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Peanuts: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits & Side Effects

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Peanuts: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits & Side Effects

Peanuts, scientifically known as Arachis hypogaea, are a legume crop that originated in South America and is now grown all over the world. They are popular for their nutty flavor and several health advantages. 

Peanut Nutrition Facts

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of raw peanuts contain 567 calories and the following nutrients in grams (g), milligrams (mg), or micrograms (mcg):

  • Energy – 567 kcal

  • Protein – 25.8 g

  • Dietary fiber – 8.5 g

  • Carbohydrates – 16.13 g

  • Sugars – 4.72 g

  • Iron – 4.5 mg

  • Calcium – 92 mg

  • Sodium – 18 mg

  • Potassium – 705 mg


Health Benefits

There are numerous benefits of peanuts, as they are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and many key vitamins and minerals. They can help support heart health, manage blood sugar levels, and more.

  1. Heart Health: Peanuts are good for your heart because they have healthy fats that lower bad cholesterol. This helps keep your arteries clear, reducing the risk of heart disease. They also have important minerals that help your heart beat normally and keep your blood pressure steady.

  2. Weight Loss: Even though peanuts have a lot of calories, they can help you lose weight. That's because they make you feel full, so you eat less overall. They're also packed with protein, which helps build muscle and burn fat.

  3. Good Source of Proteins: Peanuts are like little protein powerhouses. Protein is important for building muscles, healing wounds, and keeping your immune system strong. Peanuts have all the essential amino acids your body needs to stay healthy.

  4. Gallstone Prevention: Peanuts can help prevent gallstones, which are little crystals that form in your gallbladder. They do this by controlling cholesterol levels in your blood and helping your digestion work smoothly.

  5. Strong Bones: Peanuts have nutrients that keep your bones strong, so they're less likely to break as you get older. These nutrients help your body build and maintain healthy bones, keeping you active and strong.

  6. Aids Blood Sugar Control: Peanuts can help keep your blood sugar levels steady. They have fiber and protein that slow down how fast sugar gets into your blood. This means you won't have sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels, which is good for preventing diabetes and keeping your energy levels stable throughout the day.

How to Use Peanuts?  

Peanuts can be consumed as it is, or they can be used for making various snacks and products. Some of the forms in which peanuts can be used are as follows: 

  1. Peanut oil 

  2. Peanut milk 

  3. Peanut flour 

  4. Peanut butter 

  5. Roasted peanuts  

  6. Peanut snacks 

  1. Peanut Oil: Peanut oil is made by pressing peanuts to extract their natural oils. It's commonly used for cooking and frying because it has a high smoke point, which means it can withstand high temperatures without burning. Peanut oil adds a delicious nutty flavor to dishes and is often used in Asian, African, and South American cuisines.

  2. Peanut Milk: Similar to almond or soy milk, peanut milk is made by blending roasted peanuts with water and straining the mixture to remove solids. It's a dairy-free alternative to cow's milk and can be used in the same way, such as in cereal, smoothies, or coffee. Peanut milk has a rich, creamy texture and a slightly nutty taste.

  3. Peanut Flour: Peanut flour is made by grinding roasted peanuts into a fine powder. It's a versatile ingredient that can be used in baking, smoothies, and sauces. Peanut flour is lower in fat than whole peanuts but still retains their nutty flavor. It's also a good source of protein and fiber, making it a nutritious addition to recipes.

  4. Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is a creamy spread made from ground roasted peanuts. It's a popular condiment used in sandwiches, toast, crackers, and fruit. Peanut butter is rich in protein, healthy fats, and vitamins, making it a satisfying and nutritious snack. It's also a key ingredient in many recipes, from cookies and cakes to savory sauces and dressings.

  5. Roasted Peanuts: Roasted peanuts are whole peanuts that have been cooked in an oven or on a stovetop until they're golden brown and crunchy. They're a classic snack enjoyed on their own or as part of trail mixes and snack bars. Roasted peanuts can also be used as a topping for salads, yogurt, and desserts, adding texture and flavor.

  6. Peanut Snacks: There are countless snack products made from peanuts, such as peanut brittle, peanut clusters, and peanut candy bars. These snacks come in various forms and flavors, including sweet, salty, and spicy. Peanut snacks are convenient and portable, making them perfect for on-the-go munching or as treats for special occasions.

    These different forms of peanuts offer a variety of options for enjoying their delicious flavor and nutritional benefits in various dishes and snacks. Whether you're cooking, baking, or snacking, peanuts can add a tasty and nutritious twist to your favorite recipes.

Side Effects of Peanuts

The common side effects of peanuts are:

  1. Diarrhea: Eating peanuts can sometimes upset the stomach and cause loose or watery bowel movements, known as diarrhea. This can happen if your body has difficulty digesting peanuts or if you eat too many at once.

  1. Vomiting: Some people may experience nausea and vomiting after eating peanuts. This can occur as a result of an allergic reaction to peanuts or if peanuts are not properly cooked or stored, leading to food poisoning.

  1. Increased Skin Itching: If you're allergic to peanuts, eating them can trigger an immune response in your body, leading to symptoms like itching, especially on the skin. 

  1. Asthma: In some cases, peanuts can trigger asthma symptoms in individuals who are allergic to them. These symptoms may include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

  1. Skin Rashes or Red Bumps: Allergic reactions to peanuts can manifest as skin rashes or red bumps, known as hives or urticaria. These rashes may be itchy and uncomfortable, and they can appear anywhere on the body.

  1. Food Poisoning: Eating contaminated peanuts or peanut products can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever.

Conclusions

In conclusion, peanuts are a nutritious food with numerous health benefits, including promoting heart health, aiding in weight loss, and supporting bone strength. They can be consumed in various forms such as peanut oil, peanut butter, and roasted peanuts, offering versatility in cooking and snacking. However, individuals should be cautious of potential side effects like allergic reactions and food poisoning. Overall, incorporating peanuts into a balanced diet can be a delicious and beneficial choice for overall health and well-being.


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