Peanuts, also called groundnuts, belong to the family of Fabaceae. They were originally grown in South America, Central America and Mexico. Peanuts are annual herbaceous plants, which grow to a height of 30-50cm. They are known by various local names, like earthnuts, goober peas and monkey nuts. These nuts are available throughout the year, in several forms like raw, roasted, shelled and unshelled. Peanut butter is also highly nutritious and makes up a great choice amongst people. On the other hand, peanuts oil is also commonly used for cooking. Other than these, peanuts find a use in industries as well. Several paints, varnishes, furniture polishes, insecticides, lubricating oils, leather dressings and nitroglycerin are produced from peanuts oil. The shells of peanuts are used in the manufacture of plastic, fuel, abrasives, wallboard, mucilage and cellulose. The top of the peanut plants can be used for making hay. In short, peanuts are of great value in total. Read on to see the invaluable health benefits of peanuts.
Health Benefits Of Eating Peanuts
- Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are highly beneficial for the heart. The fat content helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- These nuts contain several nutrients, like vitamin E, niacin, protein, folate and manganese, which are highly helpful in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Peanuts contain high quantity of antioxidants, which help in bringing down the risk of coronary diseases. The antioxidant content in roasted peanuts is much more than that found in blackberries, strawberries, apples, carrots, and beets.
- Peanuts contain fiber, which lowers the risk of colon cancer.
- These nuts have Coenzyme Q10, which protects heart at the time of shortage of oxygen, like in case of high altitudes.
- Peanuts are rich in protein and provide high energy to the body.
- These nuts contain resveratrol, which is known for its anti-aging properties. Also, resveratrol helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular and cancer diseases.
- Peanuts are rich in niacin which proves extremely beneficial for blood flow, brain health and brain circulation.
- These nuts are highly effective in preventing gallstones.
- Peanuts help the body fight against Alzheimer’s disease and also the age-related cognitive decline.
- These nuts contain calcium in high content, which promotes the growth of body bones.
- Peanuts can lead to allergic reactions in some people. The allergy symptoms may be present in the form of skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, etc. Some people may have severe allergic reaction from eating peanuts, like fatal anaphylactic shock.
- Peanuts contain a small amount of oxalates, which can cause problems for the people having untreated kidney or gall bladder problems.
- It is also seen that peanuts may come in the way of absorption of calcium. However, this interference is small enough to be neglected. Besides, people with healthy digestive tract and proper chewing habits need not be bothered with the calcium absorption concern of having peanuts.
- Peanuts can have molds and fungus invasions. The fungus called Aspergillus flavus produces a poison called aflatoxin, which is a known carcinogen. It is also associated with mental retardation. It is found to be twenty times more dangerous than DDT
- While buying raw peanuts, make sure that they have been stored in a dry and cool atmosphere. Aspergillus fungus grows in a temperature of 30-36°C and under high humidity. Thus, always go for raw peanuts, stored in a dry atmosphere.
- Roasted peanuts are a much better option, as they are protected against Aspergillus and are also easily digested.
- If the peanuts are to be roasted at home, it should be done at 75°C, for 15-20 minutes. By doing so, the oil of peanuts can be preserved.
- Peanuts can be eaten either roasted or in the form of peanut butter.