Peanuts May Protect Against Age-Related Cognitive Decline
According to The Peanut Institute, "in the United States, Alzheimer's disease affects more than six million Americans and more than 11 million provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's or other dementias." As it turns out, peanuts are packed with nutrients that are known to protect against Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline. There is growing evidence that eating a small amount of peanuts or peanut butter regularly can help address these diseases by supporting brain health.
Peanuts have high levels of niacin and vitamin E—two nutrients that are known to protect against Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline. A 2004 study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry found that dietary niacin intake was correlated with a slower annual rate of cognitive decline and a 70% lower risk of Alzheimer's.
Peanuts also contain resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. It is believed that resveratrol is beneficial in fighting against Alzheimer's and other nerve degenerating diseases. In addition, peanuts are full of p-coumaric acid. A 2014 study in Phytotherapy Research found that the antioxidant may have similar stress-reducing effects as some of the leading anti-anxiety medications.
A 2021 study done at the University of Barcelona found that college students ages 18 to 33 who had a daily serving of peanuts or peanut butter experienced improved memory function and decreases in anxiety, depression and stress during a six month period.
As if all of this wasn't enough reason to start eating peanuts daily, peanuts are full of protein and healthy fats, making them a healthy and filling (and delicious) snack!