Are peanuts safe to eat during my pregnancy?

You can eat peanuts or food containing peanuts, such as peanut butter, during pregnancy, unless you’re allergic to them or a health professional advises you not to.

You may have heard peanuts should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because the government previously advised women to avoid eating peanuts if there was a history of allergy – such as asthma, eczema, hay fever and food allergy – in their child’s immediate family.

This advice has now changed because the latest research has shown no clear evidence that eating peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy.

Here is how the nutrients present in peanuts might help during pregnancy. You may include peanut butter in your diet or simply roast a few peanuts and consume them.

1. Iron

All nuts, including peanuts, are rich in iron. Whole peanuts or peanut butter will help you prevent anemia (2).

2. Monounsaturated fats

Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid (3), which is helpful for the heart. You can have a handful of peanuts every day to prevent heart diseases (4).

3. Phytosterols

Peanuts are a good source of phytosterols, also referred to as beta-sitosterol, which inhibit the development of tumors (5).

4. Niacin

Vitamin B3 (niacin) in peanuts boosts memory power and brain functioning (6). Also, the flavonoid resveratrol present in peanuts improves the flow of blood to the brain (7).

5. Calories

If you are underweight during pregnancy, then peanuts can help gain weight. They are packed with calories that help you achieve a healthy weight (8).

6. Fiber

The fiber content in groundnuts can help ease constipation (9).

7. Tryptophan

Peanuts contain the essential amino acid called tryptophan, which produces serotonin. This is one of the essential elements in regulating mood and helps combats depression (10).

8. Protein

Peanuts contain protein that helps in proper growth and development of the fetus (11).

9. Manganese

Manganese aids in the growth of fetal tissue and bone. It is also helpful in preventing premature contraction of the uterus (12).

10. Vitamin E

The nuts contain vitamin E, which works to keep your blood pressure under control (134).