Munching on peanuts can help ward off foodborne illnesses

Consuming peanuts may help prevent foodborne illnesses caused by intestinal bacterial pathogens, claims a new study.

The study, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that white peanut kernel assists in improving human gut microflora as well as reducing foodborne bacterial pathogens such as Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and Salmonella.

In the peanut shell, there are two major portions, brown thin skin and white kernel. In the study, researchers from University of Maryland found that the kernel or kernel powder (also called peanut flour) has prebiotic-like effects. The findings of this study suggest the idea that people with vulnerable gut conditions may benefit from consuming peanut white kernel by stimulating growth of probiotics.

Further research is needed to assess whether the stimulation of probiotic growth with peanut kernel could reduce inflammation and colitis, and control gastrointestinal infections.

The study is published in the Journal of Food Science.