Although we tend to underestimate them, peanuts are a nut of high nutritional value.
Why have we been told so badly about the nutritional properties of peanuts for decades? This food, also known as ‘peanuts’, 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 in a wide variety of products that we can find in any supermarket: you can buy salted, raw, boiled and dried peanuts. But they are also present in countless recipes, sauces and creams, in nougat, butters, candies and in dried fruit cocktails that we serve in any bar or restaurant.
For every 100 grams of peanuts, its nutritional contribution is as follows:
- Calories: 567
- Fat: 49 g
- Proteins: 25 g
- Carbohydrates: 17 g
Nutritional properties and benefits of peanuts
The bad name of peanuts is due not to their nutritional properties, which are many and valuable, but to the fact that they have been introduced in food products of little reputation, with 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 manganese, a 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 levels.
2. Prevents complications during pregnancy
You have surely heard about the vital importance of folic acid during pregnancy. In many scientific investigations, it has been found that women who ingested at least 500 milligrams of folic acid during pregnancy reduced the chances that the fetus would have serious changes in the neural tube. The differences, according to these studies, was more than 70% in favor of those who took this amount of folic acid. Well, peanuts are rich in this nutrient.
3. Prevents the appearance of gallstones
It can be strange to us that a food with the bad reputation of being especially high in fat has this magnificent property. But it is true: the moderate consumption of peanuts helps our body reduce the possibility of 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. Boost memory
Our mental and cognitive health also benefits if we eat peanuts. Peanuts have key nutrients, vitamin 3 and niacin, which provide better health for our neurons, which ultimately enhances the ability to retain data.
5. Regulates cholesterol levels
The same nutrients that protect our brain are those that help us, in turn, regulate and maintain optimal cholesterol levels. Additionally, the copper content of peanuts prevents bad cholesterol levels from spiking while increasing good cholesterol levels.
6. Prevents and fights the symptoms of depression
We have talked many times about depression, its causes, and its common symptoms. One of the nutrients that greatly help to avoid or overcome this psychological condition is tryptophan, an essential amino acid that regulates the production of serotonin, a hormone that, among other things, improves our mood and brings us well-being.
People with depression have lower than normal serotonin levels. Thanks to tryptophan we can make our brain produce more of this hormone.
7. Protects heart health
Research in the field of cardiology has shown that consuming peanuts frequently is associated with a lower incidence of heart disorders. The antioxidants and good fats that these nuts contain, as well as monounsaturated oleic acid, which is one of the main nutrients that protects the heart.
8. Improves cognitive health and prevents dementia
Niacin, present 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. A small handful of peanuts daily gives us up to 30% of the recommended daily value of niacin.
9. Protects against some types of cancer
Have you heard of phytosterols? One of them, beta-sitoserol, can be found in many vegetable oils, legumes, seeds and other types of vegetables, and also in peanuts. This substance is directly related to the prevention of oncological diseases, since it inhibits the development of certain tumors.
10. Helps to lose weight
Surely it may be surprising that a particularly fatty food can help us lose weight. However, several studies have found that people who eat nuts a couple of times a week tend to have a lower propensity to gain weight, compared to those who rarely or never eat them.
- Recommended article: “10 psychological tricks to lose weight”
A delicious ingredient to consider
As we have seen, among the properties of peanuts 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. Either in its original form or through peanut butter, we can use it as a complement to snacks, desserts and first courses.
- Bao, Y .; Han, J .; Hu, FB; Giovannucci, EL; Stampfer, MJ; Willett, WC; Fuchs, CS (2013). Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. New England Journal of Medicine. 369 (21): 2001–2011.
- Martinez-Carter, K. (2014). As American as peanut butter. Pacific Standard.