Updated: Aug 11, 2020
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Despite their name, peanuts are actually not actually nuts but legumes. They come from the ground, much like beans. They originated in South America and were traded to the United States in the 1700’s. The increase in popularity when circus wagons traveling across the country started selling them. In the early 1900’s, peanut butter was used in place of meat as a protein substitute for older patients with chewing difficulties.
We all probably associate peanuts with the classic PB&J, or as a baseball game snack. Could the everyday sandwich that was stuffed into our lunch kits be more than just the convenient choice? What if it was also an incredibly healthy decision as well. Maybe your parents are smarter than you think.
Peanuts are quite high in proteins and fat, which is why some Americans try to avoid this tasty food. Even though the peanut is a food high in fats, that doesn't mean we should avoid it. Most of the fat contained in a peanut is actually mono- and polyunsaturated fat, which is the “good fat” that your body needs.
Here are some interesting facts about peanuts and ways they can benefit you
1 Hair Growth Stimulation
Hair's building blocks are all generally forms of protein. The peanut contains proteins & vitamins that can be very beneficial to hair growth. The vitamins supplied by the peanut consist of Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. These vitamins and proteins do an excellent job at nourishing your scalp when applied topically. The trend of hair masking is probably only going to increase as many reported it as being effective. Allegedly, when a peanut butter hair mask is used, the proteins from the legumes also bond with the hair shafts and strengthen it, reducing breakage and increasing growth.
2 Increased Fertility
Concerning the male reproductive system, the peanut can be an easy reach as a secret weapon. The consumption of peanuts can increase sperm count and mobility. These awesome legumes contain zinc for mobility, and omega-3 & vitamin C for sperm health. The famous CoQ10 benefits of peanuts automatically increase energy through out the body, resulting in healthier eggs for women / healthier sperm for men.
3 Vitamin Richness (& minerals)
We need a particular amount of nutrients in our daily diet to maintain optimal health. Peanuts surprisingly provide many of these nutrients to us with just a standard hand full. 1 cup of peanuts has
72 grams of fat (10 grams saturated fat)
11.3 grams of Saturated fat
38.2 grams of Monosaturated fats
14.3 grams of Polyunsaturated fats
1,029 mg of Potassium
38 grams of Protein
12 grams of Dietary Fiber
24 grams of Carbohydrates
4 mg of Zinc
260 mg of Magnesium
21 mg of Niacin
530 mg of Phosphorus
85 mg of Calcium
2.3 mg of Iron
7.2 mg of Vitamin E
0.7 mg of Vitamin B6
8.8 mg of Sodium
4 Cholesterol Lowering
Peanuts are the heart-healthy choice because they can easily help you meet your daily protein needs without giving you the unhealthy fats. Peanuts, though they contain a high percentage of fat, are actually cholesterol-free. There are several studies claiming that peanut consumption can reduce a person's LDL (Low-density lipoprotein). This bad cholesterol, or LDL, leads to plaque build up in arteries. Eating this legume regularly can often times reduce this build up, giving you healthier heart.
5 Potentially Healthier Gallbladder
Gallstones are the result of cholesterol being built up in the gallbladder. Unfortunately, when cholesterol builds up, it will crystalize. This crystallization of cholesterol is the cause of
gallstones. The amazing thing about peanuts is, as stated before, they reduce LDL & the reduction of LDL (aka bad cholesterol) is easily achieved via peanut consumption.
6 Reduce Cancer Risk
Peanuts contain phytosterols, such as beta-sitosterol, have the ability to normalize hyper-proliferating cells and reduce colon cancer. Peanut Agglutinin lectin (PNA) binds to cell-surface TF antigens and can reduce colon cancer. Disclaimer: remember to always consult your primary physician before making any dietary adjustments.
7 Energy Booster
Peanuts aid your body in converting carbohydrates into energy and somehow slow down your digestion rate, which makes for a stable-time-release style flow of energy. Since peanuts contain "good fats", they can be a great choice before and after a workout. The proteins in peanuts also help you to maintain strength through exercises or physical activities that cause sweating. When we sweat, we tend to release a small amount of unhealthy salts from bad cholesterol through our pores. Eating peanuts can keep you fueled-up and feeling less tired as you burn those calories from unhealthy fats.
8 Weight Loss
Though peanuts have a high fat content, they actually have the ability to make you feel full longer reducing your desire to over eat. There are many studies showing that foods that contain both fiber and protein tend to decrease feelings of hunger. So, in spite of peanuts being a high calorie food, they are suppliers of healthy calories that could result in less unhealthy eating.