oil-roasted peanuts contains 2.7 g of dietary fiber

► Results from the Portfolio Diet study have shown that a plant-based diet that emphasizes heart-healthy foods like peanuts is as effective for lowering cholesterol as statin drugs. It may also reduce 10-year coronary heart disease risk by 13% (Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 2018).

Peanuts... A Superfood

For additional health and nutrition information, visit The Peanut Institute website:

The Versatile Peanut

► Peanuts are classified both as a legume botanically and as a nut nutritionally. This means they enjoy the best of both worlds, containing key nutrients found in both the legume and nut families. 

► Peanut butter, which by law must be 90% peanuts, is the leading use of peanuts produced in the U.S.

► Half of the top 10 selling candy bars in the U.S. contain peanuts or peanut butter.

► Peanut oil is valued as a premium cooking oil by cooks and chefs worldwide. Tasteless and odorless, peanut oil does not transfer food flavors, has a high smoke point (440-460 F), and is high in monounsaturated fats. 

► Peanuts are available in powder form. Partially defatted peanut powder is high in protein, lower in fat, and has a long shelf life. Peanut powder can be used in smoothies, shakes, breads, and other baked goods. 

► Peanuts are the #1 snack nut consumed in the U.S., accounting for 2/3 of the snack nut market.

► One of the many great advantages of peanuts and peanut butter is long shelf life. Peanuts and peanut butter can be stored for months, and even longer if refrigerated.

► Dr. George Washington Carver, a research scientist at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, found over 300 uses for the peanut plant in the early 1900s. He has been called the “peanut wizard” and the “father of the modern peanut industry.” 

U.S. Peanut Production

► U.S. Peanut farmers produce around 3 million tons of peanuts annually on approximately 1.5 million acres.

► The major peanut producing states are: Georgia, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, Virginia, New Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

► Peanuts grow in sandy, loamy soils from April to October, depending on the variety, and require 120-160 frost free days.

► The four types of peanuts produced in the U.S. are:

  • Runner, used primarily for the manufacture of peanut butter.
  • Virginia, marketed mainly as snack peanuts and in-shell peanut products.
  • Spanish, with rounder and smaller kernels, used for snack nuts, peanut butter, and confections.
  • Valencia, which contains three to five kernels per shell, marketed mostly in-shell for roasting and boiling.

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