Boiled peanuts are a snack most commonly consumed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and northern Florida. Boiled peanuts are made from green or raw peanuts that have been boiled in salty water, creating a legume flavor. Compared to raw or dry-roasted peanuts, boiled peanuts are lower in calories and fat and also have a higher concentration of nutrients that protect your cells from oxidation, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
Although the peanut is a legume, it is often categorized with nuts because it has a similar nutrient composition. But compared to other nuts, the boiled peanut is significantly lower in calories. A 1 oz. serving of boiled and shelled peanuts contains 90 calories, versus 166 calories in the same serving of dry-roasted shelled peanuts and 170 calories in dry-roasted almonds. Substituting boiled peanuts for your usual dry-roasted peanuts can save you a significant number of calories and aid in weight control.
Good Source of Flavonoids and Polyphenols
In addition to being lower in calories than the dry-roasted peanut, boiled peanuts are also significantly higher in flavonoids and polyphenols, according to a 2007 study published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry." In fact, boiled peanuts contained higher amounts of flavonoids and polyphenols than even raw peanuts. Flavonoids and polyphenols are antioxidants that protect your cells against free radical damage, reducing your risk of a number of chronic illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Good Source of Fiber
The boiled peanuts are also a source of fiber and slightly higher in fiber than either the dry- or oil-roasted peanut. A 1 oz. serving of boiled peanuts contains 2.5 g of fiber, meeting 10 percent of your daily value for fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest. Including more fiber in your diet from foods such as the boiled peanut offers a number of health benefits, including appetite control, preventing constipation and reducing your risk of both heart disease and diabetes.
Good Source of Monounsaturated Fat
While the boiled peanut is lower in fat than the dry- or oil-roasted peanut, it still contains 6 g of fat per 1 oz. serving. However, most of the fat in the peanut -- 3.1 g -- comes from heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Including more monounsaturated fats in your diet in place of saturated or trans fats improves your heart health, according to the American Heart Association. In addition, as a source of monounsaturated fat, boiled peanuts are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, containing 1.16 mg per 1 oz. serving.
- What's Cooking America; History of Boiled Peanuts; Linda Stradley; 2004
- USDA: Nutrient Database
- "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry"; Changes in the Phytochemical Composition and Profile of Raw, Boiled, and Roasted Peanuts; Yvonne Chukwumah, et al.; October 2007
- American Heart Association: Monounsaturated Fats
- "The Complete Book of Food Counts"; C.T. Netzer; 2009