April 23, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated August 9, 2021
Health benefits of peanuts
Peanuts are botanically part of the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), commonly known as the legume, bean, or pea family. Scientifically, it is considered a legume; however, most people would consider it a nut because of its uses.
Regardless of family belonging, peanuts are among the most consumed fruits or legumes, if we are to go uphold the botanical label. So, let’s delve deeper into the world of this legume and see if we can consider it among the top healthiest nuts or not. And to start with, are there any health benefits of peanuts?
Origins and plantation:
Most records agree that the peanut plants have originated in South America, somewhere in what is today’s Brazil and Peru. Most likely, Spanish explorers contributed to the spread of this plant across the western hemisphere and later to Europe. Later, trade with the rest of the world helped transplant peanuts to Asia and Africa.
It is said that peanuts were regarded as the food of the poor and hence were not given much attention. Farms dedicated to this legume were a rare sight and small-sized. Besides, difficult farming techniques and the lack of labor-saving machinery contributed to the downsizing of this plant. It was not until the twentieth century that peanuts gained recognition thanks to one botanist named George Washington Carver, who has done significant research at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
He developed more than three hundred uses of peanuts; some are food recipes while others are agricultural products. Starting from this time, the production of peanuts soared.
Peanut butter is believed to be first grounded by Native Americans, and later a St. Louis physician is said to have developed the recipe for his old patients. The butter was first introduced at the ST. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
This butter, rich in protein and nutrients, was very popular among soldiers. It was part and parcel of army food supplies during world war I.
Nutritional value of peanuts:
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s data, 100 grams of peanuts has the following nutrients:
- Calories: 567Total fat: 49 g
- Saturated fat: 7 g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 16 g
- Monounsaturated fat: 24 g
- Sodium: 18 g
- Potassium: 705 g
- Total carbohydrates: 16 g
- Dietary fiber: 9 g
- Sugar: 4 g
- Protein: 26 g
- Calcium: 9 % of the daily value
- Iron: 25 % of the daily value
- Vitamin B6: 15 % of the daily value
- Magnesium: 42 % of the daily value
Peanuts protein per 100 grams is 26 grams, which is 52 % of the recommended daily value. These nuts are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also a great source of unsaturated fats. So let’s find out more about the health benefits f these red legumes.
Health benefits of peanuts:
Are peanuts healthy? Peanuts are low in carbohydrates, high in proteins and fat. Luckily, most of the fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are classified as healthy fat. Oil is extracted from this nut and used in various recipes. These characteristics indicate that peanuts have a very low glycemic index, which means they are great food for people with diabetes.
These nuts are a great option for vegetarians; peanuts protein per 100 grams is 52 percent of the daily value. They are loaded with plant-based protein. Unfortunately, the most common proteins in peanuts arerachin and conarachin, which are responsible for most allergic reactions.
Other nutrients found in peanuts include biotin, niacin, copper, folate, manganese, vitamin E, and thiamin…etc. most of these vitamins are essential for heart health. Others are vital for pregnant women, such as biotin and folate.
Like most fruits, peanuts have considerable antioxidants in their skin; that’s why it is recommended that you eat them while still raw. Nevertheless, the kernel itself is a powerhouse of many antioxidants. These include Coumaric acid, resveratrol, isoflavones, phytic acid, and phytosterols. These compounds are vital for the heart, digestive system, and even chronic diseases such as cancer.
The bottom line, peanuts can be classified among the top healthiest nuts to consume. So, enjoy the various products made from this crunchy tiny seed.
These might seem delicious and indeed they are, but you have to be aware of a few dangers lurking in this savory nut. Peanuts trigger most immune system allergies. They are the most common nut that people are allergic to. This is because, as Robert Wood, an allergy specialist at Johns Hopkins University posits, peanuts contain nutrients not found in other food types.
Common symptoms of allergy caused by peanuts include skin reactions, itching, digestive problems, and shortness of breath…etc. some attacks might be severe and life-threatening, that’s why it is essential that you check all products for peanut content if you are allergic o it. Otherwise, enjoy a daily portion as part of snacks, cookies, baked goods, or whatever you wish; most of all reap the health benefits of peanuts as much as you can.