Nuts and Nutrition- How do Peanuts Stack Up?

What are the healthiest nuts? What are the best nuts for health? Most people think that it is based on personal preference and tastes. However, nuts are packed with nutritional value that some people cannot afford to pass up, especially when struggling with health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. It can be hard to find foods that are both healthy and tasty, especially when you factor in cost. Finding good quality, delicious food at a reasonable price, can be tricky, especially if you aren’t sure where to look. Hope & Harmony Farms is here to help you with that!

Nuts are widely available around the world, and for good reason. Around the globe and throughout history people have many different uses for nuts. We use them to eat, cook, add flavor, as feed for a variety of animals, and perhaps most importantly- to aid in nutrition. For simplicity’s sake, here we’ll focus on three of my favorite nuts: Almonds, Cashews, and of course Virginia Peanuts. Obviously these are just a few of the world’s finest nuts, but they’re versatile, accessible, and in the case of peanuts especially, affordable! Not only are all three nut varieties tasty, they are also packed with nutritional value that many people do not know about. Let’s break some of what make them three of the healthiest nuts.

Almonds Nutrition Information

Many people are partial to Almonds, and they are well-known as a healthy, nutritious snack. There’s good reason for this, too! Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts, and are among the world's best sources of vitamin E, with just one ounce providing 37% of the recommended daily intake.Higher amounts of vitamin E intake have been linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Almonds are also high in monosaturated fatty acids, contain dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins like riboflavin (used to reduce migraines), and trace minerals such as magnesium (known to keep blood pressure normal, bones strong, and your heart rhythm steady). Almonds have also proven to prevent heart disease, aid in bone health, reduce hunger, promote weight loss and can boost memory. 

Serving size= 1 oz. (20-24 Almonds)

160 Calories, 6g Protein, 14g fat (1 saturated, 9g monosaturated, 3g poly)

Cashews Nutrition Information

Though cashews have the lowest fiber content of the 3 nuts, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are all great in maintaining day to day bodily functions. Cashews have many unknown benefits including, heart health, nerve and muscle function, aid in the formation of red blood cells, and improved bone and oral health. Cashews also provide some relief from diabetes, anemia, and gallstones and even cancer treatments. They aid in lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol. Cashews are rich in sources such as Zinc, Selenium (good for your skin and helps prevent cancer as well), and Copper (has an important role in the elimination of free radicals from the body).

Serving size= 1 0z. (16-18 Cashews)

160 Calories, 4g protein, 12f fat ( 2g saturated, 7g monosaturated, 2g poly)

Peanuts Nutrition Information

As regular blog readers may already know, (we even have a page dedicated to peanut nutrition) peanuts are beyond a doubt one of the healthiest nuts available. Unfortunately, many people may not know about the mighty peanut’s dense nutritional content. Peanuts contain the highest amount of protein per serving (7 grams) which is crucial for growth and development in people of all ages. One serving of peanuts provides the body 10% of the daily need for folate (A B-vitamin that is important in reducing birth defects of the spine, brain, and spinal cord), so they are a great source of natural folate for anyone who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

A serving of peanuts contains 2.5 g of dietary fiber, which meets 10% of the recommended daily intake. Diets high in dietary fiber are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers, and have been proven to help with weight management. One serving of peanuts provides 20% of the daily intake for vitamin B3 (niacin) which contributes to brain health and blood flow to the brain. People who get more vitamin B3 from food are less likely to develop neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Vitamin B3 also helps keep the flu, colds, and infections at bay. Peanuts are rich in Vitamin E and polyphenolic antioxidants such as p-coumaric which may reduce the risk of stomach cancer, and Resveratrol, which has been found to protect against heart disease, cancer, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as viral/fungal infections. Consuming peanuts regularly also helps fight depression and aid in mood regulation due their high content of L-tryptophan (an essential amino acid that is vital for production of serotonin).

The myriad nutritional benefits of peanuts are too many to list all of here, but suffice it to say that an ounce of peanuts really packs a nutritious punch, and make them one of the healthiest nuts. Further, the relationship between peanuts and diabetes has been shown to be a positive one. As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve also been shown to reduce the side effects of brain conditions, stabilize good/bad cholesterol, and protect your skin and digestive system. Peanuts Are Certified as “Heart-Healthy” Food by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Program, because of the nutrients that they contain and the effect that they have on your heart and your health. They are a great snack, meal replacement, or pre-workout food. They can be eaten right out of the shell, hand roasted, or covered with your favorite seasoning. There are so many ways to effectively use peanuts on your way to a healthier you!

Serving size= 1 oz., (28 Peanuts)

170 Calories, 7g Protein, 15g fat (2g saturated, 7g monosaturated, 4g poly), over 30 Vitamins and Minerals.

Now that you know the facts, it is still hard to pick the “healthiest" nut, but now you can choose the nut which has the best nutritional value for YOU. Almonds have a variety of health benefits, but they mainly center around a good source of Vitamin E. If you are deficient in Vitamin E, then they may just be the cure you have been looking for, yet peanuts are right behind them and offer the body many additional benefits. Cashews aid in stabilizing good cholesterol however, peanuts stabilize both your good and bad cholesterol and lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. Peanuts target heart and brain health, they are a certified heart healthy food. They aid in blood flow to the brain, helping to keep the brain functioning properly. If you are looking to maintain your heart and brain function, peanuts might be the ideal snack for you. Regardless of your favorite type of nut, choose wisely, snack healthy, and eat peanuts