Are Peanuts Good For You? Nuts are a great vegetarian source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Diets high in nuts and nuts products have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers and have been shown to help with weight management. They’re relatively non-perishable and easy to carry around with you.Peanuts, along with beans and peas, belong to the single plant family, Leguminosae. Legumes are edible seeds enclosed in pods. As a group, they provide the best source of concentrated protein in the plant kingdom. While their physical structure and nutritional benefits more closely resemble that of other legumes, their use in diets and cuisines more closely resembles that of nuts.
However, peanuts are technically not nuts. They actually belong to the legume family and are therefore related to beans, lentils and soy. Studies show that peanuts may be useful for weight loss and are linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Peanuts popularly known as groundnuts, monkey nuts, pig nuts, belong to bean family. Peanuts Arachis hypogea is a legume species and native to South America, Mexico and Central America. An annual herbaceous plant that grows almost to ground level with very slender stems, leaves that are opposite and pinnate with four leaflets, flowers that are pea-shaped and legumes that are basically seeds that sprout and mature underground. Presently, its cultivated world over in climates that are favorable for its growth; long warm periods and plenty of rain.As the stalks grow, they start to droop to the ground. When the pods begin to form, they slowly force their way underground ultimately maturing under the soil forcing the farmer to dig the netted, tan colored pods up. It is possible that peanuts developed this growth habit as a method of protection from hot tropical sun. Since they have thin pods once the peanut pods are harvested the plant is removed and typically used for animal fodder.
In most culinary uses, peanuts are classified as nuts because they behave more like nuts in the kitchen than other legumes such as lentils and beans. For people with nut allergies the distinction is particularly important. Since many individuals with nut allergies can eat peanuts safely. Peanuts play a vital nutritional role in many parts of Africa, since they are high in protein and healthy fats. In some parts of Africa peanuts represent a substantial percentage of the protein available for consumption.
Peanuts also have a health benefits like Heart Healthy Fats, Peanuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that keep the heart healthy. A good level of both, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats results in lowering blood cholesterol level and thereby reducing the risk of coronary heart diseases, protein is essential to the health of our cells. The cells in our body are constantly being replaced and repaired. To ensure that the new cells are healthy and the damaged ones are repaired well we need protein. Peanuts are an extremely high source of plant protein. It should be regularly incorporated in diet for children, vegetarians and protein deficient people. Antioxidants, peanuts contain high concentrations of the antioxidant. Minerals, a rich source of minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, calcium, sodium, etc, so needed by our body to function well, is ensured by a regular consumption of peanuts. Adequate supply of these minerals ensure a healthy heart, and ensure minimized risk of mineral deficient diseases. And lastly,Vitamins are important for overall growth and development. Vitamins ensure vital health for cells and tissues, and for fighting infections that in return ensure smooth functioning of our organs. Peanuts provide our body with essential vitamins that also help in regulating metabolism, converting fat and carbohydrates into energy and facilitating bone and tissue formation. A good source of foliate peanuts reduce the incidence of birth defects and anemia related conditions.