It is widely known that many raw foods, such as beans are toxic if not soaked or cooked correctly. Due to this fact, many people wonder whether or not their favorite tree nuts, such as peanuts, are poisonous if eaten raw.

You can eat raw peanuts because they are safe to eat. Consuming an average amount of peanuts should not cause any health or dietary issues. However, it is important to be mindful that too much exposure to raw nuts containing certain toxins could harm your health. 

This article will explain why eating raw peanuts is generally safe and what you should be cautious of regarding the toxins they may contain. Keep reading.

Raw Peanuts Are Safe To Eat

It is recommended that the average person eat 1.5 ounces (42.52 grams) of nuts per day. Nuts provide many nutritional benefits that you can’t find anywhere else.

Peanuts are one of the most popular tree nuts. They are packed with important nutrients for your daily diet. Here’s how incorporating a healthy amount of raw peanuts into your daily meals can benefit you:

  • You can get some of your protein from peanuts. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult should consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound (0.8 grams per kilogram) of body weight. Peanuts are a great option for upping your protein intake, with nearly 8 grams of protein per serving.
  • Peanuts can help improve your mental health. They’re high in vitamin B, niacin, and folate, which have been proven to positively impact brain health. With more elevated amounts of these nutrients in your body, your brain will become sharper, and your thinking will become more precise.
  • You’ll be at a lower risk of getting heart disease. That’s because eating peanuts can lower cholesterol and therefore reduce the risk of heart-related issues. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and according to the CDC, one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease.
  • Peanuts can help with weight loss. If consumed in moderation, raw peanuts can be very satiating and may help people reduce snacking and meet their weight loss goals. Peanuts have also been shown to boost the metabolic rate in many people, which can lead to sustainable weight loss.
  • Peanuts can help you achieve a longer life. Considering how beneficial eating peanuts is, it is no surprise that people who regularly consume nuts are less likely to die of any cause than those who do not.

Eat Peanuts in Moderation To Limit Your Exposure to Aflatoxins

Many people steer clear of eating raw peanuts due to a family of toxins called Aflatoxins. Raw peanuts may contain a certain amount of these toxins, but the exposure is limited if you are mindful of your consumption habits.

What Are Aflatoxins?

Aflatoxins are toxins produced by certain forms of fungi. They’re generally produced in warm, tropical climates or in areas where farmers are experiencing issues such as drought, improper storage, or insect infestation. 

Aflatoxins are generally a more significant problem in developing countries where they do not have the means to test for these toxins. Aflatoxins contribute to nearly 40% of diseases in these countries.

Aflatoxins Are Dangerous When Taken in Large Amounts

While Aflatoxins should not prevent you from eating raw peanuts, it is important to understand how large amounts of exposure could affect you. Here are some of the health risks associated with Aflatoxins:

  • Birth defects: Aflatoxins can affect DNA and have the potential to cause abnormalities in children.
  • Increased risk for disease: According to the World Health Organization, aflatoxins can suppress your immune system, making it difficult to fight off common illnesses or diseases.
  • Liver damage: These toxins can be incredibly hard on the liver and may lead to liver damage or failure.
  • Risk of developing cancer: This damage to the liver can increase your risk for cancer.

Other Foods With Risk of Aflatoxins

Raw nuts are not the only foods that may contain aflatoxins. Common foods also at risk for these toxins include:

  • Corn
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Grains
  • Figs
  • Dried Spices

How To Stay Safe While Eating Raw Peanuts

Raw peanuts are overall safe to consume. There are a few things you can do to ensure you stay safe while eating raw nuts.

Limit Your Intake

While a certain amount of raw nuts can boost your health, eating too much can be dangerous. However, most people do not have to worry about reaching dangerous levels of raw peanut consumption.

If you eat a normal amount of raw peanuts or peanut butter per day, you do not need to worry about the harmful effects. You are unlikely to encounter large amounts of toxins with a handful of peanuts every day.

If you are interested in measuring the perfect amount of peanuts per day, get a scale that measures in grams, ounces, pounds, and milliliters, making it perfect for many different types of food and drink.

Buy Your Peanuts Within the U.S.

Both the FDA and the USDA take steps to carefully monitor aflatoxins in peanuts. With these precautions in place, the likelihood of health risks is significantly less than in other countries where these levels are not monitored.

Because of this, it’s better to buy within the United States than to buy cheaper, imported products.

Note That Some Roasted Peanuts Have More Sodium Than Others 

Many people believe that roasting peanuts can work to kill aflatoxins. However, there is no evidence that roasting or processing peanuts kill the toxins. In fact, aflatoxins can still show up in peanut butter and other processed foods.

As far as raw vs. roasted peanuts go, it is mainly a personal preference as to which you consume. The nutritional content is very similar between the two options. However, it is important to note that some roasted peanut products contain extra sodium that could be harmful to your health depending on your dietary needs.

Final Thoughts

Overall, eating peanuts raw is not only safe but also incredibly healthy. As long as you are mindful of the amount you consume and where you are buying them, you can continue eating raw peanuts as a delicious and nutritious snack.

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