While groundnuts, also known as peanuts, may be a common snack and recipe ingredient around the world, they also have a lengthy list of health benefits and beauty benefits.
Additionally, If you include the groundnut skin in the equation, the list of health benefits extends dramatically.
It is important to remember that, to really reap the potential rewards of groundnut, consuming unsalted peanuts is best. High levels of salt have negative health effects, and can contribute to high blood pressure amongst other concerns.
The Health Benefits of Peanuts:
1. Peanuts are rich in antioxidants
A study in the Longdom journal found that groundnut skins are rich in phenols, a form of antioxidant. Like other antioxidants, phenols are powerful substances that protect your cells against the harmful effects of free radicals.
According to a 2012 study from North Carolina University, published in the “Journal of Food Science,” it was reported that adding a 5 percent concentration of peanut (groundnut) skins to peanut butter significantly increased its antioxidant levels without sacrificing taste or texture.
2. The nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats
High cholesterol causes fatty deposits in your arteries, which can eventually lead to heart disease. Groundnuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that may keep the heart healthy, by helping to lower blood cholesterol levels.
3. Groundnuts are a high source protein
Protein is an essential component of our diet, since there are over 10,000 types of protein in our bodies. Peanuts have been shown to be an extremely high source of plant protein, and they are often incorporated into the diets of vegetarians and protein deficient people.
4. They are a rich source of minerals
Peanut is a rich source of minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, calcium, sodium, etc. These minerals are essential to many processes in the body, and an adequate supply of these minerals minimises the risk of mineral deficiency diseases.
5. Peanuts are rich in folate
The high levels of folate in groundnut could make them particularly beneficial during pregnancy, since studies have shown that folate can reduce the incidence of birth defects and anaemia related conditions. (Always follow your medical practitioner’s advice during pregnancy.)
6. Groundnuts may help with weight loss
While peanuts are high in calories, they are also rich in fibre and protein, factors that increase and prolong satiety (the sensation of being full and satisfied). This means that having a small number of peanuts as a snack helps to reduce your overall food intake, compared to say the equivalent amount of calories consumed through a chocolate bar.
7. The nuts may have antidepressant qualities
Research published by the European Journal of Nutrition has shown that regular nut consumption resulted in a 66% lower risk of anxiety in men. This may be due to the high level of tryptophan in peanuts. Tryptophan increases the level of serotonin in the brain, which mirrors the action of some antidepressants, so it is thought that peanuts may also have a role in relieving depression.
The Beauty Benefits of Groundnut:
1. Groundnut may help with eczema
Groundnuts may improve inflammatory skin concerns like eczema, because peanuts boast a high level fatty acids, which may help to make your skin feel better, and look healthier by decreasing inflammation.
2. They may have anti-aging effects
Peanuts contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that may help slow down the aging process. Antioxidants work by protecting cells against the damaging effects of free radicals.
3. Peanuts may promote skin elasticity
Groundnut contains Vitamin C which is an essential factor in the synthesis of collagen, a main component in the structure of connective tissues. Maintaining healthy collagen levels helps to keep skin firm and elastic, so eating peanuts may help keep your skin looking young and supple.
It’s really simple to consume groundnuts by shelling and eating the nut inside, but as an alternative, you can also easily make peanut butter at home.
Peanut butter recipe ingredients
- 300 grams unsalted shelled peanuts / groundnuts
- Pinch to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 to 3 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil, if needed
Peanut butter recipe directions
- Roast the peanuts in the oven at 350F/175C/Gas Mark 4 for 3 to 5 minutes, then let them cool.
- Add the roasted groundnuts to the food processor. Process for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the salt and honey then process until combined.
- Check the consistency, if it seems too thick, add oil, a teaspoon at a time until it is right for you.
Remember to always consult with your doctor about any medical concerns, conditions and supplements that you may be taking. Always take the advice of a medical professional on how to proceed with your treatment.
By Victoria E.I