Peanuts also called as ground nuts because they obtained from the ground. Peanuts are popularly used as seed oil in India. They are easily available round the year and almost everywhere in India. Peanuts are also taken as snacks in many households especially in India. In reality, peanuts 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. Peanuts and peanut butter are full of nutrients. Vitamins and minerals, including hard-to-get vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium, as well as, bioactive components like resveratrol and phytosterols are packed into small peanut kernels, making them a healthy and critical addition to your snacks and meals.
Peanuts grow in a very fascinating manner. They actually start out as an above ground flower that, due to its heavy weight, bends towards the ground. The flower eventually burrows underground, which is where the peanut actually matures. The veined brown shell or pod of the peanut contains two or three peanut kernels. Each oval-shaped kernel or seed is comprised of two off-white lobes that are covered by a brownish-red skin. Peanuts have a hardy, buttery and “nutty” taste. Due to their high protein content and chemical profile, peanuts are processed into a variety of different forms, including butter, oil, flour, and flakes.
What are the health benefits of Peanuts?
- Boost Your Metabolism
Peanuts provide key nutrients that can help keep your metabolism at its best. What is more is that peanuts may help to stimulate your metabolism! Purdue University found that after eating peanuts regularly for 19 weeks, resting energy expenditure was 11% greater than at baseline. Studies in adults and in children have shown that people who eat peanuts on a regular basis have lower body weights and lower Body Mass Index’s (BMI’s) . So, including peanuts or peanut butter as a nutritious addition to your diet can be done without guilt or breaking “the diet” bank, when eaten in the right portions.
- Fights Depression:
Low Serotonin levels leads to depression. Tryptophan in peanuts increases the release of this chemical and thus helps you fight depression. Eating peanut benefits health in many ways 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!
- Save you from 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. This amazing health benefit of peanuts keeps all the diseases at bay
- Can reduce 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 up to 58% and in men by up to 27%. This is one of the best benefits of peanuts for women
- Eating Nuts Lowers Risk of Weight Gain
Although nuts are known to provide a variety of cardio-protective benefits, many avoid them for fear of weight gain. A prospective study published in the journal Obesity shows such fears are groundless. In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.
- Prevents heart diseases:
Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Studies of diets with a special emphasis on peanuts have shown that this little legume is a big ally for a healthy heart. In addition to their monounsaturated fat content, peanuts feature an array of other nutrients that, in numerous studies, have been shown to promote heart health.
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. These reduce the damage done by free radicals produced in the body. To lower your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, enjoy a handful of peanuts or other nuts, or a tablespoon of nut butter, at least 4 times a week.
Peanuts have been found to contain the potent antiaging molecule resveratrol, the same phytochemical found in red wine and grapes. Studies have shown that resveratrol can fight the proliferation of fat cells and improve the uptake of sugar from the blood. The resveratrol in peanuts is found in the seed itself and the skin.
- Rich source of B complex vitamins and Minerals:
The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contribute to brain health and blood flow to brain. The nuts are rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Just a handful of peanuts per day provide enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.
- Brain food for kids:
Peanuts are rich in proteins. The amino acids present in them are good for proper growth and development of body. Peanut butter is a kids friendly and nutritious food. Most kids love peanut butter. The health benefits of peanut butter for children include good supply of protein for body development, good supply of essential fatty acids for brain development, supply of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Peanut butter contains omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are ideal for brain development for your child. As your child grows he/she needs a regular supply of these fatty acids
Peanuts Side Effects
Excessive peanuts intake may lead to gas, heartburn, and a suddenly developed food allergy to peanuts.
A peanut allergy is perhaps the most serious food allergy you can develop. Peanut allergy sufferers are at high risk of serious allergic reactions that can actually be life threatening, even if the first episode of peanut sensitivity was not severe. If you suspect you have a peanut allergy, you need to get tested by an allergist immediately and avoid all nut products until the allergy is determined as legitimate or not.
Most people who have peanut allergies will experience a reaction within minutes of touching or eating a peanut or a product that is made from peanuts. The reaction typically starts with a tingling sensation in the mouth followed by swelling of the face, throat and mouth. It can result in difficulty breathing, an asthma attack, anaphylactic shock and death. Less severe reactions include rash, hives and upset stomach. If you have a peanut allergy, you will want to carry an Epinephrine pen to counter any episodes while waiting for emergency assistance.
If you have a peanut allergy, there is a good chance you also have a nut allergy that extends to all nuts. You will want to avoid all nut products, including pressed nut oils and any products processed on the same equipment as nuts. This allergy is so severe that even a tiny amount of peanut product can trigger a serious allergic reaction.
Some people outgrow peanut allergies, but most do not. If you were diagnosed with a peanut allergy as an infant, you have a better chance of outgrowing the allergy than if you developed the allergy after age three. Most children and adults with peanut allergies have the allergy for life. This allergy is becoming increasingly common and has become the subject of much research due to the serious nature of the condition.