Delicious, crunchy, and nutty peanuts are one of the popular oil seeds known to humankind since centuries. The noteworthy health-benefiting nutrients essential for optimum health and wellness. They are actually legumes but carry almost all the qualities of other popular edible kernels such as pistachio, almonds, etc. Peanuts are rich in energy (567 calories per 100 g) and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. They compose sufficient levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), especially oleic acid. This compound has been thought to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by limiting formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach. They are an excellent source of resveratrol, another polyphenolic anti-oxidant. Resveratrol has been found to have protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections. Recent research studies suggest that roasting/boiling enhances anti-oxidant bio-availability in the peanuts. The kernels are an excellent source of vitamin E (a-tocopherol); containing about 8 g per100 g. vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble anti-oxidant which helps maintain the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen free radicals. Peanuts can be available in the markets year around. In the stores, different forms; shelled, unshelled, salted, sweetened etc can be found for purchase. Try to buy unshelled (intact outer shell) nuts instead of processed ones. Unshelled groundnuts can be placed in cool dry place for many months, whereas shelled (without the shell) nuts should be placed inside airtight container and kept inside the refrigerator to avoid them turn rancid. A peanut kernel usually eaten as is, by cracking them with firm pressure between fingers or using clippers, or nutcracker machine. The nuts can also be enjoyed roasted, boiled, salted, or sweetened. They are nutty, yet pleasantly sweet in taste. Roasting enhances taste, augments antioxidants levels like p-coumaric acid, and helps remove toxic aflatoxin. Roasted and crushed kernels often sprinkled over salads, desserts, particularly sundaes and other dairy based preparations. Boiled peanuts possess unique flavor and taste. Boiling, in fact, enriches their nutritional and antioxidants profile. Peanut butter is a food-paste made of ground-roasted nuts, with or without addition of oil. It is popular throughout the world and commonly used as dip/spread. Peanut-milk is also a popular lactose-free milk like healthy drink. Peanut oil is another healthy source of edible cooking oil like soy or olive oils. It is widely employed in cooking for its aromatic flavor.
“Just a handful of peanuts per day provide enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.”