Peanuts and health

Peanuts and health

healthy_nutsNuts are always in the debate and it has been stuck in the mind that they are “high calorie” and “cholesterol increasing food” for decades. We really need to come out of the fact that are teeny weeny devils.

Once such culprit is peanuts which has been a favorite for all ages. It is a leisure snack, have their place in between sandwiches and in salads. It is every kids favorite and they do pack in a lot of nutrition and also offer a variety of health benefits.

Various benefits

They are rich sources of protein and is rich in many minerals such as zinc, copper, manganese, potassium etc. They are also rich sources for vitamin B’s hence can keep many minor deficiencies away and also protect our brain health as well as minerals like calcium keep our bones healthy.

They are very good source of monounsaturated fats, which is very heart friendly and lowers the risk of heart disease and they do not contain cholesterol.

They are also good sources of vitamin E and oliec acids which have anti-oxidant properties which can give fruits a run for their money.

It is rich in niacin another B group vitamin which provides protection from Alzheimers disease and other age related disease which can cause a decline in mental health.

The chemical named resveratrol are said to have anti-cancer effects and hence are said to provide protection against colon cancer and also has anti-aging properties.

Now how do you include peanuts in your diet?

You can sprinkle them in your salads or in vegetable and chicken stir fry and how can we forget peanut butter in the sandwiches.

So 10-15 peanuts are very good for our health.

But roast them at very low heat as they can carry fungal toxins such as aflatoxins which can be fatal. peanuts also contain oxalates which can cause kidney stones so drink enough to water to dilute the  oxalate concentrates. They also contain goitrogens which interfere with the functioning of the thyroid glands so roasting can inactivate these compounds.

Otherwise they are healthy and safe to be had. So enjoy peanuts in your diet.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India.She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore.Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

3 Replies to “Peanuts and health”

  1. is it healthy to use peanut oil in cooking? What are other types of cooking oils that are better and also worse than peanut oil? I am mostly talking in sense of cholesterol.

  2. Yes. It is quite healthy to use peanut oil in cooking. If you read this post you will know better.

    You can use any oil for that matter. But you need to use oils which are higher in monounsaturated fatty acids(MUFA) such as peanut oil, rice bran oil etc. You can check for the composition on the labels.

    There are no bad oils. But do not use vanaspathi and dalda which are very harmful. Oils should not be over heated and deep frying should be avoided.

    Remember no oils have cholesterol. If you want to reduce your cholesterol levels, then use oils which are rich in MUFA.

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