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HEALTHY EATING > Healthy Benefits of Boiled Peanuts

Quick Energy Boost

A 1/2-cup of boiled peanuts has 286 calories, with 12 grams of protein, no cholesterol and 2 grams of natural sugar. If you have a long wait between lunch and dinner, boiled peanuts can make a nutritious snack that keeps you energized, feeds your brain and muscles and helps to hold you over until your next meal. They also have 8 grams of fiber, helping you to feel satisfied.

Vitamin E and B Vitamins

Boiled peanuts, a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E, provide one-fourth of your recommended daily intake in a 1/2-cup serving. They also have a wealth of B-complex vitamins, which are crucial for the growth and development of your muscles and organs. B vitamins help your body form red blood cells and folic acid, or folate, which can help prevent some birth defects. Each 1/2-cup serving of boiled peanuts has one-fifth of your daily requirement for thiamine and one-sixth of your folate intake. It gives you 10 to 20 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin B-6 and niacin.

Minerals for Bones, Teeth, Nerves and Muscles

A 1/2-cup serving of boiled peanuts provides 30 percent of the magnesium you need each day and 25 percent of your daily requirement of phosphorus. Both of these minerals benefit your bones and teeth. Magnesium helps ensure proper nerve function and muscle contraction, while phosphorus helps your body convert food into energy. Boiled peanuts also contain one-fifth of your recommended daily intake of zinc, a mineral that has antioxidant properties and promotes wound healing.


By Maia Appleby, Demand Media

Boiled Nuts Help Fight Diseases, Study Says

Boiled peanuts have more health benefits that raw, dry or oil-roasted nuts, according to researchers.

Lloyd Walker, chair of Alabama A&M University's Department of Food and Animal Sciences who co-authored the study, said these phytochemicals have antioxidant qualities that protect cells against the risk of degenerative diseases, including cancers, diabetes and heart disease.

"Boiling is a better method of preparing peanuts in order to preserve these phytochemicals," Walker said.

The study will appear in Wednesday's edition of the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The other co-authors in the study are A&M researchers Yvonne Chukwumah and Martha Verghese, as well as University of Alabama in Huntsville researcher Bernhard Vogler.

Walker said peanuts and other plants use phytochemicals for things such as helping avoid disease and insect attacks.

"These things are not nutrients; at the same time they have health benefits to humans," he told The Birmingham News. "The trick is to keep those health benefits, not to process them out of the foods."

According to Walker, water and heat penetrate the nuts, releasing beneficial chemicals to a certain point. Overcooking the nuts destroys the useful elements.

Alabama is third in the nation in the amount of peanuts produced with a crop valued at more than $67 million last year.

—Associated Press



Healthy Benefits of Boiled Peanuts

Heart Health

Peanuts may help prevent coronary heart disease, according to an analysis published in the "Journal of Nutrition" in 2008. Researchers examined four epidemiologic studies and found that subjects who ate the most peanuts or tree nuts had a 35 percent lower chance of suffering from coronary heart disease. Nut eaters tended to have less inflammation, lower LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, reduced oxidation and healthier blood vessels, all of which may have played a part in the reduced incidence of heart disease.


Each serving of boiled peanuts has 2.5 grams of fiber, roughly 10 percent of the minimum amount you need in a day. Fiber is important for healthy digestion, helping to slow digestion for lasting fullness while preventing blood sugar spikes. Fiber also bulks up stool and helps prevent constipation. In addition, a high-fiber diet may be the key to preventing diverticulosis, or the presence of pouches in the intestines that trap food and can become inflamed and painful.


You're less likely to have an allergic reaction to boiled peanuts than roasted peanuts, according to research published in the "Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology" in 2001. Researchers noticed that Chinese people were less likely to be allergic to peanuts than Americans, and speculated that the reason may lie in cooking methods. Sure enough, peanuts that were boiled or fried were less likely to cause an allergic reaction than the roasted variety. Researchers theorized that higher temperatures used in roasting increased the allergenic traits of peanut proteins.


Boiled Peanuts Pack Big Antioxidant Punch

American Chemical Society
Boiled peanuts, a regional treat from the southern United States, may be as healthy as they are delicious. Scientists report that boiling these legumes imbues them with more antioxidants than roasted peanuts or peanut butter.

Date:November 1, 2007 

Boiled peanuts contain more antioxidants than roasted or raw peanuts.

Credit: Courtesy of Lloyd Walker, Alabama A&M University.

Boiled peanuts, a regional treat from the southern United States, may be as healthy as they are delicious. Alabama scientists report that boiling these legumes imbues them with more antioxidants than roasted peanuts or peanut butter.

Peanuts are usually consumed as processed products, mainly as peanut butter and roasted nuts. Studies have shown that peanuts contain powerful antioxidants called isoflavones which may reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and coronary heart diseases. Although the effect of processing on the isoflavone content of legumes has been extensively studied, there has never been such a study on peanuts.

Lloyd Walker and colleagues evaluated the effect of boiling and oil- and dry-roasting on peanuts. They found that boiled peanuts - South Carolina's official snack food - contained up to four times more isoflavones than raw peanuts or oil- and dry-roasted ones.

The study "Changes in the Phytochemical Composition and profile of Raw, Boiled, and Roasted Peanuts" is published in the Oct. 31 issue of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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Diabetes and Peanuts 

  • Individuals with diabetes need foods that can help manage blood sugar and weight.

  • Peanuts and peanut butter can be a powerful ally to reaching success.

  • Peanuts and peanut butter have a low glycemic index, which mean they don’t cause blood sugar to rise sharply.

  • For great ideas for including peanuts and peanut butter in meals, visit our recipe pages.

  •  Successfully Managing Diabetes

    More than 25 million people in the U.S. have diabetes (NIDDK, 2011).  Successfully managing diabetes requires nutritious eating and maintaining a healthy weight, as well as monitoring blood sugar and taking medications as prescribed.   When it comes to diet, peanuts and peanut butter are like a secret weapon because they taste great, but don’t cause blood glucose to spike.  They have a glycemic index of just 14.  Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the blood sugar rises after eating a specific amount of a food, as compared to a control food – the lower the glycemic index number, the lower the impact on blood glucose (The University of Sydney, 2001).  As part of a carbohydrate controlled diet, peanuts can add flavor, variety, and substance to meals.

    Heart Health and Healthy Weight

    The number one killer for people with diabetes is cardiovascular disease.   In order to maintain good health, people with diabetes need to also reduce the risk for other disease.  Incorporating foods that help promote heart health, including peanuts, is an important part of nutritious eating.  In fact, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 oz. per day of nuts, including peanuts, as a part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.  As part of reducing cardiovascular risk and managing diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is paramount.  Peanuts can be part of a heart healthy diet.

    Experts agree – peanuts and peanut butter are regularly on the recommended foods list by many expert organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, because they have been shown to have a low GI and are full of nutrition.  They also serve as a great vehicle food, helping people enjoy more fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains.

    Expert recommendations:

    Some great ways to include peanuts and peanut butter in your diet:

    • Mixed into a bowl of whole grain oats at breakfast

    • Sprinkled on a salad to add protein and crunch with lunch

    • A handful as a mid-afternoon snack will help control the munchies

    • Melted and mixed with a little lite coconut milk as a sauce for grilled chicken breast

    • With crackers as an evening snack

    • Try one of these recipes today to help make eating diabetes friendly…and delicious!


    1. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Disease.  National Diabetes Statistics, 2011. Available at  Accessed on October 15, 2012.

    2. The University of Sydney.  About Glycemic Index. Available at  Accessed on October 15, 2012.

    3. American Diabetes Association. Glycemic Index and Diabetes. Available at:  Accessed on October 15, 2012.

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    Plant-Based Eating

    Bringing the Power of Plant-Based Eating to the Table

    • Plant foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and peanuts also contain protein, mostly good fats and fiber.

    •  Plant-based eating includes food plans like the Mediterranean Diet, DASH Eating Plan, and vegetarianism. These plans are included as examples in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.

    Choosing a healthy eating plan can be a challenge because there are so many fad diets out there claiming to have the answer to losing weight, living longer and looking great.  The problem is that so many of those diets are hard to follow and, even if they work in the short term, are hard to make part of a healthy lifestyle.   While there are some things that remain controversial, health experts agree that a plant-based eating plan is a great way to eat a more nutritious diet every day.

    Whether it’s called “The Mediterranean Diet,” “Asian Eating,” “Flexitarian” or “The New American Plate,” plant-based eating patterns are being recommended by health advocacy groups and health professionals from coast to coast (American Institute for Cancer Research, 2007).  The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans highlighted three recommended eating patterns that focus on eating more plants: the Mediterranean Diet, DASH Eating Plan, and vegetarianism (Dietary Guidelines, 2010).  Plant-based diets have been touted as a way to help Americans reduce overweight and obesity, one strategy to help keep certain types of cancer at bay and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

    Experts attribute the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet to a combination of nutrients, including plant protein, unsaturated fats, antioxidant vitamins, and fiber.  Studies show that this eating pattern does not have to be low in fat but should emphasize that unsaturated fats are the primary source of fat (Hu, 2003).  It’s safe to say that we should all be eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, including peanuts and peanut butter, as a part of this nutritious eating pattern.

    Since the definitions of “plant-based” are as varied as the choices in the produce department, there is no “one size fits all” way of eating this type of diet.  The good news is that you have lots of flexibility in choice and taste to design plant-based meals to meet your preferences.

    It’s not just rabbit food

    When first considering a plant-based diet, people may think of vegetarian or “meat-free” eating—actually, this isn’t the case.  In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research includes small portions of meat in its recommendations for the New American Plate.  Whether meat-free or meat-reduced, animal sources of protein like beef, chicken, pork and fish are served as a garnish or side-dish in a plant-based diet.  At the center of the plate is an abundance of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts.  The USDA MyPlate recommends using the visual of half the plate as fruits and vegetables, up to one quarter as grains and the remaining as protein (USDA, 2011).  By emphasizing nutrient-dense plant foods you are able to eat larger, more filling meals while cutting calories.

    Peanuts are protein

    In the traditional American diet, daily protein needs are met by eating animal products.  As whole grains and vegetables start to take a starring role on your plate, it is important to consider protein-rich plant foods to ensure your needs are being met.  Nuts, legumes and seeds, including peanuts and peanut butter are good sources of protein.  A one-ounce serving of dry roasted peanuts contains seven grams of protein and a two tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains eight grams of protein.  Key recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 include balancing calories to maintain a healthy weight and eating nutrient-dense foods.  The Mediterranean Diet, DASH Eating Plan, and Vegetarianism are all included as examples that can achieve this goal.  For example, the DASH Eating Plan recommends four to five servings per week of nuts, seeds and legumes including peanuts and peanut butter.  This table from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 is a good depiction of how nuts, including peanuts, can fit into a nutritious eating pattern (Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010):

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    Plant-Based Protein: What’s All the Hype About?

    Plant-based proteins are all the rage in food today – and with good reason.  Protein from plants generally comes along in package replete with micronutrients and fiber that can help boost the overall nutrition of any meal.  Peanuts are the perfect example of a delicious way to choose plant-based protein as part of nutritious meal planning. In fact, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating a variety of protein sources, and includes vegetarian sources such as peanuts.1

    According to an article in The Permanente Journal, Tuso and colleagues outline the many good reasons for eating a plant-based diet, which they identified as vegan, vegetarian, and Mediterranean ways of eating.2  The authors showed that those who eat a plant-based diet have lower rates of obesity as compared to those that do not, likely due to the fact that these diets are lower in calories, potentially lower rates of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and overall mortality.  In fact, a 2013 study (of 16,200 women and 11,229 men) by Harvard researchers found similar results regarding reduced mortality to all causes among people who ate nuts (including peanuts).3

    Why eat peanuts as your choice for a plant-based protein?

    • The protein in peanuts is part of the 30 essential vitamins and nutrients inside that shell.  For instance, peanuts are a good source of magnesium, vitamin E, folate, copper and phosphorus, as well as an excellent source of niacin and manganese. 

    • Plant-based protein like peanuts includes fiber, which is not included in animal based sources of protein.  According to MedlinePlus, a resource of the NIH, “Dietary fiber adds bulk to your diet and makes you feel full faster, helping you control your weight. It helps digestion and helps prevent constipation Most Americans don't eat enough dietary fiber.” One serving of peanuts provides 10% of the DV of fiber.  

    • Peanuts taste amazing!  Whether you enjoy them in a salad, tossed in an Asian noodle bowl, or swirled into your morning oats, peanuts add a familiar and delicious flavor, crunchy texture and contrast along with great nutrition.

    The benefits of a plant-based diet, including peanuts, can’t be under-emphasized – it’s nutritious and tasty!  Shifting to a plant-based diet opens all kinds of new styles of eating.  Check out the recipe section of the National Peanut Board website to find inspiration for your meals.

    2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Available at Accessed on June 17, 2016.
    Tuso P, Ismail M, Ha B, and Bartolotto C.  Nutrition Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets. Perm J. 17(2):61-66. Available at
     Bao Y, et al. Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. NEJM. 2013;369:2001-2011.  Available at

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      By Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD