May 12, 2014
Peanuts are popularly used as a seed oil in India. Since they are obtained from the ground, they are also sometimes called as groundnuts. They are very easily available round the year and almost everywhere in India.
These are also taken as snacks in many households especially in India. They are actually legumes but since they have all the properties of nuts like almonds, cashew nuts, etc., these are also included in the family of nuts.
Here are some of the most well known Health Benefits of Peanuts.
1. Rich in energy:
Peanuts contain vitamins, minerals, nutrients, anti-oxidants and thus are rich energy sources.
It lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the body due to the presence of the mono-unsaturated fatty acids especially Oleic acid that prevents coronary diseases.
Peanuts are rich in proteins. The amino acids present in them are good for proper growth and development of body.
4. Against stomach cancer:
Poly-phenolic anti-oxidants are present in the peanuts in high concentrations. P-Coumaric acid has the ability to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by reducing the productions of carcinogenic nitrous-amines.
5. Against heart diseases, nerves diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and infections:
A poly-phenolic anti-oxidant, Resveratrol present in Peanuts prevents heart diseases, cancers, nervous diseases and viral or fungal infections efficiently.
6. Reduces stroke risk:
Again the anti-oxidant, Resveratrol in peanuts prevents heart strokes by increasing the production of nitric oxide.
Peanuts contain anti-oxidants in high concentrations. These anti-oxidants become more active when peanuts are boiled. There is a 2-fold increase in Biochanin-A and 4-fold increase in Genistein content. And these reduce the damage done by free radicals produced in the body.
8. Protects skin:
Vitamin E in peanuts helps in maintaining the integrity of cells of mucous membrane and the skin and thus protects them from free radicals which cause great damage.
9. Peanuts contain B complex, vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, pantothenic acid etc.
Potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium and zinc are some of the minerals present in peanuts. And they all play an important role in many different body functions.
11. Gall stones:
Just an ounce of peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter each week can save you from gall stones or gallbladder diseases with 25% reduced risk.
12. Low risk of weight gain:
Women who eat peanuts or peanut butter at least twice a week are less likely to be susceptible to obesity than those who don’t. So if you are eating peanut butter every morning with bread slices, then you have less chances of gaining weight.
13. Colon cancer:
Peanuts can reduce Colon cancer especially in women. Eating at least 2 spoons of peanut butter twice a week can reduce the risk of colon cancer in women by upto 58% and in men by upto 27%.
14. Helps in fertility:
If taken before and during early pregnancy, the folic acid lowers the risk of baby being born with serious neural tube defects reduced by up to 70%.
15. Regulates blood sugar:
Manganese in peanuts helps in calcium absorption, fats and carbohydrates metabolism and sugar level regulation in blood.
16. Fights depression:
Low Serotonin levels leads to depression. Tryptophan in peanuts increases the release of this chemical and thus helps you fight depression.
Thus you can see that Peanut benefits to health are many and you should make it a point to take in a minimum of two tablespoons of peanut butter each week in order to keep those dangerous diseases away and stay healthy!
Benefits of Peanuts for Skin:
Apart from satisfying hunger pangs, consumption of peanuts also makes the skin smooth, supple and younger looking.
Some of the benefits of peanuts for skin include:
17. The anti-inflammatory properties of peanuts treat skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. The fatty acids present in peanuts also reduce swelling and skin redness. Peanuts contain Vitamin E, zinc and magnesium, which keeps the skin glowing from within and fights the bacteria that lead to acne. The protein content in peanuts also helps with cell regeneration.
18. Peanuts contain a relatively good amount of fatty acids which is believed to be critical to the brain’s nerve cells. This brain friendly cell helps with stress management and mood swings to prevent various skin disorders like wrinkles, fine line and dullness.
19. Fiber in nuts is essential for the elimination of toxins and waste. Toxins inside the body reflect on our outside appearance, causing breakout, dullness and excess oil. Eating peanuts regularly helps flush out excess toxins from the body to give you a healthy skin.
20. Peanut is loaded with magnesium which calms our nerve, muscles and blood vessels to provide better blood flow to the skin. This, in turn, gives you a youthful and healthy skin.
21. Skin damage occurs as a result of oxidation, a chemical process in which unstable molecules called free radicals steal electrons from healthy cells. Vitamin E in peanuts defends our skin’s cells against the damage of oxidative stress. It guards our skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun to protect against sun burn and skin damage.
22. Signs of ageing like wrinkles, discoloration and decreased elasticity are one of our biggest beauty concerns. Peanut contains significant amount of Vitamin C which is required for the production of collagen. Collagen is required to sustain tendons, skin and cartilage. It provides firmness and elasticity to the skin to keep it young and supple.
23. Beta carotene, an antioxidant found in peanuts is very critical for skin’s health. It is converted into Vitamin A in the body which helps in the growth and repair of body tissues. Thus peanuts help to heal wounds and bruises at a faster pace.
24. Peanuts are packed with omega 3 fatty acids which help our skin in many ways. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body to prevent skin eruptions. It lowers the risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer. It also moisturizes and hydrates the skin from within to treat dry and scaly skin.
25. Peanuts are very effective for treating skin problems like pustules, skin rashes and rosacea.
26. Peanut butter facial mask is gaining immense popularity these days. Applying natural peanut butter on the face clears away the dirt and impurities to give you a healthy looking skin. Wash your face with a cleanser and then apply peanut butter on your entire face. Allow the mask to dry and then wash it off by massaging your skin slowly in circular motions. Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry. Do a patch test first and then apply it to the entire face as allergic reactions are very common side effects of peanuts. Girls who are allergic to peanuts should stay away from it.
Benefits of Peanuts for Hair:
27. Peanuts contain several hair friendly nutrients that are beneficial for maintaining healthy hair. Peanut contains a high level of omega 3 fatty acids which strengthens scalp health and hair follicles to promote hair growth.
28. Peanut is an excellent source of l-arginine, an amino acid which is very helpful for treating male pattern baldness and to encourage the growth of healthy hair. It also improves the health of artery walls and prevents blood clotting to improve blood flow. A proper blood flow throughout the body and hair is imperative to get healthy and strong hair.
29. Deficiency in vitamin E can lead to brittle and weak hair which can easily break. Including proper level of vitamin E in your diet ensures that the hair roots receive a rich supply of hair healthy vitamins to keep them strong and healthy.
Selection and storage:
- Peanuts are available in the supermarkets and grocery stores all year round in airtight packets. It is available in different forms like shelled, unshelled, roasted, salted etc. Buying unshelled peanuts is any day better than the processed ones as processed nuts are treated with a number of chemicals to loosen their skins, making them unfit for consumption.
- When buying raw, unshelled peanuts, ensure that the pod of peanut is compact and cream in colour. Make sure there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage and they don’t rattle when you shake them. Avoid buying shriveled shelled nuts as this indicates the peanut’s age. Peanut’s shell should be brittle and should come off easily. Unshelled groundnuts can be placed in a cool and dark place for many months whereas shelled ones can be stored inside an airtight container for years.
- Since peanuts have high oil content, it can lead to quick breakdown when left at room temperature for a long time. You can store peanuts at room temperature but they are best stored in refrigerator to maintain its freshness and prolong its shelf life. The low water content in peanut will prevent it from freezing. Peanuts should not be chopped before storing.
- Peanuts turn chewy and soggy and eventually turn rancid with time if not stored properly. Ensure that they don’t have a distinctively “off” odour before using them as the odour indicates that they have become rancid. You can store peanuts in glass or plastic container and zip lock bags. Peanuts tend to absorb odour easily so keep them away from other pungent or smelly food. Roasting peanuts decrease their shelf life by bringing out their oil. So consume roasted peanuts as soon as possible.
Peanuts are versatile nuts and with little imagination you can incorporate this healthy legume easily in your daily diet. Now that you the know the benefits of eating peanuts, here are the plenty of ways in which you can utilize peanut in your cooking preparation and each method is flavourful in its own way.
Boiling peanut is a method of peanut preparation which is prevalent in America.
- Wash the peanuts thoroughly and soak in water for 1 hour.
- Take 200 ml of water and add 1 teaspoon of salt to it.
- Add a handful of peanuts and let it boil for 1 hour.
Boiled peanuts taste extremely delicious and are quite addictive. These are very healthy as they boost the disease fighting compounds by almost four times. Moreover they contain just a little amount of saturated fats which makes them a perfect diet food.
Because of their high protein content peanuts are processed into a variety of forms including butter, oil, flour and flakes. Peanut oil is used extensively for cooking and for preparing margarine. It is extracted from shelled and crushed peanuts by applying hydraulic pressure.
Peanut flour is made from peanuts which are blanched and then electronically sorted to select the highest quality peanuts. The nuts are then roasted and are processed to obtain low fat flour. This flour is used in confectionary products, frostings, cereal bars and bakery mixes. It is also used for baking cooking and pies.
You can make peanut butter easily at home.
- Roast and blanch peanuts and grind it to get a creamy consistency.
- Add sweeteners or salt to enhance the flavour.
- You can also add chopped peanut to give it a creamy plus crunchy texture.
Roasted peanut is a very popular Indian snack and is very easy to prepare. The round, Spanish peanut has a rich taste and is usually used for roasting.
- Place shelled peanuts in a shallow baking pan and roast in 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and put it aside to let it cool.
- Season it with salt and pepper and it is ready to eat.
Whole and chopped peanuts are very popular in Asian cuisine and its paste is used to add thickness to sauce and soups. Peanut and tomato soup is very popular in Africa. Peanuts are sprinkled on tossed salads and are also used as a garnish in desserts and stir fries. You can also prepare peanut and yoghurt smoothie for your breakfast. This will keep you full till your lunch time.
[ Read: Top Health Benefits Of Almonds ]
Percentage of RDA
|Total Fat||49.24 g||165%|
|Dietary Fiber||8.5 g||22%|
|Pantothenic acid||1.767 mg||35%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin E||8.33 mg||55.5%|
Hope you found this article informative and helpful. The most common seeds available in India have got such an amazing properties. Include them apparently in your routine and thus enjoy the benefits of peanuts.