Health benefits of Peanuts
Peanuts are rich in energy and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
They compose sufficient levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids especially oleic acid. It helps to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” level in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
These nuts are a good source of dietary protein compose fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth and development.
Research studies have shown that peanuts contain high concentrations of poly-phenolic antioxidants, primarily p-coumaric acid. This compound has been thought to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by limiting the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach.
Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol, another polyphenolic antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to have protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections.
Furthermore, studies suggest that resveratrol reduce stroke risk by altering molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels (reducing susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin, a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure), and by increasing production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
Recent research studies suggest that boiling enhances antioxidant concentration in the peanuts. It has been found that boiled peanuts have two and four-fold increase in isoflavone antioxidants biochanin-A and genistein content, respectively. (Journal of agricultural and food chemistry).
The nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E (a-tocopherol); containing about 8 g per100 g. vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant which helps maintain the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen free radicals.
The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contribute to brain health and blood flow to brain.
The nuts are rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Just a hand full of peanuts per day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.