Besides containing high levels of protein and “good” fats, peanuts are also rich in antioxidants, according to new research.
According to a team at the University of Florida, peanuts contain about the same amount of antioxidants as strawberries, reported BBC News Online. Antioxidants help protect against cell damage linked to cancer. Many red and orange fruits and vegetables are naturally rich in antioxidants.
The researchers found that peanuts contain high levels of polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant properties and are commonly found in foods. Peanuts are particularly high in one polyphenol called p-coumaric acid; and the level of this acid is heightened when nuts are roasted.
The study will be published in the journal Food Chemistry.
However, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association told the BBC that people should not use this as an excuse to eat lots of salted peanuts, and she also pointed out the high calorific content of the nuts.