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The benefits and harms of peanuts

 What is peanut ?

It is a type of legume grown in South America, and it is eaten in the form of raw, roasted, salted, or peanut butter. Other products made from peanuts include peanut oil, peanut flour, and peanut protein. Peanut products are used in a variety of foods such as cakes, desserts, snacks, and sauces. Peanuts are similar to nuts and are considered one of them, except that they actually belong to legumes.
Peanuts are considered a healthy snack as they provide many important elements for a healthy body, including unsaturated fats, omega-6 fatty acids, L-arginine supplement, fiber, vitamin E, and plant sterols, and these substances are good for heart health. Recent studies suggest that peanuts may also be beneficial for weight loss, and are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

The benefits and harms of peanuts
The benefits and harms of peanuts

What are the nutrients found in peanuts?

Nutrients per 100g of raw peanuts:

  • Calories, amounting to 567 calories.
  • Water, which constitutes 7%.
  • Protein, amounting to 25.8 grams.
  • Carbohydrates, amounting to 16.1 grams.
  • sugar, amounting to 4.7 grams.
  • Fat, amounting to 49.2 grams, of which saturated fats 6.28 grams, monounsaturated fats 24.43 grams, and polyunsaturated fats 15.56 grams.
  • Omega 6, which is 15.56 grams.

Antioxidants, as peanuts contain antioxidant properties due to the presence of a group of B vitamins, which are:
  • Folic acid.
  • niacin.
  • Pantothenic acid.
  • pyridoxine.
  • riboflavin;
  • thiamine;
It also contains resveratrol, which is considered one of the effective antioxidants in controlling certain types of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and viral and fungal infections.
Dietary fibre. One cup, or approximately 125 grams, of peanut butter contains 20 grams of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is one of the most important elements of the diet because a lack of dietary fiber can lead to many health problems and diseases such as constipation, high cholesterol, and various heart diseases.

Vitamins, as peanuts contain many vitamins that are beneficial to the body, such as:
  • Vitamin A:  is good for eyesight.
  • Vitamin C: which helps boost the immune system and heal minor wounds faster.
  • Vitamin E: which is a very important micronutrient that the body needs to break  down complex fatty acids and repair the buildup of fat in the arteries.

Peanuts offer many health benefits due to their rich content of nutrients. Their health benefits for the body include the following:

Peanuts to lower cholesterol levels

The fat content of peanut butter is almost equal to that of olive oil, except that it contains both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Since these fats are not saturated; It is good to be consumed without exposing the heart to any risk as the unsaturated fats in peanuts help to lower levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and promote circulation of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein), so peanuts are considered healthy.

Peanuts and type 2 diabetes

Consuming peanut butter can also be beneficial in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as it is high in unsaturated fats, and it has been observed that unsaturated fats improve insulin sensitivity. Eating more amounts of peanut butter and other nuts reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Peanuts to reduce the risk of gallstones

Gallstones are a major health risk in developed countries and are caused by being overweight and certain types of drug treatments such as cholesterol-lowering drugs and birth control pills. Consuming peanuts regularly reduces the risk of gallstones.

Peanuts to maintain a healthy weight

Peanuts are healthy and maintain a healthy weight because they contain healthy fats, protein, and fiber, which makes them a healthy snack. Eating them in moderation gives a feeling of satiety and reduces the desire to eat more foods, which prevents weight gain, and can contribute to long-term weight loss. .

Other benefits

  • Reducing the risk of cancer: especially colorectal cancer, and breast cancer, especially after menopause, because peanuts contain anti-cancer substances such as isoflavones, resveratrol, and phenolic acid. It is worth noting the need to eat peanuts from clean sources, for fear of contamination with aflatoxin, which Produced by fungi that increase the risk of liver cancer.
  • Promoting skin health: Vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc in peanuts contribute to fighting bacteria harmful to the skin, and antioxidants such as beta-carotene contribute to improving the complexion, giving it a glow, and protecting it from sunburn.
  • Treatment of erectile dysfunction: Peanuts are rich in an amino acid called arginine, which is able to improve erection, and research is still ongoing to confirm the effectiveness of arginine in treating erectile dysfunction.
  • Reducing the symptoms of PCOS: because it contains unsaturated fats that improve metabolism and reduce symptoms of PCOS.
  • Promote hair growth: Peanuts contain all the amino acids and protein that are essential for hair growth and reducing hair loss.

Peanut harm

Eating peanuts does not lead to harm or side effects if it is eaten in moderation, but eating it in some cases may cause the following damage:
  • Aflatoxin poisoning: It is one of the waste products caused by fungi. The risk of contamination of peanuts with this substance increases if they are stored in areas of high temperature and humidity. Eating peanuts contaminated with aflatoxin may lead to the appearance of many symptoms on the affected person, such as loss of appetite, jaundice, and problems with digestion. Liver, and in severe cases it can lead to liver failure and liver cancer.
  • Anti-nutrition: Peanuts contain substances that hinder the absorption of some nutrients, including phytic acid, which reduces the absorption of iron and zinc. This is usually not a problem in people who eat meat, but vegetarians or areas that rely entirely on grains and legumes in their diet. Its food may lead to a deficiency in these elements of the body.
  • Allergy: Peanut allergy is one of the most common types of allergies, and it can be considered one of the most severe types of allergies and leads to immediate reactions in the body that lead to the emergence of the following symptoms:
  • Feeling itchy skin.
  • The appearance of small or large spots on the skin.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Nausea.
  • Feeling itching, tingling, or tingling in the throat or mouth.
  • In severe cases, more serious symptoms appear, including: shortness of breath, sudden drop in blood pressure, pale skin or blue color, dizziness or fainting, and digestive problems.

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