Why have we been told so badly about the nutritional properties of peanuts for decades? This food, also called “peanut”, is a dried fruit that belongs to the legume family.
These types of legumes are the best source of protein among vegetables. Currently, the food industry has introduced peanuts into a wide variety of products that can be found in any supermarket: you can buy salted, raw, boiled and dried peanuts. But they are also present in countless recipes, sauces and creams, nougats, butters, candies and nuts that we serve in any bar or restaurant.
For 100 grams of peanuts, their nutritional contribution is as follows:
- Energy: 567
- Fat: 49 g
- Protein: 25 g
- Carbohydrates: 17 g
Nutritional properties and benefits of peanuts
The bad reputation of peanuts is not due to their nutritional properties, which are numerous and valuable, but to the fact that they have been introduced into reputable food products, with an excess of salt and saturated fat.
However, this dried fruit, if consumed without additives, is a natural source of health.. In this article, we will review its benefits and properties.
1. Control blood sugar
A handful of peanuts provides us with 35% of the recommended amount of manganeseA very important mineral that helps us metabolize carbohydrates and fats. In addition, manganese is involved in the absorption of calcium and helps us regulate blood sugar.
2. Prevents complications during pregnancy
Surely you’ve heard of the vital importance of folic acid during pregnancy. Numerous scientific studies have shown that women who ingest at least 500 milligrams of folic acid during the gestation phase reduced the chances of the fetus having severe neural tube damage. The differences, according to these studies, were over 70% in favor of those who took this amount of folic acid. Well, peanuts are high in this nutrient.
3. Prevents the appearance of gallstones
We may find it strange that a food with a bad reputation for being particularly high in fat has this magnificent property.. But it’s true: moderate consumption of peanuts helps our body reduce the risk of suffering from gallstones by up to 30%. Eating between 70 and 100 grams of peanuts provides us with an extra dose of immunity against this disorder.
4. Improves memory
Our mental and cognitive health is also beneficial if we eat peanuts. Peanuts contain key nutrients, Vitamin 3 and Niacin, which improve the health of our neurons, which improves the ability to retain data.
5. Regulates cholesterol levels
The same nutrients that protect our brains are those that, in turn, help us to regulate and maintain optimal cholesterol levels. In addition, the copper content in peanuts prevents bad cholesterol from skyrocketing and at the same time increases good cholesterol.
6. Prevents and fights symptoms of depression
We have spoken many times about depression, its causes and common symptoms. One of the nutrients that go a long way in preventing or overcoming this psychological picture is tryptophan, an essential amino acid that regulates the production of serotonin, a hormone that, among other things, improves our mood and gives us well-being.
People with depression have lower than normal levels of serotonin. Thanks to tryptophan, we can make our brains produce more of this hormone.
7. Protects heart health
Research in the field of cardiology shows that peanut consumption is often associated with a lower incidence of heart problems. The good antioxidants and fats in these nuts, in addition to the monounsaturated oleic acid, which is one of the main nutrients that protect the heart.
8. Improves cognitive health and prevents dementia
Niacin, found in peanuts, is one of the most important nutrients for the health of our neural connections.. People who consume this nutrient are up to 65% less likely to suffer from cognitive disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. A small handful of peanuts per day provides up to 30% of the recommended daily value of niacin.
9. Protects against certain types of cancer
Have you heard of phytosterols? One of them, beta-sitoserol, is found in many vegetable oils, legumes, seeds and other types of vegetables, as well as in peanuts. This substance is directly related to the prevention of oncological diseases, as it inhibits the development of certain tumors.
10. It helps to lose weight
It may be surprising that a particularly fatty food can help us lose weight. However, several studies have shown that people who eat nuts a few times a week tend to have a lower propensity to gain weight than those who eat them rarely or never.
A delicious ingredient to consider
As we have seen, among the properties of peanut we find several that refer to the fact that it is a source of healthy fats, but it is also easy to use this ingredient in many dishes. Whether in its original form or using peanut butter, we can use it as a supplement in snacks, desserts and starters.
- Bao, Y .; Han, J .; Hu, FB; Giovannucci, EL; Stampfer, MJ; Willett, WC; Fuchs, CS (2013). Association of nut consumption with total mortality and by specific cause. New England Journal of Medicine. 369 (21): 2001-2011.
- Martinez-Carter, K. (2014). As American as peanut butter. Pacific Standard.