Natural benefits of Groundnut to the body

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Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), which also goes by several other names such as peanuts, earthnuts, monkey nuts, pinders, etc. is actually a legume that grows in the ground. It is a common sight during the rainy season to see little children hawking boiled groundnuts on the streets. A lot of people may be reluctant to buy a cup or two from off the streets but that should change right after you know the benefits associated with these nuts.

Groundnuts along with peas and beans are among the best sources of protein in the plant kingdom and they are also super high in polyphenols; the chief of the antioxidant group. Although peanuts are high in fat, like avocados, they are high in the “good” kind of fat – monounsaturated fat. They also contain magnesium, foliate, vitamin E, copper, arginine, and fibre – all of which are known to lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease. The nuts are really rich with significant, beneficial nutrients that are essential for optimum health. Some of these benefits are:

  1. Helps Promote Fertility (Folate) Peanuts contain a good amount of folate. Repeated studies have shown that women who had a daily intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduced their risk of having a baby born with a serious neural tube defect by up to 70%.
  1. Helps Fight Depression (Tryptophan) Peanuts are good sources of tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is important for the production of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in mood regulation. When depression occurs, a decreased amount of serotonin may be released from the nerve cells in the brain. Tryptophan may raise serotonin’s antidepressant effects when there is an increased amount of serotonin in the blood.
  1. Boosts Memory Power (Vitamin B3) Do you know what can be found in peanuts that gave them the “brain food” tag? This is due to their vitamin B3 or niacin content whose many health benefits include normal brain functioning and boosting memory power.
  1. Aids in Blood Sugar Regulation (Manganese) One fourth cup of peanuts can supply the body with 35% of the DV of manganese, a mineral which plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
  1. Cancer Protection A form of phytosterol called beta-sitoserol (SIT) is found in high concentrations in some plant oils, seeds, and legumes including peanuts. Phytosterols not only protects against cardiovascular disease by interfering with the absorption of cholesterol, they also protect against cancer by inhibiting tumor growth.
  1. Helps Prevent Gallstones It may come as a surprise that peanuts can help prevent gallstones. But 20 years of studies have shown that eating 1 ounce of nuts, peanuts or peanut butter a week lowers the risk of developing gallstones by 25%.
  1. Boosts Memory Power (Vitamin B3) Do you know what can be found in peanuts that gave them the “brain food” tag? This is due to their vitamin B3 or niacin content whose many health benefits include normal brain functioning and boosting memory power.
  1. Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels (Copper): The same nutrient which gives peanuts their memory enhancing power also helps lower and control cholesterol levels. Added to that is their copper contents which aids in reducing bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels.
  1. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease Numerous studies have shown that regular nuts consumption is linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Peanuts are rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and antioxidants such as oleic acid. So take a handful of peanuts and other nuts at least four times a week to reduce your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
  1. Lowers Risk of Weight Gain Eating nuts regularly is associated with a lowered risk of weight gain. Research has shown that people who eat nuts at least twice weekly are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat them. Surprise!

Groundnuts can be enjoyed raw, roasted, boiled and fried, whichever way you choose to prepare your groundnut, just make sure you enjoy every moment of it.

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