Peanuts are good for you if you eat them in moderation. The nutrients found in peanuts are a great way to get protein, fiber and many other vitamins and minerals.
Peanuts contain vitamin E, calcium, folate, magnesium as well as phosphorus, potassium, manganese zinc; they are also rich in antioxidants. Ten peanuts provide 170 calories and 16 grams of fat or 55% of the daily recommended caloric intake and 37% the recommended dietary intake (DRIs) for protein for adults based on a 2 800 calorie diet.
In comparison with other nuts, 1 oz almonds contains 160 calories but only 14 grams of fat or 43% of the RDI for protein + 0 carbs making them very bad for weight control.
Peanuts are an excellent source of good fats, which help fight cardiovascular disease. They are also a great source for protein and mono-unsaturated fat.
Peanuts, in the raw form or cooked form, offer three things that are not found together in many other foods. For starters they contain antioxidants just like nuts but also contain fiber and vitamin C.
They have been known to lower bad cholesterol levels as well as improving blood vessel health over time. Finally they add flavor and texture to dishes which helps make them more appealing than other options such as meats or beans that may be found in similar dishes.
What are peanuts?
Peanuts are a type of plant from the legume family. Peanuts grow underground and mature in the ground, merging into pods that produce seeds surrounded by a thin hull known as peanut shell. Aside from being edible raw or roasted (used in savory dishes), peanuts can be made into milk, ice cream, chocolate bars, butterscotch candies, and many other confections.
People also eat them boiled with sugar to make peanut brittle or fried with salt and/or shredded coconut for an ikan bilis alternative called kacang hijau. There is so much you can do with peanuts!
Peanuts are easy to cook with and can be lightly salted or roasted before eating them raw, baked into cookies or chocolate bars, added to milkshakes and puddings, processed into peanut butter or used as an ice cream topping.
Peanut butter is especially good for sandwiches because it’s high in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals like copper and manganese which provides people with protection against heart disease.
There is nothing better than the taste and crunch of a peanut! Peanuts, which are also called groundnuts, are legumes; they grow underground in pods on plants that belong to the soil-burrowing Fabaceae family. They were originally grown in Peru and Bolivia but now cultivated worldwide.
Peanuts have been a major agricultural product in South America since pre-Columbian times when Indians living in the Andes developed varieties including Pachamanca peanuts.
They are found all over South America with different names depending on their country of origin – as crotons (Brazil), manioc flour balls (Mexico), maizcacahuaque (Ecuador), iwiriuwu agidi (Venezuela).
Chemical composition of peanuts:
Peanuts are mostly made up of water, proteins, fat, carbohydrate and fiber. There is a vast range of different types of proteins in the peanut – back to 2000 gene types. Peanuts are packed with B-complex vitamins as well as vitamin E and other micronutrients (including copper), many phytochemicals and antioxidants.
There’s also the fact that peanuts don’t actually have to go through expensive food processing methods before they’re consumed because they can be boiled on their own or raw right out of the shell.
Peanuts are one of the most common allergy foods. They have a higher chance of triggering an allergic reaction than other nuts or tree nut-based products because they contain more allergenic proteins called “a-treinin” than those foods.
The chemical composition is mainly composed of seven types of fatty acids, including stearic acid and oleic acid and 12 amino acids such as Proline. There is also Palmitic acid, which has antioxidant properties that make it beneficial for health maintenance, especially against damage caused by free radicals?
Are peanuts good for you?
An advantage of peanuts is the biotin; which is a B vitamin. They also contain omega-6 fats, and protein, both beneficial to human consumption. The peanut also provides Vitamin E and it prevents obesity because of its great calorie content.
Other nutrients found in other types of food that may be substituted for eating peanuts are potassium and zinc. A fun fact about this nut is that it promotes brain health because it contains a whole amino acid called arginine! Seriously, how awesome does that sound!?
Arginine helps produce nitric oxide for those who need some extra blood flow such as athletes or people with high blood pressure. It’s especially helpful for those who have conditions such as erectile dysfunction.
Peanuts are very inexpensive, packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Eating peanuts can help maintain a healthy weight because they’re low on the glycemic index.
Peanut butter is much better than most other processed foods out there because it contains fat, protein and fiber which work together to slow the digestive process. Nut butters in general may also be healthier than spreads like margarine or diet butter because they contain less hydrogenated oils and trans fats.
This means that not only does peanut butter taste delicious, but it won’t put added strain on your heart since the calories inside of the nut will keep you fuller for longer.
Benefits of eating peanuts include that they are a source of protein and unsaturated fat, they lower cholesterol levels in your blood, improve your energy levels and balance out an unbalanced diet. Peanuts are also high in fiber, which helps to ward off type 2 diabetes.
Eating one ounce of nuts can lead to weight loss as well as shrinking unhealthy belly fat. It’s recommended that Americans eat about 30 grams or 1 ounce per day for the best results.
According to the American Diabetes Association it may also keep hunger at bay between meals because nuts contain the amino acid tryptophan which stimulates brain cells into action causing serotonin release and a sense of well-being when digestion is slowed down by having something more difficult to digest.
Peanuts protect against heart disease:
Peanuts are an excellent healthy food that may have cardiovascular benefits. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could cut heart disease deaths by 70%. We also know that monounsaturated fats like those found in peanuts help lower insulin levels and reduce cholesterol markers in the blood.
In addition, they can lower one’s risk for diabetes as well as excessive weight gain, both of which can contribute to high blood pressure. The protein in peanuts is a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids. Finally, peanuts contain a large amount of thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3), folate (B9) and potassium among other nutrients.”
For a person with an increased risk of heart disease, substituting 75% of their energy from other sources with peanuts would reduce cholesterol levels by 18%.
Studies have shown that people following the AHA dietary guidelines and eating just two servings every day instead of one reduced their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels significantly.
Studies show that the peanut butter spread on whole grain bread – a very simple and popular midday snack – can reduce coronary heart disease markers in people who are at high risk of developing it.
On average, substituting 10% to 20% calories from other foods like fat-free milk to peanuts helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by about 8%.
As long as you are not allergic to peanuts, then they are healthy for your heart because they replace other less-healthy fats and oils with the healthier polyunsaturated fatty acids that they contain. Eating nuts like peanuts also lowers cholesterol levels, both LDL and total cholesterol, which help thwart atherosclerosis.
Peanuts reduce the risk of gallstones:
A number of studies have shown that a diet rich in peanuts, for example, may reduce the risk of gallstones. This is important, because while gallstone disease is common in many parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, it can be very rare to non-existent in developed countries like North America.
Gallstone formation is an inflammatory process involving an imbalance between substances that promote inflammation (such as TNF alpha) and those that inhibit inflammation (IL1). In laboratory experiments peanut protein has been found to significantly reduce the secretion of TNF alpha from immune cells – but not IL1.
Specifically, raw ground peanut flour inhibited production of proinflammatory cytokines at levels 2-5 times greater than cooked whole peanuts.
Peanuts reduce inflammation:
Peanuts, like all nuts, contain omega-3 fats that fight inflammation. They also contain vitamin E which protects cells from free radicals that cause inflammation as well as resveratrol and genistein which have anti-inflammatory effects.
In addition, peanuts are high in arginine – an amino acid that helps heal wounds and speed repair of body tissues to help reduce acute or chronic inflammatory responses.
You should strive to reduce your inflammation levels as much as possible. This means avoiding sugary drinks, chocolate, and anything artificially sweetened while including healthy fats like nuts (peanuts included).
Including healthy fats in one’s diet is a great way to create an anti-inflammatory environment for the body that can help prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease. High intake of plant sources of omega-3s, omega-6s and other micronutrients are likely needed by the body to maintain this homeostasis. In addition, removing proinflammatory foods from our diet is key to reducing inflammation levels in our bodies.
Peanuts lower diabetes risk:
Peanuts and other nuts like them are high in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, which can lead to diabetes.
Nuts enter the bloodstream quickly after being consumed due to their strong lipid matrix, unlike fruit that needs stomach acids or a slower digestive system such as those found in vegetables.
The fatty acids from the nuts produce benefits by lowering cholesterol levels and replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats. Another key thing is how they affect insulin levels; Nuts contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which tends to lower blood sugar spikes.
A decrease in blood sugar spiking lowers insulin secretion, so it is useful for diabetics because it prevents sudden peaks of insulin secreted into the body.
Peanuts lower the risk of cancer:
The cancer-preventive properties of peanuts come from proteins called lectins in the legume and according to a Hungarian study involving laboratory mice consuming nuts, these proteins attack tumor cells before they have a chance to proliferate by causing inflammation that destroys them from within.
Lectins are neutralized when peanuts are cooked, so it’s important for health that people eat them raw and as part of an unprocessed diet like with kale salad.
Peanuts lower the risk of cancer in a number of ways. First, they contain significant amounts of protein which can aid in increasing muscle mass and thus preserving lean tissue. Second, peanuts are high in unsaturated fats, especially the omega-3 fatty acid once most Americans do not get enough. Omega-3s have been shown to promote “good” cholesterol (HDL), which is linked to reduced heart disease rates and lowered risks for dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Thirdly, it’s rich in fiber that helps regulate levels of insulin after a meal. Proteins help slow digestion so our blood sugar rises more slowly after eating than without protein.
Cancer cells produce 50 times as many reactive oxygen species as normal adult tissue. The most powerful antioxidant enzymes are dependent on glutathione, which itself is dependent on many other amino acids such as cysteine, taurine, methionine – all found in peanuts! And even then more than half of what should be there isn’t present under our Western diet conditions.
Peanuts are one of the few plants that contain significant amounts of resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenol widely present in European grape wines that has been found to increase longevity, health and life-expectancy.
Recent studies have shown that it mimics caloric restriction by activating sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) which has been described as a key regulator of lifespan in mammals including humans. In particular, when combined with a strict dietary regimen such as CR, resveratrol significantly slows aging related parameters at multiple levels including cataract formation and LVH cardiomyopathy in mouse models.
It is believed that there are two groups of people who react adversely to peanuts. One group has peanut allergies, and they react because the proteins in peanuts enter their lymph nodes, combining with antibodies. The second group includes people with lactose intolerance whose bodies do not produce a digestive enzyme called lactase, so they can’t break down milk sugar (lactose).
In the case of lactose intolerance, exposure to even small amounts of peanuts often creates symptoms from abdominal cramps and bloating to vomiting and diarrhea within three hours.
These reactions can be triggered by eating foods containing both milk or cheese AND a small amount of peanuts, for example in a cashew cookie or hazelnut brownie that contains just 1 ounce of nuts.