11 Spectacular Benefits Of Peanuts: The Best Ways To Consume Peanuts
Peanuts are a small pea-sized legume crop that is loaded with nutrients such as fibers and proteins. Moreover, the presence of antioxidants makes it a highly beneficial food item that can help your body function properly.
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Though its name might fool you, peanuts are neither a pea nor a nut; instead, they belong to a completely different category of food items known as legumes. These legumes, which are consumed in roasted and salted form, are also the main ingredient of the protein-rich peanut butter.
Rich with protein, peanuts have a mixture of other essential nutrients that makes them a heart and diabetes-friendly item. With compounds like antioxidants and fatty acids, there is no that peanuts are exceptionally beneficial health.
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What Is A Peanut?
There isn’t a person on this planet who hasn’t seen a peanut. Peanuts are one of the most exported goods, and their consumption rate has always been at an impressive level across the world. Also known as groundnuts, the total world production of peanuts per year is around 44 million tonnes, where India is second on the list after China.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that’ll make peanuts a healthy addition to your diet.
Health Benefits Of Peanuts
Containing a significant amount of proteins, antioxidants, and fatty acids, peanuts have an impressive quality of benefiting your health. Here are a few benefits that’ll make you fall in love with these pea-sized legumes:
1. Peanuts Help You Manage Your Sugar Level
The glycaemic load (or Glycemic Index) of a food item tells you how drastically that item would affect your sugar level. Fortunately, peanuts score low on the glycemic index (Gl), which, on the scale of 100, would amount to be just 14. This makes it a blood-sugar-friendly source of food that can be consumed for its other benefits as well. Even if you suffer from high blood sugar or diabetes, consuming a moderate amount of peanuts won’t spike your glucose level. It reduces the risk of diabetes by stabilizing the blood sugar level.
Peanuts, being high in unsaturated fats and rich in nutrients, help keep the insulin level balanced. Thus, the risk of Type-2 diabetes is reduced.
2. It Is Heart-Friendly
The consumption of peanuts is known to promote healthy cholesterol levels, all thanks to its fatty acid content. The adequate amount of folate, monounsaturated fatty acids, and magnesium, all contribute towards a peanut’s ability to lower the bad cholesterol levels.
In addition to that, it also lowers the level of triglycerides, which further supports its claim for being heart-friendly.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
A small bowl of peanuts is a fiber-dense snack and often leaves the consumers filled for a longer period, thus ensuring that you consume fewer calories throughout the day. Fiber, an important macro-nutrient, is the non-digestible part of the food. This means that when you consume a food item that is loaded with fibers, it makes the stomach do more work to completely digest.
Hence, not only does the consumption of peanuts keep you filled for a longer period, but it also helps you by improving your metabolism to lose weight.
4. Loaded With Antioxidants
One of the antioxidants present in peanut is called resveratrol, which is a polyphenolic antioxidant. The main benefit of an antioxidant such as this one is its ability to combine with the free radicals, or free oxygen atoms before they reach the healthy cells. Free-radical often combines with healthy cells and exert oxidative stress over the cell walls, thus damaging them. This is where an antioxidant-rich diet benefits you.
An antioxidant-rich diet can significantly lower the concentration of free-radicals, hence reducing the risk of free-radical damage. Some of the effects of free-radical damage include Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and degenerative nerve problems.
5. Managing Blood Pressure
Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as copper, folate, manganese, Vitamin B, calcium, potassium, and zinc, the consumption of peanuts tends to aid in the managing of one’s blood pressure. Salt, upon being heavily consumed, has a contracting effect on the blood vessels.
However, the consumption of the minerals such as copper counteracts the effect of salt, for minerals have a certain dilating effect on the inner blood-vessel lining, thus easily maintaining the blood pressure. It reduces the risk of heart diseases and respiratory diseases.
6. Peanuts Are Filled With Protein
Proteins are a macro-nutrient that is a vital form of muscle development. Peanuts, being significantly high on protein, can be considered to be highly beneficial, since protein itself is required by every cell on your body.
One of the basic functions of protein is to provide energy that helps in the repairing and the replacement of the tissues. It boosts your energy levels as it has a high level of protein content.
7. High On Vitamin E
Out of all its constituent antioxidants, one of the most beneficial free-radical scavengers that peanuts are significantly loaded with is vitamin E. This vitamin is responsible not only for having a beneficial effect on one’s health by reducing the risk of free-radical damage but also helps in the protection and nourishment of the skin cells. A vitamin E rich diet can help in increasing the water retention capabilities of skin cells, which further helps in keeping them moisturized and nourished.
Peanut Butter consists of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in high concentrations that can rejuvenate the skin and make it plump and maintain its elasticity.
8. Great For Bone Strength
Since peanuts are loaded with calcium, they can help in the betterment of your bone strength. Calcium, as we all know, is the building block for bones and teeth. Often when the body gets rid of excess water, it also removes a certain volume of calcium with it, which is then replaced by the calcium content present in the blood.
Thus, by having a high-calcium diet, you can prevent your bones from getting weak, as it would increase your bone density and make them strong.
9. Prevents Oxygen Deficiency
A mineral called copper, which is present in peanuts, can increase the oxygen supply in the bloodstream. Copper is used for producing hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrier cell in the blood.
Consumption of adequate copper means the production of more hemoglobin, which further results in increased oxygen supply in the body. So, by increasing the oxygen in the system, consumption of peanuts prevents oxygen deficiency and other problems related to it such as anemia.
10. Manage Cholesterol Levels
Peanut butter is a mixture of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are considered healthy for the heart. It lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
11. Supports Muscle Growth
The body muscles require ample protein to develop, and Peanut Butter sources you with all the nutritional benefits. Besides, it also strengthens the bones and helps in bodybuilding.
Ways Of Peanut Consumption
Apart from adding peanuts into your regular diet, how and in what form you add them also plays a huge role in your health. Peanuts are available in different forms, all of which are used for different purposes; let’s take a look at what forms this legume has to offer:
1. Dry-Roasted Peanuts
This is by far the most common form of peanut consumption. After removing the outer covering of peanuts, they are roasted in an oven and sometimes sprinkled with salt, though it is highly advised for you to avoid salt, as its addition might lower the beneficial quality and work of peanuts.
2. Peanut Butter
Yet another popular form, peanut butter contains pure peanuts along with some sweeteners and emulsifiers. This butter is a paste that can be used to spread over the surface of bread; it can also be used for the preparation of a peanut milkshake.
There are some unsweetened peanut butter brands as well, check out our big peanut butter review here
3. Peanut Oil
Often used as an alternative for other vegetable-based cooking oil, peanut oil tend to have a milder taste and high smoking point, which makes it a great addition if you like to cook at a higher temperature. A smoking point is a temperature at which the fat starts to break down and the oil starts to release toxic fumes. Thus the high smoking point of peanut oil makes it a better alternative for high-temperature cooking.
Side Effects Of Peanuts
Some lesser known side effects of consuming peanut butter are:
1. Acne Break Out
If you suffer from hormonal acne, then consuming peanut butter regularly may break out acne on your skin.
2. May Lead To Bloating
Peanut butter doesn’t contain omega-3s, which means that the consumption of peanut butter may lead to bloating.
3. High Consumption Lead To Weight Gain
If you don’t limit yourself to consuming only the required amount of peanut butter for weight loss, you may end up gaining weight.
That being said, it is important for you to know that the full beneficial qualities of peanuts are still being studied. When added to your diet, peanuts will not only help you increase the amount of protein that you take per day, but it would also reduce the number of calories that you consume as well. Peanuts help lower fat percentage while helping you build muscle mass. Surely peanuts are a class of their own.