So what’s the deal with peanut shells: snack or sickening?
Peanut shells are definitely not the first thing that comes to your mind when your stomach is growling in need of a snack.
And most surely, eating shells that just look, let alone taste, more like cardboard than real food; is not something that will cross your mind when you see a bag of scrumptious peanuts.
Despite all of this, there is an alarming level of confusion revolving around peanut shells as some people do prefer to savor these bad boys along with the nut inside.
Whatever the case may be, what actually is the real deal with peanut shells? Are they safe to ingest? Can they make you healthy? Continue reading to find out.
So are peanut shells edible?
While smooth, salty, skinless peanuts are a staple in the dry fruit cupboard at home and are happily scarfed down by young and old alike, there is a part of the population of peanut lovers who prefer indulging in peanuts with the shells on.
Weird, right? It is true, though.
We are not really sure whether it is the subtle saltiness of the shell, the distinct earthy texture, the decadent crunch of it that attracts the taste buds of so many people, or addiction to eating non-nutritive foods known as Pica, but there are certain factors that need to be considered before you decide to try this bizarre alternative to crisps and it goes onto become your favorite too.
Maybe. Who knows?
Anyways, the simple answer is, yes peanut shells can be eaten. However, it is not something that we would entirely encourage you to make a part of your diet. This is because there is a list of health risking factors that are hidden behind this peculiar choice of an afternoon snack.
What is the nutritional value of a peanut shell?
Peanut shells are primarily composed of cellulose. If you do not know what cellulose is, the simple way to explain it would be that it is the same primary sugar found in twigs, hay, tree bark, cardboard, and even recyclable envelopes.
Are you losing interest yet? You should start to.
This is basically what God did when He was creating them peanut shells:
- 60 percent crude fiber (indigestible materials found in plant cell walls)
- 25 percent cellulose
- 8 percent of water
- 6 percent crude protein
- 2 percent ash
- 1 percent fat
*Keep in mind that these values can change according to different species of peanuts and according to the manufacturing environment.
Where does the problem arise?
Peanuts themselves may be packed to the rim with long-drawn health benefits and be boiling with vital nutrients like proteins, antioxidants, iron, magnesium, and fiber. Furthermore, the fats found in peanuts are also healthy ones which help to improve heart health by reducing bad cholesterol, also known as LDL.
However, peanut shells may have some health hazards to them which take away the tiny bit of appeal that exists in them, and compels you to remove them off of your list of snacks.
It’s true that peanut shells contain a lot of fibre, and fibre is the prime secret behind great digestive health, yet there is a really weird problem that can arise if you eat a lot of peanut shells.
Peanut shells are a lot like cardboard and are not very easy to break down and ultimately, digest.
This develops a risk of the accumulation of these undigested peanut shells in the digestive tract and over time, this accumulation develops into a mass that is unable to pass through the tract and can cause stomach distress.
Beware of the pesticides
In addition to this, exactly like potatoes and carrots, peanuts are also grown beneath the soil.
Like every other crop, the peanut crop is also prone to getting infected by certain types of fungi that if not treated with pesticides, will obviously harm the crop.
This is why farmers who grow peanuts are forced to use pesticides on their crops. If they do not do so, then they are at the risk of destroying their crop obviously.
How is this related to eating peanut shells, you may ask?
Well, this is because obviously the farmers do not expect you to be eating those shells too which may be covered with the pesticides that they use, and since there is not much demand of something known as ‘peanut shell crisps’ in the market, the peanuts are not made to go under a process which can remove the harmful pesticides from their shells.
So whenever some peanut shell lover out there stuffs these down, the pesticides can cause a lot of harm to their body, including the risk of certain cancers. So you may not want to eat peanut shells the next time you get a bag of peanuts from the grocery store!
If this does not shake you to the core and you do not stop eating that filthy cardboard bits, we do not know what will.
Things that you can do with leftover peanut shells that will not make you end up in an emergency room!
According to the National Peanuts Board, peanut shells can prove to be a source of great help in the garden too! Peanut shells are packed with large amounts of Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus. They can help to break down compost piles and create a healthy soil environment.
Protection for shipping
Even though peanut shells may not be very advantageous in the consumption department, they can help to protect fragile items for shipping in the form of packing peanuts!
Litter for kitty cats
If we soak peanut shells up and then combine them with baking soda and biodegradable dish soap, they can prove to be an effective litter bed for your beloved balls of fluff and happiness.
Protection in icy weather
Even if wintertime may be a dear favorite for a lot of us, the slippery roads and sidewalks can prove to be a real pain in the butt and lead to life-threatening accidents. In order to prevent this, salt is used to cover these areas which help to reduce their slip. The good news is, that peanut shells can also be used in place of salt to protect against slippery roads and sidewalks!
Charcoal for your next BBQ
Next time you are running out of traditional briquettes for your BBQ, and have a handful of peanut shells, as unrealistic as it sounds, just throw those peanut shells in and carry on with your BBQ party.
Some health benefits of one of the world’s most eaten nuts!
We can guess that we have been successful in scaring you from being lazy and popping your peanuts in your mouth without removing the shells off.
Nevertheless, we must inform you that peanuts (without those miserable cardboard shells) are one of the best snacks out there.
Peanuts are an impeccable source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. And also contain a lot of potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Even though they are very high in the calorie department, they are low on carbohydrates so they prove to be a great snack.