Health Benefits of Peanuts
Also known as ground nuts, peanuts, along with beans and peas are members of the legume family which are the best sources of protein in the plant kingdom. Peanuts are found in a wide variety of products. They can be eaten salted, dry roasted, boiled and even raw. They can be found in peanut brittle, peanut butter and candy bars and is often a major ingredient in mixed nuts.
1. Helps Promote Fertility (Folate)
Peanuts contain a good amount of folate. Repeated studies have shown that women who had a daily intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduced their risk of having a baby born with a serious neural tube defect by up to 70%.
2. Aids in Blood Sugar Regulation (Manganese)
One fourth cup of peanuts can supply the body with 35% of the DV of manganese, a mineral which plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
3. Helps Prevent Gallstones
It may come as a surprise that peanuts can help prevent gallstones. But 20 years of studies have shown that eating 1 ounce of nuts, peanuts or peanut butter a week lowers the risk of developing gallstones by 25%.
4. Helps Fight Depression (Tryptophan)
Peanuts are good sources of tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is important for the production of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in mood regulation. When depression occurs, a decreased amount of serotonin may be released from the nerve cells in the brain. Tryptophan may raise serotonin’s antidepressant effects when there is an increased amount of serotonin in the blood.
5. Boosts Memory Power (Vitamin B3)
Do you know what can be found in peanuts that gave them the “brain food” tag? This is due to their vitamin B3 or niacin content whose many health benefits include normal brain functioning and boosting memory power.
6. Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels (Copper)
The same nutrient which gives peanuts their memory enhancing power also helps lower and control cholesterol levels. Added to that is their copper contents which aids in reducing bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels.
7. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Numerous studies have shown that regular nuts consumption is linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Peanuts are rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and antioxidants such as oleic acid. Reach for a handful of peanuts and other nuts at least four times a week to reduce your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
8. Protects Against Age-related Cognitive Decline (Vitamin B2)
Study participants have shown that those who have an intake of the most niacin-rich foods like peanuts were 70% less likely to have developed Alzheimer’s disease. A quarter cup a day of peanuts can already supply almost a quarter of the daily needed value for niacin.
9. Cancer Protection
A form of phytosterol called beta-sitoserol (SIT) is found in high concentrations in some plant oils, seeds, and legumes including peanuts. Phytosterols not only protects against cardiovascular disease by interfering with the absorption of cholesterol, they also protect against cancer by inhibiting tumor growth.
10. Lowers Risk of Weight Gain
Surprise! Eating nuts regularly is associated with a lowered risk of weight gain. Research has shown that people who eat nuts at least twice weekly are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat them.