We would never have thought of the benefits of peanuts even in our wildest of dreams!
As you slowly feel the pangs of hunger in the evening, you stretch out to catch up on your favorite pack of snacks. The crunchy and tangy taste that it gives makes you feel so much in love with it and takes you to another world of fulfillment.
But have you ever thought that nuts and dried fruits would be a better option? Well, they are and are filled with numerous health benefits that give energy and nutrition.
A pack of assorted nuts makes an excellent edible gift for the festive and holiday season that you can share with your family and friends.
Roasted nuts are becoming a favorite nowadays. The roasting brings out the oil in the nuts enriching their flavor, thus making them extra crunchy and lip-smacking.
So let’s get ready and find out all about the benefits of peanuts.
As assumed by most of us, peanuts are classified into the legumes family and not in the nut family!
This plant is considered to have originated from South America in Peru or Brazil.
It has been found in South America that peanut kernels existed from ancient times. A 3500 old pottery on which decorations in the shape of peanuts have been found here. This proves that people ate nuts from an early age.
Peanuts are grown below the ground as the fruit of the peanut plant and have a high nutritional profile.
It is an excellent plant-based protein fiber that has many key vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.
You can eat peanuts in many forms – boiled peanuts, roasted, chocolate coated, salted, and of late, peanut butter. These different types of peanuts provide us with various health benefits, and they have various nutritional profiles.
But even though the benefits of peanuts are high, they are a calorie-rich food. So enjoy peanut consumption in moderation if you want to reap its healthy profits.
Which Type Of Peanut Is Healthy
If you are a person who has the habit of frequent nut consumption, then among all the forms available of peanuts, you can find most of the benefits of peanuts in raw peanuts.
Eating the other types like roasted or salted peanuts or peanut butter is good as long as it is taken in moderation. This is because a high intake of sodium is linked with heart disease and high blood pressure.
Research shows that the ideal limit of sodium per day should be limited to 1500mg and not more than 2300mg. This is equivalent to one teaspoon of salt per day, especially for those having high blood pressure.
When you want to eat peanuts, try to choose the ones with the skin attached as they are high in nutritional value. Peanut skin contains antioxidants that help the body’s cells from getting damaged by free radicals.
Peanut butter is a product that has found an essential place as a popular spread on our food table of late. It has found lots of lovers for its delicious taste and fantastic texture.
Enjoy peanuts and peanut butter in a limited form throughout the day. Peanuts make their way into main meals in salads or Thai dishes.
Nutritional Breakdown Of Peanuts
The nutritional benefits of peanuts are that they are a mixture of healthful fats, fibers, and proteins, making a person feel fuller for a longer time.
Other than the raw peanuts, it is also found in peanut oil, peanut flour, peanut butter, and so on.
These products are used in various foods such as cakes, confectioneries, desserts, sauces, and snacks.
Hence, eating peanuts as a go-to snack is healthy instead of going for crackers, chips, or other simple carbohydrate foods.
Some of the key nutrients in peanuts are:
Proteins are necessary for the building and repairing of our body cells. Being an excellent source of plant-based protein, peanuts offers nearly 25.8g of protein per 100g of peanuts making up to around half of a person’s needs protein for a day.
The recommended daily allowance of proteins in adults is near:
- 46g for women
- 56g for men
The number of proteins required will vary depending on their age and activity level.
2. Healthy Fats
Fatty acids form an essential part of our diet. Most of the fats in peanuts are healthy fats consisting of monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Peanuts are classified as oilseeds, and a large portion of the world’s peanut harvest is used to manufacture peanut oil or Arachis oil.
According to heart specialists consuming monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat can improve a person’s cholesterol levels when compared to saturated and trans fats. They also help lower the risk of strokes, and heart disease, control blood sugar levels, and prevent weight gain.
Peanuts contain fat ranging from 44-to 56%. These fats are primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, mostly made up of oleic acid and linoleic acids. Oleic acid and linoleic acid ratios determine the shelf life and flavor of peanuts. And they are also beneficial for diabetes. Nevertheless, eating peanuts in moderation is best to get optimal health benefits.
3. Dietary fiber
Peanuts are a rich source of dietary fiber. It contains about 8.5g of fibers per 100g of peanuts, making up to about one-quarter of recommended fibers in men and one-third for women.
Fiber is considered to be a heart-healthy nutrient. Eating fiber-rich foods improves the blood cholesterol levels of the body. It also lowers the risk of strokes, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes and stops weight gain.
Peanuts have a low content of carbs, nearly about 13-16%. Being low in carbs but at the same time high on proteins, fibers, and fats, the benefits of peanuts are such that they help to give a shallow glycemic index (the measure of how quick carbs enter your blood after a meal).
Hence this is a good option for diabetic patients.
Health Benefits of Peanuts
There are a plethora of health benefits of peanuts. The listing below is a few of them to give you more insights into these tiny nuggets.
1. Healthy Heart
Numerous studies have shown that eating peanuts decreases the risk of heart disease.
The benefits of peanuts are high for good heart health because they contain the necessary nutrients like magnesium, copper, antioxidants, and a healthy ratio of unsaturated fats required to build an immune system.
2. Rich Source of Proteins
Peanuts are a good source of high-quality protein ranging from nearly 22-30% of their total calories. The requirement of proteins for growing children can also be fulfilled by consuming proteins.
The benefits of proteins can be utilized in the form of peanut butter, too, by eating it before a pre-workout or including it in your mid-day snack.
3. Aids Weight Loss
For those looking to lose weight, peanuts can be used in moderation. The high protein content and the good fats like the monounsaturated fats are good nutrients that help in total calorie burning, thus assisting you in weight loss, especially among obese women.
According to studies conducted by the national peanut board, the high satiety value that adds to the benefits of peanuts prevents one from binge eating, thus helping one lose weight.
4. Sharpens Brain And Improves Memory
The nutritional value of peanuts is filled with Vitamin B1, Folate, and Niacin required for a healthy and sharper brain.
The health benefits of proteins include these essential nutrients, and as a result, you can have a brain that is more active and sharp by consuming peanuts.
The vitamins help to improve memory and cognition, especially among adults.
5. Strong Bones
Several bones present in your body weaken along with age. So, before your bones start to lose out on their strength, focus on healthy eating food options like peanuts. The benefit of peanuts and peanut skins is that they are rich in manganese and phosphorus.
These nutrients and other vitamins that can be availed through peanuts will strengthen your bones, thus helping you in your old age.
6. Healthy Skin
There are nutrients like Vitamin B3, Vitamin E, Niacin, Folate, and antioxidants like Oleic acid that are included in the benefits of peanuts and help to prevent wrinkles.
They also protect your skin against various skin diseases.
7. Improves Vision
The best food to include in your diet is some green leafy vegetables and peanuts to maintain your eye health.
The health benefits of peanuts include the zinc that helps the body absorb Vitamin A, one of the essential sources required for a clear vision.
Also, peanuts consist of Vitamin E, which helps slow down cataract formation and reduces the risk of age-related muscular degeneration.
8. Helps To Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Various researches conducted have shown that one of the health benefits of peanuts is that they reduce the risk of cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, peanut consumption reduces the risk of cancer.
The proteins, Vitamin E, and antioxidants like resveratrol present in peanuts help prevent cancer and its antioxidant potential.
Peanuts do not contain sugar and hence are safe for those who have diabetes.
The rich content of nutrients and their delicious taste sum up the benefits of peanuts for diabetic patients.
10. Prevents Gallstone
There are about 25% of the population of adults are suffering from gallstones. This disease is caused due to uncontrolled levels of cholesterol in the body.
Benefits of peanuts include control of cholesterol, and hence by consuming it regularly, the risk of gallstone can be reduced.
11. Reduces Inflammation And Protects Cells
Peanuts have antioxidants like resveratrol, a bioactive nutrient that is high in anti-aging properties. This protects our body cells against damage.
The health benefits of peanuts are that the fats found in them help to ease the joint pain caused by the wear and tear over the years and thus reduce inflammation.
12. Better Circulation and Toning of the Body
Peanuts contain high amounts of arginine, which is a precursor for nitric oxide. This helps open up the blood vessels, thus allowing better circulation and blood flow throughout our body.
For athletes, this will give their muscles a breath of fresh air, especially during their physical activities.
Arginine is also said to help decrease the size of the fat white cells of our body. Thus muscle mass or retention will increase, enabling a person to get a toned body by staying fit and lean.
Any person who does not get enough of the required daily doses of essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals is considered to be malnourished. The benefits of peanuts will go a long way for malnourished people in all situations.
This takes into account even people who are obese, underweight, omnivores, herbivores, in the hospital, or at home. You would be surprised to hear that there is a peanut paste used to treat acne and malnutrition in Africa and other related diseases. Project Peanut Butter is an organisation that works in Sub-Saharan Africa with aim to eradicate malnutrition.
This paste does not require any specific storage conditions or water, which is scarce in underdeveloped countries.
The vitamins and minerals that are filled in peanuts help treat such conditions.
After reading through this post, we are sure that the benefits of peanuts are as healthy as their popularity. Peanuts provide tremendous amounts of proteins high in various minerals, vitamins, and plant compounds.
But of course, not all of you can enjoy a handful of peanuts. Some of you may be allergic to them, and it could prove to be deadly for some.
The benefits of peanuts and their nutritional values are various. Incorporating peanuts and peanut products into your daily diet will give you many health benefits. It will only help build muscles and prevent obesity risk by increasing weight loss and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Being a plant-based source of protein, these tiny nuggets can be consumed regularly without any guilt, but just like any product, they should also not be eaten in excess.
So go ahead and enjoy these mouth-watering, crunchy, and smooth nuts and take advantage of all the benefits of peanuts!