Boiled peanuts, a regional treat from the southern United States, may be as healthy as they are delicious. Alabama scientists report that boiling these legumes imbues them with more antioxidants than roasted peanuts or peanut butter.
Peanuts are usually consumed as processed products, mainly as peanut butter and roasted nuts. Studies have shown that peanuts contain powerful antioxidants called isoflavones which may reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and coronary heart diseases. Although the effect of processing on the isoflavone content of legumes has been extensively studied, there has never been such a study on peanuts.
Lloyd Walker and colleagues evaluated the effect of boiling and oil- and dry-roasting on peanuts. They found that boiled peanuts - South Carolina's official snack food - contained up to four times more isoflavones than raw peanuts or oil- and dry-roasted ones.
The study "Changes in the Phytochemical Composition and profile of Raw, Boiled, and Roasted Peanuts" is published in the Oct. 31 issue of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
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