Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the Mediterranean diet, which is healthy for the heart. Studies of diets with a special emphasis on peanuts have shown that this little legume is a great ally for heart health.
Health benefits of peanut or peanut butter
Peanuts make up sufficient levels of unsaturated mono-fatty acids, especially oleic acid. They help reduce LDL or " bad cholesterol " and increase the blood level of HDL or "good cholesterol."
Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, helps prevent coronary artery disease and strokes, promoting a healthy blood lipid profile.
Peanuts are rich in energy supply and contain beneficial nutrients for health, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimal health.
These nuts are a good source of dietary protein as they make up quality fine amino acids that are essential for growth and development.
Studies have shown that peanuts contain high concentrations of polyphenolic antioxidants, mainly p-coumaric acid. This compound is suggested to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by limiting the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach.
Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol, a polyphenolic antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to have a protective function against cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease, and viral / fungal infections.
In addition, studies suggest that resveratrol reduces the risk of stroke by altering the molecular mechanisms in blood vessels (reducing susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin, a systemic hormone that causes constriction of the blood vessel that could raise blood pressure), and increasing the production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
Excellent source of vitamins
Peanuts are an excellent source of vitamin E (a-tocopherol); It contains approximately 8g per 100g. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant that helps maintain the integrity of the cell membrane of the mucous membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.
They are packed with numerous important groups of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100g of peanuts provide approximately 85% of the RDI for niacin, which contribute to brain health and blood flow to the brain.
They are a rich source of minerals such as copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
Just a handful of peanuts a day provides recommended levels of sufficient phenolic antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and proteins.
Presentations of the peanut or groundnut
Peanuts are available in the markets in different forms: shelled, shelled, salted, sweet, etc. Try to buy with shell (intact outer shell) rather than processed ones. They are generally available in airtight packages as well as bulk containers. The pods should be compact, white in color, with a healthy-looking shell, uniform in size, and feel heavy in the hand. They should be free of cracks, mold and stains and free of musty odor.
Shelled peanuts can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months, while shelled peanuts should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator to prevent them from going rancid.
How to consume peanuts
It is usually eaten as it is, removing its shell with firm pressure between the fingers or with scissors, or with a nutcracker machine. They can also be enjoyed roasted, cooked, salted or sugared. Roasts enhances flavor, increases levels of antioxidants such as p-coumaric acid, and helps eliminate toxic aflatoxins.
Boiled peanuts have a unique flavor. Boiled, in fact, it enriches its nutritional profile and the contribution of antioxidants.
Peanut butter is a paste made from roasted peanuts, with or without added oil. It is popular all over the world and is used as a spread. Peanut milk is also a popular lactose-free milk as a health drink.
Peanut oil is another healthy source of edible cooking oil, like olive oil. It is widely used in cooking for its aromatic taste, especially in many states in South India and Sri Lanka.
Roasted and ground peanuts are often sprinkled on salads, desserts, ice cream, and other preparations.
The " Chutney " peanut or pasta, made with peanuts, chiles, salt, coriander leaves, garlic and mustard seeds, is a very popular preparation in southern India and Sri Lanka region.
Peanut Allergy Considerations
Peanut allergies is a type of hypersensitivity response in some people to food substances prepared with them. The resulting overreaction of the immune system can lead to serious physical symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, swelling of the lips and throat leading to shortness of breath and chest congestion. Therefore, these individuals are advised to avoid any food preparation that contains peanut products.
Peanuts are one of the crops that are susceptible to fungal infection (mold), especially from the production of aflatoxin, a member of Aspergillus flavus. Aflatoxin is a very potent and dangerous known carcinogen that can cause liver cirrhosis and cancer. Roasting them helps reduce the toxin levels in these nuts and therefore offers some protection against aflatoxins.
How to make peanut butter
· 1 bottle of 16 oz roasted peanuts dry unsalted (See How roasted peanuts at home)
· 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
· tablespoons of honey
1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until the desired consistency is reached. This will take several minutes, and the outside of the blender may be hot to the touch, so for the
2. blender periodically so as not to overheat and also to be able to scrape down the sides.
3. Place in a jar or storage container and store in the refrigerator.
If you like smooth peanut butter, you can add a little peanut oil or another. It will get a little firm or thick in the refrigerator. If you eat natural peanut butter, you may be familiar with this. Just let it come to room temperature, and it will be easy to spread again.
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