Questions and uncertainty when consuming food is a daily occurrence. The focus is often on the question of the health consequences and effects of this. In addition to the frequent occurrence as an allergen, one of the most common in foods, the peanut is said to be not particularly healthy. (9)
To give you an overview of how consuming peanuts can affect your health, we have compiled information about peanuts in this article. We explain the occurrence and prevention of a peanut allergy and which symptoms you have to watch out for or which can be helped by eating peanuts.
the essentials in brief
- Peanuts can be used as a healthy ingredient in many dishes. The many nutrients contained help to go through a healthy diet.
- Ingesting peanuts helps with several diseases. It lowers blood sugar in type 2 diabetes and promotes regulated blood pressure in both children and adults.
- Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. In order to prevent such an allergy from occurring, peanuts should already be eaten during pregnancy and in infancy.
How Healthy Are Peanuts: What You Should Know
We have asked and answered the most frequently asked questions about peanuts and whether they are healthy for you.
What Healthy Nutrients Are in Peanuts?
What are healthy nutrients anyway? A healthy diet can prevent disease and give you the right energy for each day. Certain amounts should be consumed for this.
Peanuts provide a remedy for some of these substances. The legumes contain a high amount of proteins and proteins. With 25g of protein in a quantity of 100g of peanuts, such a portion already covers a third of the daily protein. (10.11)
Also important substances for the body are various minerals and vitamins. Peanuts are particularly suitable for magnesium and vitamin E. With 160 mg per 100 g peanuts, there is an above-average amount of magnesium in them and thus already meets half of the daily recommended value. The same applies to vitamin E, which is contained at 10 mg and is almost completely sufficient for the daily recommended amount of 13 mg. (12)
Are Peanuts Healthier Than Other Nuts?
There are many other types of nuts besides peanuts. The table below shows you where peanuts are healthier than other types.
|kind||Benefit of Peanuts||Disadvantage of peanuts|
|walnut||More protein and magnesium and minerals, Less saturated solid acids||More Fiber, Less Vitamin E|
|hazelnut||More protein and magnesium||More fiber and saturated fat, Less vitamin E and minerals|
|brazil nut||More protein, less saturated fat||More fiber, less vitamin E, magnesium and minerals|
|macadamia nut||More protein, magnesium, minerals and vitamin E, Less saturated fat||More fiber|
This shows that proteins and proteins in particular, as well as magnesium, can be better added to the body through peanuts. Peanuts are not as fatty as they are said to be. However, they come with more fiber than other types of nuts.
Nuts come in many types. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages. If you want a lot of protein, use peanuts. (Image source: Maddi Bazzocco / Unsplash.com)
How many peanuts per day is healthy for me to gain weight?
However, the high concentration of protein and magnesium in peanuts should not lead to excessive consumption. Any food should be consumed with care. And peanuts are no exception, although they make a great on-the-go snack.
But how much is too much? Since the nutrients contained in the peanuts are also consumed through other foods throughout the day, a quantity of 25g of peanuts per day is sufficient for a healthy diet. With this, a good part of protein, magnesium and vitamin E is already absorbed into your body.
Are peanuts carcinogenic?
So far it sounds like peanuts are only healthy, but what about carcinogenic substances in them? A recurring theme with all foods is the intake of dangerous substances that help with excessive consumption of cancer.
The two most common possible substances are aflatoxins and ochratoxin A, which can get into the nuts during transport. Studies in recent years show that neither of the two toxins was found in the peanut samples. (18)
Are there any health concerns about eating peanuts in terms of blood pressure?
Another common concern about nuts, including peanuts, is that they have a negative impact on blood pressure. High blood pressure can definitely have something to do with the wrong diet. Therefore, it is important that we pay attention to what we eat.
Elevated blood pressure occurs mostly in people over the age of 40. Several studies have been conducted to investigate a link between high blood pressure and peanut consumption. Results from these studies indicate that peanuts do not cause hypertension and are safe to eat even if hypertension is present. (2)
Contrary to what you might have expected, eating a handful of peanuts daily is said to be beneficial as they can help lower blood pressure. The peanut owes this to the high magnesium content mentioned above. The mineral must be sufficiently present in the body so that the blood flow can be well regulated. (1.17)
Are Peanuts Healthy For Diabetics?
Diabetics must always be careful about what they eat and what is in food. The two types of diabetes don't make it any easier to keep track of them. We have therefore created a table for you for both types.
|kind||Is Eating Peanuts Safe?||particularities|
|Type 1 diabetes||Small quantities||Nothing special|
|Type 2 diabetes||Regular intake possible||Peanuts can help maintain regulated blood sugar|
Furthermore, there is no connection between the occurrence of either type 1 or type 2 diabetes due to the consumption of peanuts, even in slightly above-average amounts. Whether this is also the case for processed peanuts in a wide variety of products such as peanut butter or bars has not yet been clarified. (6.19)
Can peanuts help in a healthy diet?
What if you don't have any of these diseases? But "just" want to lose a little weight through a healthier diet? Peanuts (or other types of nuts) can also help here.
Of course, as with almost all food, it also depends on the way in which it is consumed? Anything can have a negative impact on weight if consumed in large amounts. So far we've only talked about consuming peanuts straight from the shell, but often canned peanuts are processed. As a result, they have a significantly higher proportion of fats and salt, which means that their positive effects are weaker in weight.
A balanced diet should always include peanuts. The effective increase in protein, magnesium and vitamin E makes it easier to achieve your goals every day. (Image source: Diana Polekhina / Unsplah.com)
It is advisable to include peanuts in your regular meals. This is easy to do at breakfast, for example, where muesli can be combined with a few peanuts. Salads are also perfect for adding peanuts to cover a day's worth of nuts.
It has also been shown that regular consumption of peanuts, even when lightly treated (e.g. roasted), lowers cholesterol levels . This helps to achieve a good result of a diet. (4.8)
Is it safe to eat peanuts when pregnant?
As mentioned above, an allergic reaction to peanuts is one of the most common food allergies worldwide. This raises the question of whether the consumption of peanuts by a pregnant woman also has an impact on the development of such an allergy in the child. Should peanuts be avoided during pregnancy?
The answer to this question can clearly be answered with a "no". First, let's look at the point of nutrients. Especially peanut bars can be well suited for a quick snack in between to satisfy the hunger of a pregnant woman and the protein and magnesium they contain are also beneficial for the healthy development of the fetus. As long as the mother-to-be does not suffer from a peanut allergy herself, there are no problems.
Equally harmless is the consumption of peanuts if you are afraid that the child will develop a peanut allergy at an early age. An opposite occurrence has been observed. Children of mothers who regularly ate peanuts during pregnancy have a lower risk of developing a peanut allergy. Even children of mothers with a peanut allergy were less likely to develop one themselves when peanuts were eaten in small amounts. (7)
Should children eat peanuts?
But what about the consumption of peanuts in children? As described above, children of mothers who ate peanuts during pregnancy are less likely to develop a peanut allergy. However, this does not mean that it is impossible for an allergy to develop. The fact is that a nut allergy, especially in children, is the most common food allergy and the number of sufferers has been increasing in recent years. (9.20)
Can it then be healthy for children to eat peanuts? yes it can Even if the widespread method used to be to protect against allergies was to keep children away from the relevant substances. However, studies in recent years have shown that early contact with peanuts, even in infancy, can have positive consequences. It was found that children under the age of 60 months had a lower incidence of peanut allergy if they previously ate small amounts of peanuts on a regular basis. (3)
However, a positive effect on a possible peanut allergy is not directly synonymous with a healthy diet in children. But here, too, the peanut surprises. As mentioned above, peanuts contain a lot of protein and magnesium and can therefore definitely help with a diet. These positive qualities can also be extended to children to a limited extent. It has been observed that children who eat peanuts regularly have a lower risk of being overweight and have better blood levels of vitamins and minerals. (5)
Are peanuts healthy for animals?
With that, we've ticked off the health benefits of peanuts in humans. Can animals also benefit from the nutrients within peanuts or shouldn't they be fed them? To answer this question, we have given you a brief overview for different animals.
|species||Are peanuts suitable as feed?|
|dogs||Conditionally, may be allergic to peanuts, if only small amounts|
|cats||In exceptional cases, you may be allergic to peanuts|
|Squirrel||Should be avoided No natural food|
|birds||Yes for grain eaters, no for fruit eaters|
First, you need to know that dogs can suffer from allergies just like humans. This includes a peanut allergy. However, since they do not test for these allergies, it is difficult to know if my dog has an allergy. Small amounts of chopped peanuts can be fed to the dog. If you notice that the dog reacts negatively to this, you should stop giving him peanuts immediately. If no allergic reactions can be identified, the proteins and magnesium contained are healthy for dogs, as they are for humans. Nevertheless, the dog should only be given a few peanuts every now and then.
Peanut allergies can also occur in cats. Therefore, close attention should be paid to whether symptoms appear. Basically the same applies to cats as to dogs. The nutrients found in peanuts are perfectly healthy for cats, but should never be substituted for other foods.
Squirrels are commonly known as nut eaters. That doesn't mean peanuts are one of them, though. Peanuts are imported goods and are therefore not part of the squirrel's natural food. In addition, they do not know how to handle the nuts properly. They crack the shells, but usually just leave the contents lying around. So you should avoid feeding peanuts to squirrels.
As cute as it looks, peanuts are not a suitable food for squirrels. It is better to use food from the pet store. (Image source: Jorge Fernández / Unsplash.com)
With birds, it always depends on the species whether peanuts can serve as healthy food. Most birds kept in households are grain eaters. With these, it is even advisable to add crushed peanuts to the other food. Wild birds can also be fruit feeders, which will not eat peanuts even if you provide them with a peanut feeding station.
As it turns out, peanuts are considered a healthy food. However, the nut should not be praised too much. Their health benefits are most evident when consumed in smaller portions on a regular basis. They help to protect both adults and children from obesity and to maintain good blood pressure. In addition, they serve as a good source of protein, magnesium and vitamin E.
The frequently occurring peanut allergy is a problem. To counteract this, contact with and consumption of peanuts by small children should be completed at a very early age. These measures can help to prevent allergies at an early stage.
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