Peanuts (Mungfali) are also known as groundnut belongs to the species of legume or beans family, Fabaceae. It was first cultivated in the Paraguay valleys. Some other names of the peanuts are earthnuts, goober peas, pygmy nuts, monkey nuts or pig nuts. As it has ‘nut’ word commonly in it’s all the names but the surprising thing is that it is not a nut, it is a legume. Even being a legume, it has all the properties of a nut. The peanuts have two sets of chromosomes from different species means amphidiploid or allotetraploid. Mungfali is cultivated in the light, acidic and sandy loam soil and takes around 120 to 150 days to get fully ripened after planting of the seeds. China is considered as the world’s largest producer of the peanut. The other leading peanuts commercial producers are India, the United States, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Benefits of Peanuts/Mungfali

Peanuts are packed with the all the nutrients required to grow and develop the body including variety of health benefits. Some of the most significant health benefits of the peanuts I am pointing here:

Keeps Heart Healthy

  • Eating mungfali regularly provides your heart a hard shield to guard it from various complications. As it is a great source of the monounsaturated fats which decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and coronary heart diseases and makes the heart a healthy heart.

Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Peanuts are full of vitamin E, protein, niacin, p-coumaric acid, oleic acid (an antioxidant), folates, resveratrol (a phenolic antioxidant) and manganese contents which also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and coronary heart diseases.

Improves Blood Flow to Brain

  • The phytonutrient Resveratrol (a flavonoid) found in the in peanuts helps in improving the blood flow to the brain and thus reduces the risk of stroke.

Keeps Blood Vessels Healthy

  • This phytonutrient stimulates the release of nitric oxide in the blood vessels lining (endothelium) which relaxes and dilates the blood vessel and thus increases the blood flow.

Protects from Cancer

  • Some of the nutrients available in the peanuts such as phytosterols, phytosterol beta-sisterol, resveratrol, folic acid, phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate) and etc protects the body from cancer as they are anti cancerous.

Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer

  • People eating peanuts regularly have less risk of colon cancer.

Prevents from Gallstones

  • Having peanuts in the routine prevents the gallbladder diseases and gallstones.

Protects from Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Peanuts provide the protection against the Alzheimer’s disease as well as other age related cognitive decline as it is one of the good niacin rich foods.

Rich Source Source of Manganese

  • Peanuts assist in the fat metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar level, calcium absorption and etc because of the availability of a mineral called Manganese.

Fights with Depression

  • It also fights with the depression as it is the good source of tryptophan (an amino acid) which helps in producing serotonin. Serotonin is an important key brain chemical which aids in the mood regulation.

Boosts Memory Power

  • As peanuts are the good sources of Vitamin B3 (also called niacin), it boosts the memory power and promotes normal brain functioning.

Maintains Cholesterol Level

  • As it contains a mineral called copper, it assists in lowering the bad cholesterol levels and maintaining the good cholesterol level in the body.

Regularizes Body Organs Functioning

  • It maintains the smooth functioning of the body as it is loaded with the vitamins, minerals, proteins, folates and etc.

Maintains Functioning of Bowels

  • As it is rich source of dietary fibers, it is good for digestion and maintains the even functioning of the bowels, thus reduces the risk of colon cancer and gallstones.

Prevents from Osteoporosis

  • It greatly assists in the health of bones and teeth because of the calcium and vitamin D availability, thus reduces the risk of osteoporosis in later life.

Boosts Body Energy

  • It provides instant energy to the body as it is the good sources of all the nutrients like vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants and etc.

Contains High Level Protein

  • As it is loaded with the protein, it is very good for the growth and development of the body.

Reduces Risk of Stomach Cancer

  • One of the contents (poly-phenolic anti-oxidants: P-Coumaric acid) found in peanuts has capability to lessen the risk of stomach cancer by lowering the generation of carcinogenic nitrous-amines.

Protects from Free Radicals

  • Peanuts are famous for its antioxidant property. Its antioxidant property increases when it is eaten boiled. The level of Biochanin-A and Genistein (antioxidants) increases when it gets boiled which protects the body by the bad effects of free radicals.

Source of Important Minerals

  • Some of the most important minerals like calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc are found in peanuts which aids in different body functions.

Improves Calcium Absorption

  • High magnesium content of the peanuts makes the teeth and bones healthy by increasing the calcium absorption in the body.

Maintains Fluid Level

  • Low sodium content of the peanuts helps in maintaining the healthy water retention as well as healthy heart.

Regulates Blood Pressure

  • A sufficient amount of potassium in the peanuts helps in maintaining the healthy muscle function of the body as well as regulating the normal blood pressure.

Prevents from Disorders of High Blood Glucose Level

  • It also aids in sugar metabolism thus protects from hypoglycemia, obesity, weight gain, diabetes, kidney diseases and etc.

Regulates Functioning of RBC

  • The iron content of the peanuts maintains the accurate functioning of the red blood cells

Prevents from Breast Cancer

  • Eating peanuts regularly lessens the risk of breast cancer in girls or women.

Benefits of Peanuts for Weight Loss

Maintains Weight

  • Eating peanuts regularly reduces the risk of weight gain to a great extent. It promotes the weight loss as it controls the hunger pangs without any fear of weight gain.

Benefits of Peanuts in Pregnancy

Improves Fertility

  • Peanuts or mungfali help in promoting the fertility because of its folates availability.

Nourishes Baby

  • Eating peanuts during the pregnancy helps a mother to give birth to a baby without any serious neural tube defect.

Benefits of Peanuts for Skin

Keeps Skin Healthy

  • As peanuts are the good sources of the Vitamin E, it plays a great role towards maintaining the integrity of mucous membrane cells and skin.

Prevents from Sun Damage and Ageing

  • High levels of vitamin E of the peanuts protect the body from aging and sun damage by nourishing the skin. It makes the skin shiny, toned and youth.

Benefits of Peanut Butter

Loaded with Healthy Nutrients

  • Peanut butter is also loaded with all the healthy nutrients and provides the same healthy results like whole peanuts. Though, peanut butter has high calorie and high protein levels.

Nutritional Benefits of Peanuts/Mungfali per 100 g

(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)

Energy: 570 kcal

Carbohydrates: 21 g

Sugars: no sugar

Dietary fiber: 9 g

Fat: 48 g

Saturated fat: 7 g

Monounsaturated fat: 24 g

Polyunsaturated fat: 16 g

Protein: 25 g

Amino acids:

Tryptophan: 0.2445 g

Isoleucine: 0.882 g

Cystine: 0.322 g

Leucine: 1.627 g

Lysine: 0.901 g

Threonine: 0.859 g

Phenylalanine: 1.300 g

Valine: 1.052 g

Methionine: 0.308 g

Arginine: 3.001 g

Glutamic acid: 5.243 g

Tyrosine: 1.020 g

Glycine: 1.512 g

Histidine: 0.634 g

Alanine: 0.997 g

Proline: 1.107 g

Serine: 1.236 g

Aspartic acid: 3.060 g

Water: 4.26 g

Vitamins:

Thiamine (B1): 0.6 mg

Riboflavin (B2): 0.135 mg

Niacin (B3): 12.9 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5): 1.8 mg

Vitamin B6: 0.3 mg

Folate (B9): 246 μg

Vitamin E: 8.33 mg

Electrolytes:

Sodium: 18 mg

Potassium: 705 mg

Minerals:

Calcium: 62 mg

Phosphorus: 336 mg

Iron: 2 mg

Magnesium: 184 mg

Zinc: 3.3 mg

Copper: 1.144 mg

Manganese: 1.934 mg

Selenium: 7.2 µg

Nutritional Benefits of Roasted and Salted Peanuts per 1 oz

(Source: USDA Nutrient database)
Calories: 166 g

Protein: 6.7 g

Carbohydrates: 6.1 g

Dietary Fibers: 2.3 g

Fat: 14.1 g

Saturated Fat: 2.0 g

Monounsaturated Fat: 7.0 g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.5 g

Omega 6 fatty acid: 4.5 g

Omega 3 fatty acid: small

Vitamins:

Vitamin E: 2.2 mg

Folate: 41.1 mcg

Thiamin: 0.12 mg

Riboflavin: 0.03 mg

Niacin: 3.8 mg

Pantothenic acid: 0.39 mg

Vitamin B6: 0.07 mg

Minerals:

Zinc: 0.94 mg

Copper: 0.19 mg

Selenium: 2.13 mcg

Magnesium: 50 mg

Phosphorus: 101 mg

Iron: 0.64 mg

Calcium: 15 mg

Electrolytes:

Sodium: 230 mg

Potassium: 187 mg

Arginine: 0.8g

Phytosterols: 62.4 mg

Beta-sitosterol: 18.4 mg

Nutritional Benefits of Peanut Butter per 2 tsf

(Source: USDA Nutrient database)
Calories: 188 kcal

Proteins: 8.0 g

Carbohydrates: 6.3 g

Dietary Fibers: 1.9 g

Fat: 16.1 g

Saturated Fat: 3.3 g

Monounsaturated Fat: 7.6 g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.4 g

Omega 6 fatty acid: 4.4 g

Omega 3 fatty acid: trace

Vitamins:

Vitamin E: 2.9 mg

Folate: 24 mcg

Thiamin: 0.03 mg

Riboflavin: 0.03 mg

Niacin: 4.3 mg

Pantothenic acid: 0.34 mg

Vitamin B6: 0.17 mg

Minerals:

Magnesium: 49 mg

Phosphorus: 115 mg

Calcium: 14 mg

Zinc: 0.94 mg

Copper: 0.15 mg

Selenium: 1.8 mcg

Iron: 0.60 mg

Electrolytes:

Sodium: 160.0 mg

Potassium: 208 mg

Argenine: 0.96 g

Phytosterols: 33 mg

Beta-sitosterol: 43.2 mg

Nutritional Benefits of Peanut Oil per 1 tsf

(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Calories: 119 kcal

Fats: 13.5 g

Saturated Fat: 2.3 g

Monounsaturated Fat: 6.2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.3 g

Omega 6 fatty acid: 4.3 g

Vitamin E: 2.1 mg

Phytosterols: 28 mg

Beta-sitosterol: 25.7 mg

Tips for getting more Benefits from Peanuts:

  • Make a habit of eating soaked peanuts with other dried fruits.
  • Buy natural peanut butter without sugar and salt as well as the pesticide content.
  • Try to eat simply plain roasted peanuts without much salt or sugar or oil.

How to Select and Store

Always try to buy fresh peanuts from the market during season to avoid buying stored peanuts from the market (as chemicals used in storage may seriously harm the health). Always buy bright colored, hard, well skinned and raw peanuts from the market. Avoid buying wrinkled, spotted, black skinned, broken and bad smelling peanuts from the market. It can be stored very safely at room temperature (at cool and dry place) for months.

How to Enjoy

It can be enjoyed in many ways such as eating raw, roasted, salted, sweeten, peanut butter, laddoo, soaked, with other dry fruits, peanut sweet dalpatti and etc. It can also be added to the kheer, chatni, soup, pasta and so many dishes.

Disadvantages of Peanuts

  • As peanuts contain oxalates which may cause some health problems. Peanuts should be avoided eating by people with kidney or gallbladder problems as the oxalates content of it may hinder with the calcium absorption (lower calcium absorption) in the body.
  • Peanuts may have aflatoxin, a toxin from Aspergillus flavus, (a carcinogen which is more toxic than DDT) which may lead to the mental retardation as well as lowered intelligence.
  • People suffering from the thyroid problems should also avoid eating peanuts as it contains goitrogens which may interfere with thyroid gland functioning.
  • As peanuts are high in calories, overeating of peanuts may cause quick weight gain.
  • As it has high levels of saturated fat, overeating of the peanuts of may lead to some major complications like blocked arteries, digestive problems, heart problems, high blood pressure and etc.

How Much Peanuts Should You Eat A Day

A handful (means an ounce or 30 g) of the peanuts can be eaten a day. But overeating of peanuts should be avoided in order to get away from its complications or disadvantages.

 

Find the Benefits of other Dry Fruits

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Benefits of Walnuts

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