Did you know that peanuts have multiple benefits for your health that range from caring for your cardiovascular system to your skin?
The peanut, also known as peanut, is a fruit that is not only delicious in all its forms, but also has incredible positive effects on our body.
If you want to know more about them, what they do for your body, and creative ways to consume them, then this article is for you.
Peanut health benefits
Peanuts, and most nuts in general, are credited with important cardiovascular, antitumor, dermatological and even neurological benefits, which is why they are excellent and highly nutritious foods.
Next, we show you some of its best-known functions.
1. Reduces the risk of heart disease
Nuts, including peanuts, have cardioprotective effects. Morbidity and mortality from heart disease (CVD), such as coronary heart disease (CHD), is much lower in the Mediterranean countries.
Various hypotheses are proposed to explain this phenomenon. One of them is the consumption of healthy fats, rich in linoleic acid. Peanuts are rich in these and their consumption aims to be beneficial for the heart.
In a meta-analysis of 12 prospective studies, it was found that the consumption of 28 g per day of walnuts decreases the risk of CVD or CHD by 21% and 29%, respectively.
The results of PREDIMED (Prevention with the Mediterranean Diet), a study that supports the cardiovascular benefits of the Mediterranean diet, demonstrated the existence of a significant reduction in cardiovascular risk, avoiding diseases of this nature.
2. Helps lower cholesterol
Part of the reason why walnuts show benefits for the heart is their ability to regulate a person’s lipid profile, that is, it lowers circulating LDL, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
The daily consumption of nuts is associated with a reduction of 10.9 and 10.2 g/dl for total cholesterol and total LDL in the blood. The underlying mechanism is the enhancement of endothelial function .
Endothelial function is the ability of blood vessel walls to act as physical barriers, allowing circulation. During endothelial dysfunction, blood lipids leak into it and accumulate, forming atheromas.
3. Control the glycemic index
Marked fluctuations in the glycemic index and loss or reduction of sensitivity to insulin (the main hormone responsible for the absorption of blood glucose into cells) can lead to type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The unsaturated fatty acids in walnuts reduce fasting insulin levels, glycosylated hemoglobin , and postprandial blood glucose.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that peanut consumption modifies postprandial blood glucose levels, especially during the first 60 minutes after a carbohydrate-laden meal.
Therefore, consuming nuts in moderation every day, along with positive lifestyle modification, helps prevent metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus.
4. Regulates blood pressure
Peanuts have hypotensive effects, helping to control high blood pressures, both those recorded by the MAP , and those taken at the doctor’s office .
Studies support that dietary patterns that include nuts (such as peanuts) significantly reduce (8 mmHg) ambulatory systolic blood pressure, especially in patients with moderate hypertension.
There was also a reduction in diastolic blood pressure, although not as pronounced. These data support the idea that peanut consumption could be an excellent non-pharmacological alternative for hypertensive patients.
5. Strengthens bones and muscles
The benefits of peanuts are not only restricted to the cardiovascular system or glucose metabolism. They contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and much more that favor many areas of your body.
Every 100 g of peanuts provide 92 mg of calcium, the most important mineral when it comes to taking care of your bones. Osteoblasts, cells that make bone tissue, take calcium and convert it into crystals of hydroxyapatite, the mineral that forms bone.
From the third or fourth decade of life, bone density decreases, particularly in women, increasing the risk of arthritis or osteoporosis. That is why moderate consumption of nuts may be beneficial in reducing this risk.
Peanuts are also loaded with protein, helping skeletal muscle hypertrophy after training sessions.
6. Fights anemia
Nutritional deficiencies of folic acid, vitamin B12, zinc, iron or magnesium are some of the causes of certain types of anemia. 100 grams of peanuts offer 4.6 mg and 186 mg of iron and magnesium respectively.
They also have a significant amount of folate, enough to meet more than half of the daily requirements for it (22% for just a ¼ cup), so peanuts are good for reducing an anemic state.
7. Contributes to weight loss
Peanut is also rich in fiber. Despite the high caloric content of nuts in general, peanuts are excellent allies for diets that seek weight loss.
The fiber prolongs the chewing effort. By repeatedly chewing, signals are sent to the stomach to secrete leptin. The release of leptin exerts an inhibitory effect on the hypothalamus, stopping the feeling of hunger and promoting satiety .
Fiber also slows gastric emptying, favors insulin sensitivity, increases nutrient absorption, favorably modifies intestinal microbiota, and increases satiety.
8. Prevents cancer
The rampant replication of cancer cells is due to the confluence of many factors. It has been observed, through prospective studies, that the risk of suffering from cancer decreases after the consumption of nuts.
This is due to the presence of anti-cancer substances, such as resveratrol, folic acid and polyphenols. They are antioxidants that promote a healthy cellular environment, they also have antitumor activities that activate our immune system.
In this sense, Thai researchers showed that eating peanuts twice a week reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 58% and 27% for men and women, respectively.
9. Recharge your energies
Peanuts are packed with healthy fats, protein, minerals, and vitamins.
They contain a large amount of calories, especially useful if you want to maintain your weight in a healthy way, and also do not contain processed sugars.
10. Promotes memory and concentration
Peanuts improve cognitive function directly and indirectly. The first, because they contain antioxidants and vitamins that alleviate oxidative stress, which neurons are subjected to daily.
This slows down the aging process and maintains optimal cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, learning and much more. It also reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases , such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
They benefit your brain indirectly because they are great for your cardiovascular system, which translates to better circulation to all-important tissues, like the brain.
Neurons located in the hippocampus, one of the components of the limbic system responsible for short-term memory, are particularly susceptible to hypoxia due to poor circulation.
11. Improves skin and hair
Cellular oxidation is a normal physiological process that, over the years, causes the effects of aging. One of the organs most visibly affected over time is the skin and its annexes (hair and nails).
The antioxidants, phytochemicals, and polyphenols in peanuts reduce these harmful effects, improve circulation to the skin, promote cell replication, and the production of natural oils that lubricate skin and hair.
12. Improves mood
Peanuts are nutritious and delicious foods, and can become part of a healthy diet. Peanuts also increase the level of energy and mood in your day to day.
Keeping your body in optimal condition, physically and mentally, reduces the risk of suffering from psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression.
They also reduce the risk of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.
Peanut is one of the healthiest nuts, it provides us with a myriad of benefits thanks to its vitamins, minerals, and calories, as we will explain below.
The vitamins found in peanuts are mostly water-soluble, members of the B vitamin family, specifically biotin, folic acid, and pantothenic acid.
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is an important cofactor involved in the synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, through the formation of coenzyme A. The latter is an essential metabolite during the Krebs cycle.
Biotin is a vitamin that helps hair growth. A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology showed some benefit after taking an oral supplement containing biotin and zinc.
Peanuts are nuts loaded with different minerals, such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron. Each of these plays an essential role in the homeostasis of our body.
Potassium is one of the most abundant and important ions in our body, it participates in virtually all metabolic functions, such as muscle contraction, heart rate, nerve impulse transmission, and much more.
Consuming the daily recommendations for potassium is associated with a lower risk of stroke .
Magnesium is an important intracellular metabolite, also responsible for regulating enzymatic functions, neuromuscular excitability, and calcium reabsorption at the
Magnesium and phosphorus are also important, they participate as cofactors in many enzymatic, cellular and molecular reactions. Phosphorus deficiencies lead to red cell dysfunction, osteomalacia, metabolic acidosis, and much more.
The calories that we find in peanuts vary according to their presentation.
The 100 grams of raw natural peanuts contain 544 calories, in roasted peanuts we can find up to 585 calories and peanut butter that includes more calories with 588.
The importance of calories lies in the fact that they allow us to know how much energy the food has to be consumed per 100 grams. Calories should not be consumed in excess, since they will become fat reserves and lead to overweight.
However, a low calorie intake would be debilitating and lead to loss of body mass. Therefore, it was established as an average to consume 2000 calories a day to maintain a balance, accompanied by a balanced diet.
How to consume peanut?
Peanut can be consumed in many ways. There are already prepared commercial presentations or you can buy them still fresh from the store. They can also be the base of delicious combinations, such as peanut butter.
roasted and salted
It is one of the easiest and most practical ways to enjoy peanuts, it can be done at home and only requires two ingredients.
- 200 gr of raw peanuts.
- Place the 200 gr of raw peanuts, previously shelled, in a pan over the heat.
- No need to add butter or oils. Upon heating, the peanuts begin to give off their own oil.
- The cooking time will depend on the speed of the stove, on average approximately 7 minutes.
- When they are golden, turn off the stove and add salt to taste. Enjoy this delicious and quick to prepare snack!
Peanut butter or peanut butter is a delicious recipe that, although it looks complex, is extremely simple and does not require many ingredients.
- 250 gr of roasted unsalted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon sweetener
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Optional step: Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a baking sheet by placing parchment paper on it. Baking the peanuts will give the peanut butter a deeper, more delicious flavor, as well as a smoother texture.
- Place the peanuts on the tray and take them to the oven. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until they take on a brownish hue and a shiny surface from the escaping oils.
- If you don’t want to bake the peanuts, you can transfer them raw directly for preparation.
- Transfer the peanuts to a food processor or blender. Process or blend the mixture for one minute. Stop the shredding and make sure there are no unshredded sides or bottom.
- Repeat this process two more times, for a total of 3 minutes.
- Add the oil, the sweetener of your choice (honey, for example) and the salt. Process or blend the mixture for an additional minute or two. Make sure these ingredients come together correctly.
- Transfer the final product to your preferred container. Clever! Now you can enjoy your homemade peanut butter.