This Is Exactly How Much Protein Peanuts Have

They're some of the best legumes for protein (so, yes, they're technically not nuts).
roasted peanuts with salt in brown bowl

The humble peanut packs a powerful protein punch. Whether your go-to is a handful of raw peanuts, crisp peanut brittle, or gooey peanut butter, you really can't go wrong. The amount of protein in peanuts is just one of many reasons they're a great snack or cooking ingredient. (They're delicious, to name another.)

Here's why protein-packed peanuts are one of the most nutritious snacks around. However you eat them, these legumes are a healthy choice.

Do peanuts have more protein than other nuts?

With roughly seven grams of protein per ounce, peanuts are the most protein-packed nuts around. (In comparison, pecans have less than three grams of protein per ounce, while pistachios clock in at 5.72 grams.)

Of course, peanuts aren't really nuts at all. They're legumes, a family of plants that also includes beans, lentils, and peas. This helps explain why there's so much protein in peanuts. Peanuts are also chock-full of important nutrients like manganese and niacin. They're also a good source of Vitamin E.

Does the protein content change if peanuts are roasted?

Salted, dry-roasted peanuts are a staple at every grocery store, and they're just as packed with protein as their raw counterparts. Roasted peanuts are higher in sodium than raw peanuts, but they're also higher in antioxidants, thanks to the effects of heating on peanut skin. A University of Florida study showed that roasting peanuts improved antioxidant availability by as much as 22 percent.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

What about peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a great source of protein—and no wonder. According to the National Peanut Board, one jar of peanut butter is made from around 540 individual peanuts. Peanut butter has a whopping 3.84 grams of protein per tablespoon on average, which means that your PB&J sandwich packs a powerful punch.

In terms of protein content, most of the popular brands rank about the same. Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter, Justin's Classic Peanut Butter, and Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter all have seven grams of protein per serving.

Of course, peanut butter also has a lot of sugar—and not all brands are equal. It's key to look past the protein line on the label to see how much additional sodium and sugar brands have added to their base of peanuts. This guide ranks 35 different peanut butter varieties on their nutritional values.

Whatever your preferred method of eating peanuts or peanut butter, you really can't go wrong with this protein-packed snack.

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Kate Mulcrone
Kate Mulcrone is an entertainment, food, and travel writer. Read more
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