Health & Nutrition

Eating Peanuts May Help You Live Longer

There are seven grams of protein and over 30 essential minerals in every ounce of peanuts (Nut Health and Wellness Profiles). That’s more protein than any other nut. Peanuts also have healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Jane Brody, writing in the New York Times calls them “powerhouses of biologically active substances, most of which are known to protect and promote health.” 1 Dr. Walt Willett (Harvard) says, “Numerous studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts.” 2

A landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows just how powerful peanuts are. 3 Researchers tracked 119,000 men and women for 30 years. It was noted, “Those who ate one or more servings per day of peanuts or other nuts had a 20% lower risk of dying than those who ate none.” 4 Peanuts were the most frequently consumed nut in the survey and the authors further noted, “We don’t see any difference in the benefits between peanuts and tree nuts.” 5.

The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29 percent in deaths from heart disease — the major killer of people in America. But researchers also saw a significant reduction — 11 percent — in the risk of dying from cancer. As an added bonus frequent nut consumers were found to be more slender than those who didn’t eat nuts. 6 Simply put, eating peanuts may help you live longer. And your best bet for a long life is to munch on them regularly.

The results were so convincing that the study’s leader, Dr. Charles Fuchs, said, “I think eating nuts is comparable to other potentially beneficial lifestyle measures like exercise and avoiding obesity and trans fats.” 7

For the latest information on peanut nutrition and research go to and

Footnotes: 1.NY Times, 12-09-13; 2. Harvard Health 7-09; 3. NEJM 11-21-13 4. Nutrition Action Newsletter 5. Harvard Gazette, 11-21-13 6.Dana Farber Cancer Institute 11-20-13; 7. Boston Globe 11-20-13