Can You Eat Peanut Shells?

Peanuts are a great natural source of proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and fibers. This is why; it is a popular mid-meal snack people love to munch on. However, some people prefer to remove the shells before eating peanuts while some eat the nuts with their shells. Let us now check which method is more preferable and whether it is Ok to eat peanut shells.

Benefits of eating peanut shells

  • Peanuts with their shells can be consumed to improve your physical performance. The healthy fats in it would promote your stamina and endurance and allow you to perform strenuous exercises for longer.
  • High blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for cardiac disease, could be avoided by eating peanut shells. A compound in the shells of peanuts has the ability to block an enzyme that plays a role in causing the blood vessels to constrict. This results in the relaxation of the blood vessels thereby lowering your blood pressure.
  • Peanut shells contain several essential nutrients including cellulose and dietary fibers. It can help to create a sense of satiety in your stomach and thus, reduce your total food intake. Hence, eating peanuts with their shells is recommended. The higher amount of dietary fibers in it would cause fullness in the stomach and prevent overeating. [1]
  • The high protein content of peanut shells makes it a must-eat food to include in your diet especially if you work out regularly. Peanuts contain healthy fats which, when eaten in moderation, could help protect your heart against the formation of plaques. It can also reduce the risk of heart attacks. [2]

What are the side effects of peanut shells?

While peanuts are healthy to eat, when eaten with their shells, they may cause a few side effects.

Eating peanuts with their shells may cause mild irritation in your stomach. When eaten in excess, it may also increase your calorie intake and prevent you from losing weight.

You should also keep in mind that while eating peanut shells can provide you with loads of dietary fibers, they can also affect the normal digestive functions. Peanut shells have a tendency to accumulate in the intestine tract. The build-up of this form of foreign matter in the digestive tract may cause digestive disturbances. Over a period of time, it may create a larger mass that can obstruct the intestine. Hence, if you plan to eat peanuts with shells, it is advisable to consume the nuts not more than a handful a day.

Conclusion

Eating peanuts with their shells can help you derive the benefits of a high amount of fibers and proteins in it. It also provides a natural source of healthy fats. Hence, if you like eating peanuts, you may eat them with their shells to enjoy the added benefits.

References:

  1. Francisco ML, Resurreccion AV. Functional components in peanuts. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2008;48(8):715–746. doi:10.1080/10408390701640718
  2. Arya SS, Salve AR, Chauhan S. Peanuts as functional food: a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2016;53(1):31–41. doi:10.1007/s13197-015-2007-9