Delicious, crunchy, and nutty peanuts are one of the popular oilseeds known to humankind since centuries. The kernels enriched with many noteworthy health-benefiting nutrients essential for optimum health and wellness.
Peanuts are easily available round the year and almost everywhere in the world.
They’re taken as snacks in many households. Although in reality, peanuts are actually legumes, since they have all the properties of nuts like almonds, cashew nuts, etc., these are also included in the family of nuts.
These 12 properties of peanuts have a lot of benefits – from health to beauty.
- It is good for heart health
Among the benefits for human health, it seems to be the most popular. Thanks to the high level of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, peanuts can maintain a human heart healthy.
Specifically, oleic acid in peanuts can reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). Therefore, the peanuts are in a position to prevent stroke and coronary heart disease by increasing healthy blood lipid.
- Boosts energy
One of the most recognisable advantages of peanuts is to boost energy. This is quite understandable, because peanuts contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and nutrients, which are a major source of energy.
- It helps with weight loss
Peanuts have been studied in terms of weight maintenance. Because there are a lot of calories and fat, peanuts do not affect the growth of kilos, so therefore consumption of legumes will help maintain the vitality and prevent obesity.
- Fight against cancer
Polyphenolic antioxidants which are present in peanuts are useful for the prevention of gastric cancer, and they help in reducing the production of carcinogenic nitrosamines.
On the other hand, legumes such as peanut have a high content of betasitosterola, which can be a protection against cancer by natural inhibitor of tumor growth. So all those who eat peanuts at least twice a week can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 2.758 percent.
- Prevents gallstones
It is estimated that gallstones affects between 10 and 25 percent of adults worldwide. Frequent consumption of peanuts can significantly reduce the risk of gallstones. According to studies, only 30 grams of peanuts a day can help to reduce the risk of this phenomenon by 25 percent.
- Improves memory
Peanuts are often called “brain food” because they contain the vitamin B3, which is excellent for brain function, and to improve memory. They also contain a flavonoid called resveratrol, which can improve the blood flow to the brain by about 30 percent.
- Fight against depression
Serotonin is a chemical that is important for brain and that helps regulate the mood. Inadequate secretion of these chemicals results to depression. Fortunately, the amino acid tryptophan in peanuts may help release serotonin, which is why peanuts are able to beat depression.
- Supports pregnancy and protects the baby
Peanuts are considered as a good source of folic acid, which is important for women during pregnancy. According to research, women who consume 400 grams of this acid before and in the early stages of their pregnancy, were under the risk that their baby could have certain neurological problems.
Consuming peanuts during pregnancy also reduces the risk of some common allergic diseases such as asthma in children.
- Prevents Alzheimer
Many studies have shown that eating foods that are rich in niacin such as peanuts, can reduce the risk of Alzheimer by about 70 percent. Only a quarter cup of peanuts represents a quarter of the daily intake of niacin.
- Makes the skin radiant and toned
The ingredients in peanuts keep skin shiny and bright. In addition, dietary fiber in this plant helps the body to get rid of excess toxins, making the skin becomes perfectly soft and shiny. On the other hand, peanuts with their content of magnesium can help to calm the nerves, blood vessels and muscles in order to speed up the flow of blood to the skin.
- Prevents hair loss
Among the benefits that peanuts have for our beauty, they also can prevent hair loss. Thanks to vitamin C which is useful for increasing the production of collagen, peanuts can prevent hair loss. Also, larginin in peanuts is an ingredient used in many baldness treatment, while the omega 3 fatty acid can strengthen the overall hair follicles and help hair growth.
- It prevents wrinkles and aging
Early signs of aging, such as discoloration, wrinkles and reduced elasticity of the skin, fall into one of the largest cosmetic concern. Fortunately, peanuts have a significant amount of vitamin C which is essential for the production of collagen. In fact, collagen is important to maintain healthy tendons, cartilage and skin. So, consumption of peanuts improves the skins firmness, elasticity and freshness.
Preparation and Serving Methods
- Peanut kernels usually eaten as is, by cracking them with firm pressure between fingers or using clippers, or nutcracker machine. The nuts can also be enjoyed roasted, boiled, salted, or sweetened.
- They are nutty, yet pleasantly sweet in taste. Roasting enhances taste, augments antioxidants levels like p-coumaric acid, and helps remove toxic aflatoxin.
- Roasted and crushed kernels often sprinkled over salads, desserts, particularly sundaes and other dairy-based preparations.
- Boiled peanuts possess unique flavor and taste. Boiling, in fact, enriches their nutritional and antioxidants profile.
- Peanut butter is a food paste prepared from roasted nuts, with or without the addition of oil. It is popular throughout the world and commonly used as dip/spread. Peanut milk is also a favorite lactose-free healthy drink.
- Peanut “chutney” or paste, made from these nuts, chili peppers, salt, coriander leaves, garlic and mustard seeds, is a popular dip among South Indian, Sri Lanka region.
- Peanut oil is another healthy source of edible cooking oil like soy or olive oils. It is widely employed in cooking for its aromatic flavor, especially in the many South Indian States, and Sri Lanka.
Peanut allergy is a type of hypersensitivity response in some people to food substances prepared using these nuts. The resultant over-reaction of the immune system may manifest as severe physical symptoms like vomiting, stomach pain, swelling of lips and throat leading to breathing difficulty, chest congestion, and sometimes death. It is, therefore, advised to avoid any food preparations that contain peanut products in these individuals.
Peanuts are one of the crops that easily susceptible to fungal (mold) infection, especially by Aspergillus flavus which produces aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a potent and dangerous known carcinogen that may cause liver cirrhosis and cancer. Roasting helps reduce toxin levels in these nuts and thus offers some protection against aflatoxin.