The name “Peanut” might make us immediately think of something related to nuts. But, in actual practice, peanut is not actually a nut. It is a kind of pulse that belongs to the family of legumes that include lentils, beans etc. How and why the name of peanut was given is a different matter here.
Peanut refers to the oval edible seeds of plant hose seeds develop primarily in underground pods. The first peanut plants were found to have been cultivated in and around the Andean lowlands in South America. The peanuts, typically grown in tropical and subtropical regions, are now being cultivated across the world, and the consumption of peanuts in a number of varieties depending upon the place of cultivation, is a very essential member of the innumerable cuisines and delicacies.
Not only do these peanuts belonging to the legume family offer delicious cuisines and consumed across the world, they are a source of innumerable health benefits.
Mono-saturated fats that are responsible for reducing the level of LDL cholesterol are present in abundant quantity in these peanuts, and these peanuts are also a good and economical source for protein.
It has been found that a serving of peanuts – equivalent to a handful or approximately 30 grams or 1 oz – contains as much as 40 micrograms of folate as well as reasonable quantity of minerals such as potassium, niacin, magnesium, copper, selenium, zinc, thiamine, phophorous as well as Vitamin E. One needs to exercise caution in the consumption of peanuts because in addition to these minerals, peanuts also contain high amount of calories. A 30 gram serving of peanuts contains as much as 160 calories.
A lot of research is being done on these wonderful peanuts to exploit and explain the innumerable health benefits that they offer.
According to a recent study, it has been found that regular consumption of monosaturated fats such as peanuts along with peanut butter and olive oil, in addition with a diet that is low in saturated fat, has resulted in reducing the total cholesterol by 10%, LDL cholesterol by as much as 14% and the overall risk of contracting heart-related disease by 21%. Another study revealed that regular consumption of nuts and peanuts, especially by women, for five or more times in a week, has resulted in reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes in these women by as much as 27%.
Because of higher satiety levels in peanuts and peanut butter, regular consumption of peanuts has been found to have yielded better results in weight management, because the satiety levels in these peanuts might help you feel a full stomach for a little longer period – around 2 hours more – than consumption of carbohydrate foods. In other words, on consuming peanuts and peanut butter, you can postpone the time for next fill-up of the stomach by another 2 hours, thus reducing the number or refills to the stomach per day and have better control over weight and its management.
However, as a word of caution, peanuts might be allergic to some people. In such cases, the symptoms might be something of a tingling sensation in the mouth or hives. One should exercise caution and act accordingly if you experience any inconvenience on consuming peanuts.