Peanuts (Arachis hypogea), also referred to as groundnuts, monkey nut, goobers, earth nuts, and Moongphali in Hindi. They are small oval-shaped nuts, having an outer shell, which is in contact with dirt. When the shell is opened, two cotyledons are seen inside. Cotyledons (moongphali, as we know it) are the edible part.
Peanuts are cultivated for its seeds and the oil that is extracted from it. These nuts are usually consumed roasted, boiled, or in the raw form.
An interesting fact about peanuts… Even though there is ‘nut’ in the name but they are actually legumes and not nuts.
Nutritional Facts of Peanuts
Groundnuts are high in calories, fiber, fats, fibre, and proteins. They are low in carbohydrates and do not contain cholesterol. They contain all the 20 amino acids, arginine been present in abundance. Peanuts contain several antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds. Some of the antioxidants present in peanuts are coumaric acid, isoflavones, and resveratrol.
As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of raw peanuts, contains 567 calories, 26 gm proteins, 9 gm fiber, 16 gm carbohydrates, 49.2 gm fat, 4 gm sugar, 6.7 mg iron, 134 mg calcium, 245 mg of magnesium, 705 mg of potassium, 18 mg of sodium, 0.5 mg of vitamin B6, 17.6 mg of niacin, and 350 mcg of folate.
Potential Health Benefits of Peanuts
1. The cholesterol-lowering effects of peanuts prevent gallstones, as most of the gallstones are composed of cholesterol.
2. Regular consumption of groundnuts lowers the risk of gallstones and cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder).
Reduces cancer risk
1. The phenolic acid, resveratrol, and isoflavones present in peanuts possess anticancer properties which reduce the risk of cancer.
2. The beta-sitosterol found in groundnuts obstructs the growth of tumours, particularly breast and cervical cancers.
3. Peanuts reduce the risk of various cancers such as colorectal, gastric, oesophageal, and postmenopausal breast cancers.
Stops hair fall
1. The high content of Vitamin C in peanuts prevents hair fall. The amino acids and protein contents of peanuts help boost hair growth.
2. Regular consumption of groundnuts accelerates collagen production, strengthens hair follicles, averts baldness, and contributes to hair growth.
Treats erectile dysfunction
The high content of arginine is groundnut helps in treating erectile dysfunction.
Promotes skin health
1. The beta-carotene component of peanut promotes skin health. The presence of resveratrol avoids the excess sebum oil production thus, preventing acne and pimples.
2. Vitamin C & vitamin E prevent the production of fine lines, wrinkles, and avoids signs of ageing.
3. Vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium components of moongphali fights bacteria and helps the skin glow.
Even though there is ‘nut’ in the name but they are actually legumes and not nuts. Some of the antioxidants present in peanuts are coumaric acid, isoflavones, and resveratrol.
Other possible benefits of Peanuts…
Moongphali produces numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as reduces the risk of heart diseases, maintains a healthy weight, controls blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of obesity,reduces the risk of stroke, prevents against Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline, lowers triglycerides, increases the levels of good cholesterol, relieves the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, boosts memory, and promotes child’s growth.
How to use Peanuts in the diet?
Peanuts can be easily added to various dishes. They can be used either as a whole or ground for cooking. Peanuts can be used in a variety of ways, some of them are as follows…
- In soups.
- As a snack.
- In spring rolls.
- As Peanut Oil.
- As Peanut flour.
- Added in chikki.
- As peanut milk.
- As Peanut Butter.
- As Peanut sauce.
- Added in salads.
- Added in desserts.
- In various dishes, to add flavour.
- In stir-fried veggies over rice or noodles.
- Peanut oil for seasoning various dishes, or for deep frying.
How to prepare Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie?
Take 2 bananas, broken into pieces, 2 cups milk, ½ cup creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons honey, and 2 cups ice cubes.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend them till it is completely smooth.
Pour it into a glass and refrigerator it and serve it chilled.