peanuts improve memory, stress, depression and anxiety

Tree nuts get lots of good press; peanuts get lots of bad press. If you eat lots of peanuts, what are they doing to your brain? The answer is . . . .

The answer is they’re making it better. Peanuts improve memory and stress.

A controlled study looked at the effects of eating peanuts on memory and stress. The study posed a tough challenge to the little nut because, while it’s easier to detect memory benefits in older people, the 63 people in this controlled study were all young and healthy.

Nonetheless, eating peanuts or peanut butter (watch it because a lot of commercial peanut butters have lots of bad things added) improved memory and stress. Specifically, it significantly improved immediate memory, depression and anxiety.

Though much maligned, much research actually vindicates the peanut. A massive study found that, like tree nuts, peanuts are associated with a lower risk of premature death. They protect you from dying from cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. This study did not find these benefits for peanut butter; perhaps a reminder to check the label for pure peanut butter without all the unhealthy ingredients found in many popular peanut butter brands.

Recent research has found that peanuts are just as effective as tree nuts for protecting you from cardiovascular disease. Eating lots of peanuts reduces your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 22% and from coronary heart disease by 24%.

So, go ahead and enjoy a handful of nuts: even peanuts!


Clinical Nutrition 2021;doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.09.020


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