Top 10 Benefits of Peanuts
Peanuts, just like beans and peas, are a member of the legume family. This means that peanuts are not actually nuts, but they are legumes, which are excellent sources of protein. Peanuts are still classified as nuts because they have the same qualities of a true nut, like almonds. And just like almonds, the benefits of peanuts are very helpful and useful to your health.
Peanuts are rich in a variety of nutrients such as folate, vitamin E, niacin, protein, and manganese. Many people prefer eating peanuts because they are cheaper to buy in the market and they can be a good substitute for the more expensive pistachios, walnuts, cashews, and pine nuts. Peanuts are also versatile and they are often used as an ingredient in a lot of dishes. Those who are allergic to nuts can eat peanuts since they are not really nuts but legumes.
If you do more research, you can find a long list of the health benefits of peanuts. We are giving you the top 10 benefits of peanuts that can prevent various diseases and boost your overall health.
Peanuts and Heart Health
Heart health is very important, especially if you are overweight or your family has a history of cardiovascular disease. Peanuts have high amounts of monounsaturated fats, which are considered healthy fats that are good for your heart. Many previous studies have concluded that peanuts are beneficial to the heart. In one study, participants who were given a diet program that is high in monounsaturated fats lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease by about 21 percent.
Aside from the monounsaturated fats, peanuts also contain various nutrients that can help boost heart health. Peanuts contain a phenolic antioxidant called resveratrol that lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Peanuts are rich in oleic acid, which reduces the LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol and increases the HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol. By consuming oleic acid that promotes healthy blood lipids, you are lessening the risk of stroke and coronary artery disease. With the benefits of peanuts, you can surely maintain a healthy heart.
Peanuts for Preventing Cancer
The benefits of peanuts are very potent and powerful that it can even prevent certain cancers from developing. Peanuts contain nutrients such as folic acid, phytic acid, phytosterols, and resveratrol, which have anti-cancer effects. The phytosterols can fight cancer by inhibiting the growth of a tumor, especially in the colon, breast, and prostate. One research done in the US has found that people who consumed peanuts at least two times a week had reduced their risk of developing colon cancer. Studies have also shown that peanut can become a candidate as a superfood that can prevent colon cancer.
Colorectal cancer is becoming the most frequent cancer in the world and it is more common in developing countries. Studies were done to find out the ability of peanuts to lessen the chances of developing colon cancer. Researchers discovered that eating peanuts two or more times every week has lowered the risk of colon cancer in men by 27 percent, and women by 58 percent.
According to the experts who have studied this type of cancer, you should avoid pickled foods and eat peanuts at least twice each week. You can try using peanut butter on your toast or crackers in the morning or you can add peanut butter to your smoothies. You can also add peanuts to your cooked rice or use it as a sauce for your dishes. When buying your peanut butter, make sure to read the label and avoid the brands that contain a lot of trans-fat and sugar.
Other studies have found that the benefits of peanuts may also be effective in warding off skin cancer. Peanuts contain vitamin E and unsaturated fats that can treat the damages and inflammation caused by too much exposure to UV rays.
Peanuts for Brain Health
According to the experts, regular consumption of foods that are rich in niacin can be beneficial for the protection against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Peanuts are one of those foods that contain high amounts of niacin. This nutrient, which is also popularly known as vitamin B3, can improve brain functioning and sharpens the memory. Peanuts are also rich in resveratrol, which is a flavonoid that improves the blood flow to the brain.
A study made in Chicago interviewed elderly residents and seniors 65 years old and above regarding their diet. Researchers tested their cognitive abilities over 6 years and discovered that those people who consumed more niacin were 70 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease compared to the people who were consuming the least niacin. Also, the people consuming niacin-rich foods had a slower rate of age-related cognitive decline.
Snacking on peanuts regularly can increase your intake of niacin. Consuming just a quarter cup of peanuts can already provide you with about 25 percent of the daily recommended intake of niacin. Through the benefits of peanuts, you can maintain a sharper memory, improve your brain functioning, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Peanuts for Preventing Diabetes
Diabetes type 2 is a very common form of diabetes that has afflicted millions of people in the world. Diabetes type 2 can be treated, but it is still better to prevent this from developing. The benefits of peanuts can help make your body more resistant and stronger against this disease.
Peanuts are very low in sugar and carbohydrate content, which makes them a perfect snack for those with diabetes. Peanuts also contain manganese, which promotes better carbohydrates and fat metabolism that allows glucose to enter the liver cells and muscles. This helps make the blood sugar levels more stable. According to recent studies, one serving of peanut can reduce your risk of diabetes by about 21 percent. You should take advantage of the benefits of peanuts if you have insulin sensitivity and you want to keep yourself healthy and strong against diabetes.
Peanuts for Your Skin
The benefits of peanuts extend to your skin, making it smoother and youthful-looking. The monounsaturated fats and resveratrol in peanuts have critical roles in helping you achieve a healthier skin. Peanuts also contain high amounts of dietary fiber that can flush out the excess toxins on your skin, which makes your skin clearer and looking flawless.
Eating peanuts every day can provide you with the much-needed vitamin C and E, which prevents the early development of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. The resveratrol acts as a powerful antioxidant that provides effective anti-aging benefits for your skin.
Peanuts for Your Hair
Peanuts have the best nutrients to keep your hair healthier. It is a good source of biotin, which is a B-vitamin that is important for your scalp health and hair growth. The human body produces biotin and it can also be found in many foods, but if there is a deficiency in biotin, it can lead to significant loss of hair. People who are suffering from biotin deficiency and hair loss are advised to take biotin-rich foods like peanuts.
Peanuts contain vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acid, which helps in the collagen production and boosting hair growth. Peanuts also contain l-arginine, which is used by doctors to treat male baldness. If you are experiencing hair loss, dry hair, or itchy scalp, take advantage of the benefits of peanuts to treat your hair problems.
Peanuts for Pregnant Women
The benefits of peanuts can be very helpful for pregnant women. Peanuts are very rich in folate, which is needed by pregnant women to keep their unborn babies healthy. Studies have shown that women who consumed folic acid during the early stages of their pregnancy had lowered their risk of having babies with neural tube defects. It was also discovered that peanuts can help lower the risk of allergies in children.
Peanuts in Fighting Depression
If you or any member of your family experience depression, it is a good idea to snack on peanuts every day. The benefits of peanuts are effective as an anti-depressant because it helps release serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that helps regulate your mood. When there is an inadequate secretion of the serotonin, it can cause depression. Peanuts contain amino acids that can aid in the secretion of serotonin, which prevents the onset of depression.
Peanuts may not be a popular snack food when it comes to losing or managing your weight, but it has a combination of nutrients that can lower your risk of gaining weight. Peanuts contain protein, fat, and fiber that make you feel full for a long period of time, thus helping you to lower your appetite and food craving. Peanuts are also great sources of energy and it can boost your metabolic rate. The benefits of peanuts can really contribute to your weight loss diet.
Peanuts for Preventing Gallstones
The benefits of peanuts include preventing gallstones. Eating just an ounce of peanuts each week can reduce the risk of gallstones or gallbladder disease. Try to eat at least 100 grams of peanuts each week.