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Food for Life - Caribbean - Peanuts

The peanut, also known as the groundnut, goober, pindar or monkey nut, and taxonomically classified as Arachis hypogaea, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to both small and large commercial producers.

Eating peanuts is an excellent way for people to boost the amount of protein in their diet. Peanuts are widely available and provide several essential nutrients.

Although peanuts are technically a legume, which means that they belong to a group of foods from a specific plant family, most people consider them as a nuts.

Peanuts contain a range of polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids, and amino acids. Research has shown all of these components to be beneficial to human health.

According to the nutrient database that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created, 100 g of peanuts contains 567 calories.

Following quantities of other nutrients:

  • protein: 25.80 g
  • fat: 49.24 g
  • carbohydrate: 16.13 g
  • fiber: 8.50 g
  • sugar: 4.72 g
  • The fats in peanuts are mainly healthful monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), although these nuts do contain a smaller amount of saturated fats.

There are also plenty of minerals in 100 g of peanuts, including those below:

  • calcium: 92 milligrams (mg)
  • iron: 4.58 mg
  • magnesium: 168 mg
  • phosphorous: 376 mg
  • potassium: 705 mg
  • Peanuts also offer the benefit of being more affordable than many other nut varieties.

    Information sourced from www.medicalnewstoday.com

    Health Benefits
    Beyond their nutritional value, peanuts offer certain nutrients that improve metabolism and aid in the prevention of certain diseases.

    Aids Blood Sugar Control
    Although almonds have a reputation as a health food, it turns out that peanuts produce similar benefits when it comes to blood sugar control. The natural fats in peanuts are effective at reducing the glycemic index of other foods being consumed at the same time.Peanuts help control both fasting blood sugars and post-postprandial levels (after a meal).

    Supports Weight Loss
    There are multiple mechanisms by which peanuts can support weight loss. The fiber and protein in peanuts promote feelings of satiety. Although peanuts are high in calories, some of the fat in peanuts is resistant to digestion and not fully absorbed by the body.

    Consumption of peanuts also may result in higher resting energy expenditure, increasing overall calorie burn. Including peanuts in a meal plan for weight loss may make it easier to reach your goals.

    May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
    According to a 2016 review of studies, resveratrol (an antioxidant present in peanuts) helps reduce cardiovascular inflammation and relax blood vessels, increasing circulation and lowering blood pressure. Furthermore, increased resveratrol concentrations were associated with a decrease in LDL oxidation, the condition of which can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and coronary artery disease.

    The fiber and healthy fats in peanuts are also beneficial for heart health. Choose unsalted peanuts to avoid the added sodium if you are watching your blood pressure.

    May Lower Risk of Gallstones
    Peanuts exert beneficial effects on blood cholesterol level which, in turn, can influence the development of gallstones. Gallstones are hardened lumps of fluid that develop inside the gallbladder, comprised many of undissolved cholesterol. Consuming peanuts or peanut butter five times per week is associated with a 25% reduction in gallbladder disease.

    May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
    Peanuts are high in vitamin E and the B vitamin, niacin. In large population studies, niacin from food has been shown to reduce the rate of cognitive decline in adults over age 65.

    Although supplements are not as helpful, high intake of vitamin E through foods like peanuts may reduce Alzheimer's disease by up to 70%. Peanuts provide a winning combination for brain health.

    Information sourced from www.verywellfit.com



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