Known for its salty, savory flavor, the peanut is a popular snack and versatile ingredient used to make peanut butter, baked goods, smoothies, sauces, and more.

It’s also incredibly nutritious, boasting a hearty dose of magnesium, folate, and vitamin E in every serving (1).

However, despite its impressive nutrient profile, many may wonder whether this salty staple can help or harm health, especially for people assigned male at birth (AMAB).

This article takes a closer look at the research to determine whether AMAB people should eat peanuts.

Share on Pinterest
Luke Mattson/Stocksy United

Peanuts are a great source of protein, packing more than 7 grams into each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving (1).

Protein is important for growth and development, as well as for wound healing, tissue repair, immune function, and more (2).,

It’s also crucial for increasing strength and supporting muscle growth, especially when paired with resistance training (3).

According to one study, taking a peanut powder supplement increased muscle mass and strength among older adults when combined with resistance training (4).

Another study including 65 men with overweight and obesity found that consuming peanuts as part of a low calorie diet increased fat burning and decreased body fat (5).

Summary

Peanuts are high in protein, which can increase muscle mass and improve body composition.

Heart disease is a serious issue that’s especially common among men (6, 7).

Diet plays a key role in heart health, and certain foods, including peanuts, have been shown to decrease several risk factors for heart disease (8).

Peanuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats like linoleic acid. Studies show that replacing carbohydrates or saturated fats in your diet with polyunsaturated fats may reduce your risk of developing heart disease (9).

One review found that eating peanuts and tree nuts at least twice per week was associated with a 13% lower risk of heart disease (10).

Other studies show that peanut consumption may increase levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which may also benefit heart health (11).

Summary

Peanuts are high in polyunsaturated fats and may be linked to a lower risk of heart disease, which may be especially beneficial for men and others assigned male at birth.

Peanuts are loaded with arginine, an amino acid that’s converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a compound that helps dilate the blood vessels to improve blood flow and circulation (12, 13).

Studies show that arginine supplements may help treat mild to moderate erectile dysfunction (14, 15).

Other test-tube and animal studies have found that arginine could improve semen quality, enhance libido, and increase testosterone levels (16, 17, 18, 19).

Peanuts are also a good source of resveratrol, an antioxidant that has also been shown to support sexual health in men (12).

According to some human and animal studies, resveratrol may likewise improve sperm quality and erectile function (20, 21, 22, 23).

Still, because most studies focus on the individual compounds found in peanuts, more research is needed to determine whether peanuts affect sexual function specifically.

Summary

Peanuts are high in arginine and resveratrol, two compounds that may support several aspects of sexual function.

Peanuts are delicious, versatile, and jam-packed with a long list of important nutrients.

They may also offer several benefits specifically for AMAB people and could help promote muscle growth, support heart health, and enhance sexual function.

Therefore, all genders can enjoy peanuts as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet.