Now the humble peanut to your heart’s rescue
It’s not just the expensive nuts. Researchers at Vanderbilt University and the Shanghai Cancer Institute examined the association of peanut and nut consumption with mortality among low-income groups and found that intake of peanuts was associated with fewer deaths, especially from heart disease. The study was published March 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
While we all know that nuts are rich in nutrients, such as unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, phenolic antioxidants, arginine and other phytochemicals, peanuts have often been relegated to being a legume or an “allergic” nut by the Americans. However, it’s properties as a nut are similar to almonds, and has now been proven to be beneficial to cardiovascular health after this research, probably through their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and endothelial function maintenance properties. This study was the first to discover that all races — blacks, whites and Asians alike — could potentially increase heart health by eating nuts and peanuts. Specifically, peanut consumption was associated with reduced total mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality in a predominantly low-income black and white population in the U.S., and among Chinese men and women living in Shanghai. This is good news for those who find nuts expensive and can compensate with the humble peanut. The American Heart Association recommends eating four servings of unsalted, unoiled nuts a week. However, nutrient-rich nuts are also high in calories, so don’t eat too many if you’re watching your weight.