We all know that what we eat and drink can have significant impacts on our heart health. While alcohol has been proven to come with heart health risks, things like potassium or eggs have been found to come with heart health benefits.
Now, researchers from the University of Barcelona have found that peanuts may be the next thing consumers – especially young adults – may want to consume to improve their heart health. A new study found that eating peanuts and peanut butter was linked with better heart health outcomes, including overall vascular health, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.
“The bottom line finding is that peanuts can play an important role in promoting heart health by preventing atherosclerosis, reducing inflammation, and improving vascular health,” said Dr. Samara Sterling, research director for The Peanut Institute. “It’s encouraging because this is the first study of its kind to show this kind of protection in young people simply by eating peanuts.”
One serving of peanuts can make a difference
The study included 65 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 33. The participants were divided into three groups. Over the course of six months, the groups either added 32 grams of peanut butter to their diets every day, 25 grams of skin-roasted peanuts, or 32 grams of butter.
All three options equated to adding one serving of peanuts/peanut butter to their regular diets. For peanut butter, this is about two tablespoons, and for regular peanuts, this is equivalent to about a handful.
At the end of the six months, the researchers looked to see whether specific biomarkers that are linked with different types of heart disease were affected by the increase in peanuts and peanut butter. Ultimately, the food was found to be effective at boosting heart health outcomes, and it serves as a frugal way for young adults to improve their heart health now and into the future.
“There’s an urgent need to focus cardiovascular disease education and prevention efforts on young adults,” Sterling said. “The increases in high blood pressure and obesity are impacting the hearts of young people and leading to serious conditions that are usually seen in those who are decades older.”