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  • 6/20/2013

What are the Health Benefits of Eating Peanuts?


Delicious, crunchy, and nutty peanuts are one of the popular oil seeds known to humankind since ancient times. The nuts are enriched with many noteworthy health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health. They are actually legumes but have almost all the qualities that true nuts like almonds have.

Botanically, the nuts are small size fruit pods of plant belonging to the Fabaceae family of the genus, Arachis. Some of the common names are groundnut, earthnuts, etc.

Scientific name: Arachis hypogaea.

Peanut is a small annual herb growing up to a foot above the ground. It is thought to have originated in the Central Americas and from where it spread to rest of the world through Spanish explorers. Today, the nuts are widely cultivated oil seeds and has established as prime commercial crop in China, India, African nations, and the United States of America.

After the seedling, the plant takes approximately 120 to 150 days to produce the crop. The process of peanut development is quite interesting! The yellow flowers, after self-pollination, develop in to "ovaries," called pedicels, which elongate rapidly to turn downward to bury several inches deep under the ground from where the fruits develop into peanut pods we know.

To harvest, the entire plant, including roots, is dug out from the soil. Each plant may bear 10-150 fruit pods. The pods have wrinkled shells that are constricted between pairs of the two to four seeds per pod. Each seed is covered with thin brown color cover and can be split into two equal halves as in any other legumes.

General Nutrition

One cup of raw peanuts contains approximately 828 calories, 72 grams of fat, 37 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of fiber and 10 grams of saturated fat. These numbers constitute 110 percent of the daily value of fat, 73 percent of protein, 50 percent of saturated fat, 19 percent of fiber and 8 percent of carbohydrates. Raw peanuts have a negligible amount of sodium and are cholesterol free. Raw peanuts' low carbohydrate-to-protein ratio makes them a good snack choice for people following low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets.

Health Benefits of Peanuts

Rich in energy:

Peanuts contain vitamins, minerals, nutrients, anti-oxidants and thus are rich energy sources.


It lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the body due to the presence of the mono-unsaturated fatty acids especially Oleic acid that prevents coronary diseases.


Peanuts are rich in proteins. The amino acids present in them are good for proper growth and development of body.

Against stomach cancer:

Poly-phenolic anti-oxidants are present in the peanuts in high concentrations. P-Coumaric acid has the ability to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by reducing the productions of carcinogenic nitrous-amines.

Against heart diseases, nerves diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and infections:

A poly-phenolic anti-oxidant, Resveratrol present in Peanuts prevents heart diseases, cancers, nervous diseases and viral or fungal infections efficiently.

Reduces stroke risk:

Again the anti-oxidant, Resveratrol in peanuts prevents heart strokes by increasing the production of nitric oxide.


Peanuts contain anti-oxidants in high concentrations. These anti-oxidants become more active when peanuts are boiled. There is a 2-fold increase in Biochanin-A and 4-fold increase in Genistein content. And these reduce the damage done by free radicals produced in the body.

Protects skin:

Vitamin E in peanuts helps in maintaining the integrity of cells of mucous membrane and the skin and thus protects them from free radicals which cause great damage.

Peanuts contain B complex, vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, pantothenic acid etc.


Potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium and zinc are some of the minerals present in peanuts. And they all play an important role in many different body functions.

Gall stones:

Just an ounce of peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter each week can save you from gall stones or gallbladder diseases with 25% reduced risk.

Low risk of weight gain:

Women who eat peanuts or peanut butter at least twice a week are less likely to be susceptible to obesity than those who don’t. So if you are eating peanut butter every morning with bread slices, then you have less chances of gaining weight.

Colon cancer:

Peanuts can reduce Colon cancer especially in women.  Eating at least 2 spoons of peanut butter twice a week can reduce the risk of colon cancer in women by upto 58% and in men by upto 27%.

Regulates blood sugar:

Manganese in peanuts helps in calcium absorption, fats and carbohydrates metabolism and sugar level regulation in blood.

Fights depression:

Low Serotonin levels leads to depression. Tryptophan in peanuts increases the release of this chemical and thus helps you fight depression.

Thus you can see that Peanut benefits to health are many and you should make it a point to take in a minimum of two tablespoons of peanut butter each week in order to keep those dangerous diseases away and stay healthy!





Other links:

The Surprising health benefits of raisins (part 2)

Eating nuts may help cholesterol levels

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