Health Benefits of Peanuts

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Health Benefits of Peanuts

Also known as ground nuts or monkey nuts, peanuts are a type of legumes that, much like other varieties of dry fruits or nuts, grow in the form of edible seeds. However, unlike walnuts and almonds, peanuts grow underground and are then extracted out for use once they are cultivated. As far as the production of peanuts is concerned, they are native to the Western Hemisphere and the origin goes back to South America. Today however, peanuts are cultivated in almost all parts of the world but largely in the United States.

Much like almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts and hazelnuts, peanuts are a source of numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are used in a large variety of cuisines around the globe and also eaten raw. In some cultures, such as the Asian region, peanuts are loved during the winter season specifically as it is believed that they provide warmth to the body. To explicate further, the current article aims to explore the nutritional benefits of peanuts, different ways in which peanuts are used, the recommended daily intake as per health care experts and the potential side effects peanuts could have.

Nutritional Facts

The following table is based on the nutritional value of 1ounce peanuts (a handful) as per the RDA (Recommended Daily Intake).

Energy per 1ounce

166 kcal

Fat

13.9 g

Monosaturated Fatty Acid

7.0 g

Polysaturated Fatty Acid

4.4 g

Protein

7.3 g

Carbohydrates

4.5 g

Fiber

2.4 g

Apart from the given primary micronutrients, peanuts are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as biotin, vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B3, copper, and vitamin B1. They are also a good source of antioxidants that are located in peanut skin, best savored in the form of raw peanuts.

Health Benefits of Peanuts

Peanuts are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, fats, carbs and fiber. All these nutrients as we know, are essential for a healthy development of the human body. They do not only provide the body with the energy it requires to function optimally but also release certain chemicals that help the body fight against certain diseases. Considering the ample concentration of key nutrients in peanuts, several studies have been carried out that indicate the following health benefits associated with peanuts:

  • Peanuts Are A Source of Energy

The primary need for the human body to perform its functions effectively is the good supply of energy that we get through food. We are fortunate that there is a large variety of edibles that provide the body with sufficient amounts of nutrients that we need on a daily basis. Peanuts, in this regard, are one of the super foods that are a great source of energy that we get through protein and fiber present in them.

  • Peanuts Have Anti Aging Properties

With an influx of unhealthy foods and the kind of lifestyles we are accustomed to, the aging process has become quite rapid in the past few decades. Well, here is the good news. Along with a well-balanced mindful diet, peanuts have been found to contain anti aging properties that come from a molecule called resveratrol. This molecule is present in the kernel and the skin of peanuts and is said to be a great antiaging agent.

  • Peanuts Support Good Skin

A great advantage that we are sure all of us look forward to in any food item is its effect on the skin. After all, who doesn’t want a glowing, youthful and radiant skin? Although the evidence is informal, it is widely believed in the light of unscientific observation that the presence of zinc, vitamin E and magnesium in peanuts ensures good skin health while protecting the skin from harm caused by sunburn. However, more substantial research is needed in this aspect.

  • Peanuts Protect Your Gallbladder Against Stones

A fairly common health condition in both men and women is known as gallstones, referring to the formation of stones in the gallbladder. The risk of gallstones is higher in individuals over the age of 40 and specifically those who are overweight due to excessive consumption of carbohydrates. The news however, is that scientists have found that eating at least one serving of peanuts per day decreases the risk of gallstones by 25%, which is quite encouraging.

  • Peanuts May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Nuts usually are associated with properties which are likely to help reduce the risk of cancer. Peanuts are no exception when it comes to their anti-cancerous attributes. The abundance of antioxidants in peanuts and compounds such as resveratrol, isoflavones, phenolic acid helps the body to combat cancers like breast cancer, esophageal cancer, and colorectal cancer etc.

  • Peanuts Are Packed with Biotin or Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B and its types are probably among the most important vitamins that are responsible for carrying out a large number of functions in the body. Biotin is one of the types of vitamin B complex and an immensely beneficial nutrient that is essential for our sound physiological health. The functions of biotin include the regulation of enzymatic reactions in our body. Biotin is also beneficial for treating diseases such as diabetes, brain diseases and multiple sclerosis. On top of that, biotin is a great beneficial element for skin, hair and nails. All in all, this super vitamin is a storehouse of health benefits for the body and one of the best properties of peanuts is that they contain enough biotin our body needs in order to recover from certain health conditions and an improved physiological health.

  • Peanuts Boost Cognitive Health/Brain Function

Peanuts are rich in vitamin E and niacin, two major sources of cognitive health and well-being. Several studies have been carried out in this regard and they ended up concluding that the presence of the above-mentioned compounds in peanuts makes them an agent of protection against cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.

The popularity of peanuts seems justified when we look at the health benefits that they provide. As a plant-based source of protein, fats and other micronutrients, peanuts definitely should be a part of our diet considering the excellent beneficial properties they have to offer in just a handful.

Variations of Peanut Products

Like almonds, peanuts are also used in a large variety of products that are widely popular all over the world. They are used in desserts, energy bars, chocolates, and most last but not the least: our very favourite peanut butter. Peanut butter is probably even more loved than raw peanuts. The butter is made out of pressed peanuts in the form of a spread that is then utilized in a whole lot of desserts and confectionaries. A well-known peanut butter combination is peanut butter with jelly spread on a slice of bread. This combination is immensely popular in the United States where peanut butter is used for breakfast almost in every other household.

How Much Peanuts in A Day?

Due to the high calorie count, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of peanuts has set to be 46g for females and 56g for males. This RDA is based on the fact that an excessive intake of peanuts could lead to weight gain rather than maintenance. The key simply is moderation though the superfood is enormously beneficial for health.

Potential Side Effects of Peanuts

Despite the goodness that peanuts have to offer, eating too much of them could lead to adverse effects on the body and physiological health. Firstly, excessive intake of peanuts could lead to weight gain although they are a great source of weight maintenance if taken in moderation.

Though not directly a side effect of peanuts, some people have an immune system that does not allow them to digest peanuts, which causes their bodies severe allergic reactions that could also prove to be fatal in some cases. Therefore, it is essential to monitor any symptom that you might feel as alarming as a result of eating peanuts.

The side effects of peanuts are usually associated with an increased intake of the legume. If one consumes the recommended daily intake of peanuts, there is not potential harm they could cause your body unless you are allergic.

Final Word

Peanuts, undoubtedly, are a superfood packed with extremely nutritious elements including protein, fiber, carbs, biotin, vitamin B complex, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and so on. Their antioxidant properties render them as an effective anti-disease agent that helps to reduce to risk of heart diseases, obesity, cancers of various kinds etc. Peanuts are also shown to have beneficial properties that effect hair, skin and nails.

Peanuts are utilized in every corner of the world as part of different cuisines including desserts such as cakes, ice creams, chocolates, as well as in the form of peanut butter. As far as the daily consumption of peanuts is concerned, it is recommended that you take a handful per day to get maximum benefit of peanuts. However, if you are allergic, you must avoid them in order to prevent yourself from potential detrimental health issues.

References

https://nuts.com/healthy-eating/benefits-of-peanuts

https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-health-benefits-of-peanuts/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/474309-side-effects-of-eating-too-many-peanuts/

https://www.peanut-institute.com/download/materials/fft_v12i3.pdf

https://www.healthywomen.org/your-wellness/nutrition--movement/5-reasons-love-peanuts

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