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Raw Peanuts

Should you be eating raw peanuts? They're not a food that digests very easily, and though they're tasty, you should probably limit your intake.

First off, peanuts are not nuts at all, but a member of the legume family. As far as caloronutrient ratio goes, though, peanuts are rebels. They're higher in carbohydrates and protein than most nuts while being higher in fat than legumes, making for a unique digestive challenge.

  • Fat: 83%
  • Protein: 9%
  • Carbohydrates: 8%

  • Fat: 72 %
  • Protein: 17%
  • Carbohydrates: 11%
Kidney Beans
  • Fat: 2%
  • Protein: 28%
  • Carbohydrates: 70%

Raw Peanuts: Digestion

Raw PeanutsLegumes are notable for their high levels of both carbohydrates and protein, and we tend to digest them poorly, as evidenced by the gas that we get after consumption. One of the reasons for this is that humans produce very little of the starch digestion enzymes known as amylases when compared to legume-eating animals like pigs. The makeup of a peanut puts it at least partially in this category. We simply do much better with carbohydrates from simple sugars, as found in fruit.

Our ability to digest nuts and seeds is also rather poor because of their high fat content. The breakdown of their fatty acids, amino acids and glucose takes a long time.  Eat 10 oranges and they'll have cleared your stomach in in an hour or two. Eat four handfuls of nuts, though, and you'll feel sluggish for significantly longer as your body struggles with these hard-to-digest foods.

Beyond this, high fat diets have their own litany of problems.

Raw Peanuts: What to Do?

I find that as an occasional treat, peanuts are fine. Like all nuts and seeds, though, there's a tendency to overeat them and so I limit myself just them two or three servings a year. This is easy enough to do when you commit to only eating freshly-harvested food.
 Raw Peanuts 2

Peanuts are harvested in the fall, and I make sure that I get them straight from a farmer who has just taken them in from his fields.

Very often the nuts and seeds marked raw in stores have actually been dehydrated to prevent them from going bad, and peanuts are no exception.

Raw Peanuts: Following Up

Learn more about nuts and seeds.

Read how raw peanuts fit into a healthy raw food diet.

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