Most people think that peanut is just another high-calorie nut that has no health benefits. However, research shows that it has numerous health benefits that will surprise you and make you consider integrating it into your diet. In fact, it is even not a nut, rather it is a legume. Here are its most remarkable benefits;
Good for your heart
Peanuts are heart-friendly food because it is packed with monounsaturated fats hence promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Besides these fats, peanuts also contain other nutrients that have also been found to promote a healthy heart. Peanuts contain niacin, vitamin E, protein, manganese, and folate. Folate is crucial in preventing birth defects and strengthening bones. It also protects against heart disease as well as cancer. Peanuts also provide resveratrol that is antioxidant like the one found in red wine and red grapes. These components are the reason peanut, and peanut butter have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It can also lower blood pressure and stabilize the level of sugar in the blood which provides a favorable condition for the heart.
Packed with antioxidants
Research shows that just like fruits, peanuts are also full of antioxidants. Even if they do not contain as many antioxidants as the fruit with the highest content of antioxidants, the level of antioxidants in roasted antioxidants is equal to the one in strawberries and blackberries. They also have a greater content of antioxidants than carrots, beets, and apples. Peanuts have specific antioxidants known as polyphenols that increase by 22% when they are roasted. These antioxidants contribute greatly to making peanuts heart-friendly.
Lowers the risk of stroke
Research shows that the resveratrol nutrient found in peanuts can boost blood flow in the brain by up to 30% hence significantly lowering the risk of stroke. This research was conducted on animals. Apparently, Resveratrol is thought to work by triggering the production of nitric oxide (NO) which is a produced in the walls of the blood vessels or the endometrium. The NO alerts the nearby muscle to stay calm, expands the blood vessel and promotes blood flow. Peanuts contain small amounts of resveratrol. However, scientists suggest that you can achieve this results if you consume them regularly.
Reduces risk of colon cancer
Research has proven that nutrients that are found in peanuts such as phytic acid/inositolhexaphosphate, folic acid, resveratrol, and phytosterol might contains anti-cancer properties. All these nutrients plus phytosterol beta-sitosterol make peanuts a colon cancer preventive food. This makes them valuable because colorectal cancer has a high death rate especially in developed countries where it is the second most deadly cancer and the third most common globally. Apparently, research conducted in Taiwan revealed that eating peanuts at least twice every week lowered the risk of colon cancer in women by 58% and 27% in men. This diet can only work if you avoid pickled foods. You should also ensure that you only buy brands that contain peanuts, salt and no additional elements such as sugars and hydrogenated/trans fats.
Effective in preventing gallstones
Research conducted on a sample of more than 80,000 women obtained from a Nurses’ Health Study showed that those women who consume at least 1 ounce of peanuts or peanut butter every week have 25% less risk of suffering from gallstones. One ounce is equivalent to two tablespoons of peanut butter or 28.6 nuts. Therefore, if you want to give gallbladder disease a wide berth, all you need to do is eat one jelly sandwich jelly and peanut butter for lunch; choose whole bread because it is rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. You can also have a handful of peanuts or eat peanuts together with your salad or oatmeal for dinner.
Research shows that frequent consumption of foods rich in niacin such as peanuts provides protection against age-related cognitive conditions and Alzheimer’s. Researchers conducted a research in Chicago and found out that people who consume foods rich in niacin had a 70% lower likelihood of developing the Alzheimer’s disease. They were also less likely to develop age-related cognitive decline than those who did not consume as many peanuts as required.
Peanuts are can facilitate weight loss
This can come as a surprise to most people because most of us assume that all nuts can cause weight gain. However, research showed that these findings have no basis. The findings show that people who consume nuts at least two times every week have a lower possibility of gaining weight that those who totally avoid eating them. This is mostly because peanuts have lower cholesterol as compared to other types of nuts. The protein and fiber in the peanut also make someone feel fuller for longer hence it puts your appetite in check. Peanuts also increase metabolic rate thus increasing the breakdown of fats. However, peanuts are not just essential for people who are dieting but also any other person who is not dieting.