The peanut is among the foods most recognized as allergens, and among the nuts least appreciated for health benefits.
It doesn’t even fit in with its fellow nuts — it’s technically a legume, grown in the ground rather than on a tree.
But the potential health benefits of the peanut now include helping to stave off food poisoning, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Food Science.
The findings associated flour made from skinless peanut kernels with the growth of beneficial gut bacteria that can fight off harmful food-borne bacteria. Specifically, the flour inhibited the growth of E. coli bacteria and “significantly” inhibited the growth of salmonella and listeria.
Peanut skin extract, however, was associated with inhibited growth of beneficial bacteria, which can allow harmful bacteria to flourish.
Another study, published in this month’s JAMA Internal Medicine, associated consumption of peanuts and tree nuts with decreased mortality overall, and decreased mortality due to heart disease.
The study concludes:
“Consumption of nuts, particularly peanuts given their general affordability, may be considered a cost-effective measure to improve cardiovascular health.”
Do you eat peanuts? Why or why not? Let us know in a comment below or on Facebook.