Peanuts are an all around healthy snack. When it comes time to choose, which is healthier roasted or raw?
Do you prefer your peanuts raw or roasted? Many nutritionists will tell you that eating raw foods is healthier because the cooking process destroys the nutrients. Not so with peanuts. A new study shows that roasting peanuts magnifies their antioxidant power -giving you more bang for your buck from a health standpoint.
Roasted Peanuts vs. Raw: A Study
Researchers at the ARS Market Quality and Handling Research Unit in North Carolina tested this concept by roasting peanuts to 362 degrees Farenheit for time periods ranging from zero up to seventy-seven minutes. After the roasting process, the roasted peanuts were examined to determine the level of antioxidants they retained. Interestingly, the dark roasted peanuts had a greater concentration of antioxidant-rich phenols as well as higher concentrations of vitamin E. The researchers believe the heat used during the roasting process protects the vitamin E in roasted peanuts from being oxidized itself.
Roasting Peanuts: Is Eating Roasted Peanuts Better?
Most people are surprised to learn that peanuts in general have more antioxidant power than many common fruits that are known for their antioxidant punch – including the apple. These polyphenol antioxidants are enhanced when peanuts are roasted. In addition, they’re a good source of monounsaturated fats to help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Unfortunately, there’s some question as to whether the monounsaturated fats in peanuts break down under the high temperatures associated with roasting. Peanuts also have the distinction of being the nut with the highest protein content.
Roasted Peanuts vs. Raw: Which is Better?
Eating roasted peanuts will give you more total antioxidants and vitamin E, but roasting may denature some of the monounsaturated fats that make peanuts heart healthy and filling. So, which should you choose? The best option may be to eat both so you benefit from the higher antioxidants in roasted peanuts as well as the unaltered monounsaturated fats in raw ones. Try mixing the two into a single bag so you’ll get the health benefits of each. Better yet, add a variety of nuts so you can get the unique health properties that each has to offer.
Roasted Peanuts vs. Raw: The Bottom Line?
Any way you look at it whether roasted or raw peanuts and nuts in are a better snack than cookies or doughnuts. Studies show that nut eaters are less likely to gain weight or develop heart disease compared to those who shun them. That’s enough of an incentive for most people to reach for the jar of Planter’s. Why not add more roasted peanuts to your diet so you can get their benefits too?