Ground nut (Peanut) – Nutrition, Health Benefits & side effects

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Introduction 

Groundnuts, or peanuts, are a widely consumed food source around the world. They can be used to make peanut butter and groundnut oil or as a snack. The sandy soils in the tropical and subtropical regions of the earth grow groundnuts.

Several advantages of peanuts may attract us to eat them regularly. Arachis hypogea, or peanuts, are a powerhouse of vital nutrients. They are commonly eaten raw or roasted and are also known as goobers, groundnuts and earth nuts. 

About 20 amino acids are present in peanuts, with the immune system-boosting amino acid arginine being the most abundant. They also contain several healthy minerals, vitamins and plant compounds. Consuming plenty of peanuts may improve blood sugar control, weight loss, gallstone prevention and heart health.

Compared to other nuts, peanuts are extremely rich in minerals, micro and macronutrients, and vitamins. They are also a very economical and versatile ingredient. Whether one eats these delicious nuts raw or roasted, there is a wealth of health advantages, including a healthy heart, radiant skin, lustrous hair, an increase in energy and sound sleep.

The nutritional content of ground nuts 

The nutritional information for 100 g of raw peanuts.

  • Energy – 567 calories
  • Carbohydrates – 16.1 g
  • Protein – 25.8 g
  • Fibre – 8.5 g
  • Sugar – 4.7 g
  • Water – 7%
  • Fat – 49.2 g
  • Saturated fat – 6.28 g
  • Monounsaturated fat – 24.43 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat – 15.56 g
  • Omega-6 Fatty acids – 15.56 g
  • Omega-3 Fatty acids – 0
  • Trans fat – 0

High-quality protein and wholesome fats are abundant in peanuts. They also contain high calories. Most fat in peanuts is mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is usually used to manufacture peanut oil.

Carbohydrates 

Peanuts are low-carb foods. They are thus a healthy nutritional option for people with Diabetes.

Peanut proteins 

Peanuts are an excellent source of protein for a plant-based diet. It should be noted that some people are allergic to the protein in peanuts. Peanuts are a fantastic source of plant-based protein since they contain between 22 and 30 % protein of their total calories.

Minerals and vitamins 

Several vitamins and minerals are abundant in peanuts. Vitamin E, biotin, thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), folate (vitamin B9), manganese, magnesium, copper and phosphorus are abundant in the groundnut.

Plant compounds in ground nut 

Various plant compounds are present in peanuts. These include antioxidants like coumaric acid and resveratrol, as well as antinutrients like phytic acid.

Health benefits of peanuts 

Improves brain functioning 

One can increase their mental capacity, memory and brain function by including a handful of peanuts in the diet. The research shows that consuming nuts can improve conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and improve cognition. 

Niacin, or vitamin B3, which is abundant in peanuts, aids in enhancing brain function. The release of serotonin from peanuts reduces depressive symptoms, and the presence of tryptophan promotes sleep and mental health.

Helps in weight loss 

Despite having a high-calorie content, peanuts help people lose weight rather than gain it. Foods high in energy include peanuts. They may therefore help us eat fewer calories later in the day when we eat them as a snack. When ingested as a snack rather than with a meal, peanuts increase the feelings of satiety. This might aid in weight loss in the long run.

Eating peanuts and peanut butter can make us feel more satisfied. These may provide greater satiety than snacks high in carbohydrates when consumed in an equivalent amount.

Lower Diabetes risk 

For people with Diabetes, groundnuts are the perfect snack because they help to reduce blood sugar levels. Grab a handful of roasted peanuts to satisfy hunger and avoid a rise in blood sugar levels. Peanuts contain 21% of the mineral manganese for every 100 g, which is important for calcium absorption and blood sugar control.

Cancer prevention 

High consumption of nuts, including peanuts, has been linked to a lower risk of colon cancer. The anticancer characteristics of the isoflavones, resveratrol and phenolic acid present in peanuts may help lower the chance of developing cancer.

Eating peanuts may also lower the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer. Also, peanuts have been shown to protect older people from developing gastric and oesophagal cancer. 

Enhances sexual function

The amino acid arginine, which is abundant in peanuts, is turned into nitric oxide, which helps to expand the blood vessels and improve circulation. According to studies, using arginine supplements may aid in treating mild to severe erectile dysfunction and improving sexual function. 

Other research in test tubes has revealed that arginine can help boost a person’s libido, semen quality and testosterone levels in general. Peanuts are also a very good source of antioxidants like resveratrol, which has been shown to support and improve men’s sexual health by enhancing erectile performance and sperm quality. However, more research is still required.

Heart health 

Consuming peanuts has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Nutrients that are essential for maintaining a healthy heart are present in peanuts. These nuts provide fibre, antioxidants, a healthy balance of mono- and polyunsaturated fats, copper, magnesium, protein and other nutrients that contribute to lowering LDL cholesterol levels. 

Ground nuts provide antioxidants and amino acids that preserve the lining of the arteries, shielding the heart from conditions like atherosclerosis. Consuming these crunchy nuts every day lowers fatality from heart disease by 29%.

Prevent gallstone 

Regularly including peanuts in the diet reduces the risk of gallstones. Eating more than five servings of nuts, including peanuts, significantly reduces the chance of gallstone formation.

Skin health

Consuming peanuts protect the skin against sunburn and deterioration. Peanuts contain magnesium, zinc and vitamin E, which may help fight bacteria and improve the appearance of the skin. 

An antioxidant found in peanuts called beta-carotene may also assist in promoting skin health. Monounsaturated fats and antioxidants found in peanuts help to keep the skin clear. 

These nutrients cleanse the body of all the pollutants that give the skin a dull, oily and lifeless appearance. Resveratrol, an antioxidant, even delays the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. Research has shown that this antioxidant can treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. However, there is little research regarding the role of ground nuts on skin health.

Hair health

Scientific studies connecting peanuts to hair development are significantly fewer. Given that they are high in protein and all the essential amino acids, peanuts may be a useful addition to a diet for hair growth. The abundant nutrients in the ground nut are good for the hair.

Side effects of groundnuts 

Consuming peanuts regularly in moderate quantities is healthful and beneficial. But, as with any food, eating excessive amounts of them can be harmful. However, consuming them has not been associated with many severe adverse effects besides peanut allergies. 

Here are certain side effects of peanut consumption.

Aflatoxin poisoning

Aflatoxin poisoning is a cause for concern. Liver failure and liver cancer can result from severe aflatoxin poisoning. It happens when food items are kept in environments that promote fungus growth. This can be prevented by keeping peanuts in a space with low humidity and temperature.

Allergy

Persons who have severe nut allergies should avoid eating peanuts (or any food item that contains peanuts in it). Allergic reactions to nuts can happen in some people due to the presence of two proteins conarachin and arachin.

When a person accidentally consumes this, they must keep an eye out for these signs.

Dyspnea, a runny nose, skin problems, stomach issues and more.

Consult a doctor immediately if there is discomfort or any of the mentioned symptoms.

Prevents the absorption of minerals.

Eating too many peanuts in a day can have negative side effects and may be detrimental to health. This results in digestive problems and prevents the absorption of other essential minerals. 

Also, peanuts contain several antinutrients (like phytic acid), which hinder the absorption of other nutrients (like iron and zinc) and lower the nutritional value of the food.

How to eat groundnuts?

There are many ways to include peanuts or groundnuts in the daily diet.

  • Simply popping them into the mouth is the simplest way to consume peanuts.
  • Groundnut paste can be added to curries and soups to give them a creamy touch.
  • Add roasted groundnuts to salads and stir-fried vegetables.
  • Peanut butter can be included in nutritious puddings, shakes and smoothies.
  • A tasty and nutritious treat can also be made by spreading peanut butter on bread, toast, apple or meat dishes.

Conclusion 

Groundnuts offer health benefits in several ways. Due to their abundance of essential minerals, vitamins and plant-based substances, these crunchy nuts can be a nutritious addition to the diet. 

Peanuts can improve skin, hair and cardiovascular health when eaten in moderation. They also help with weight loss, protect against gallstones and lower the risk of cancer. Aflatoxin poisoning, allergic reactions and impaired nutrient absorption occur as a result of excessive use. So, it’s best to use it in moderation. 

FAQs

Is it okay to eat groundnut every day?

Daily consumption of groundnuts is beneficial. Daily consumption of groundnuts provides numerous health advantages, including reducing bad cholesterol, preventing heart diseases, boosting fertility, aiding weight loss, and enhancing brain function.

Is groundnut good for health? 

Vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid, copper and arginine are a few vitamins and minerals abundant in groundnuts. Also, groundnut’s high protein content makes it a fantastic food for anyone looking to lose weight or build muscle.

What are the disadvantages of groundnut in the body? 

Consuming groundnuts in excess might raise blood sugar and harmful LDL cholesterol levels. It could lead to weight gain, impair the body’s ability to absorb minerals, and cause allergies, high blood pressure, pollution and an imbalance in omega-3 fatty acids.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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