March 22, 2023

Peanuts are native to South and Central America, where they have been distributed since ancient times. It was the peanut that was the main thing in the diet of the Aztecs. Portuguese and Spanish explorers caused the spread of peanuts in Europe and other countries. Now it is grown in the USA, China, India, and some African countries. There are many types of peanuts in nature, but for industrial purposes, the most commonly grown varieties are Runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia.

Is it a nut?

In Latin, the name of this plant sounds like Arachis hypogea (not araxis, although such a name is quite common). Ordinary people gave him another, simpler, albeit erroneous name – peanut. Why wrong? Biologists do not believe that peanuts are nuts. It belongs to the legume family. At the same time, peanuts have the same properties as pistachios, almonds and other nuts.

From planting to fruiting, you need to wait from 120 to 150 days. The pods begin to form along with the stems. They hang above the ground and slowly make their way underground, where the final formation of the fruit takes place. To harvest, the plant must be dug up. Depending on the variety and growing conditions, one bush can produce from 10 to 150 pods. With their roughness and wrinkling, they somewhat resemble bean pods. And the fruit itself is divided into two parts, like legumes. Even after studying the appearance, one can confidently answer the question: is a peanut a nut or a legume.

In Latin America, peanuts are often eaten raw, sometimes roasted. It can be seasoned with salt or made into butter. Peanuts are also used to make flour, protein shakes. Desserts are made from the nut in its usual form, added to pastries, confectionery, snacks, etc. The nut not only tastes good, but also contains fats, proteins and a large number of useful trace elements. Peanuts are beneficial for those who want to lose weight, and also have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system.

Nutritional value of peanuts

100 grams of peanuts contain such useful elements:

calories567 kcal
fats49.2 g
Squirrels25.8 g
Carbohydrates16.1 g
Omega 615.56 g
Cellulose8.5 g
Polyunsaturated fats15.56 g
Monounsaturated fats24.43
Vitamin B10.64 mg
Vitamin B20.14 mg
Vitamin B312.07 mg
Vitamin B51.77 mg
Vitamin B60.35 mg
Vitamin E8.33 mg
Magnesium168 mg
Calcium92 mg
folic acid240 mcg
Iron4.58 mg
Phosphorus376 mg
Selenium7.2 mcg
Sodium18 mg
Manganese1.93 mg
Potassium705 mg
Copper1.14 mg
Zinc3.27 mg


Proteins make up about 30% of the total composition of the peanut fruit. But eating peanuts too often causes an allergic reaction in some people.


Peanuts are high in fat. Because of this, the plant is considered an oilseed and peanut butter is made from its fruits. The nut has about 44-56 points of fat, but mostly healthy lipids.


What there is not much in the product is carbohydrates – only 13-15%. A large amount of fat and protein and a small amount of carbohydrates give a low glycemic index. This means that after a person has eaten a serving of peanuts, their glucose levels rise slowly, and not jerkily. Due to this quality, the peanut is a healthy food for diabetics.


Vitamins and minerals

To find another product that would be so rich in useful minerals and vitamins, you need to work hard. The peanut contains almost all the nutrients that the human body needs so much:

  • folic acid (indispensable for pregnant women);
  • biotin (also useful for pregnant women);
  • niacin (positive effect on the cardiovascular system);
  • copper (important for the heart);
  • magnesium (a preventive element against heart disease);
  • vitamin E (removes toxins from the body);
  • vitamin B1 (useful for the effective functioning of the nervous system, heart, muscle tissue);
  • phosphorus (helps the formation and development of tissues).

Antioxidants in nuts – possible positive and negative points

Peanuts contain not only minerals and vitamins, but also other active substances, among which one of the main places is occupied by antioxidants. These elements in a peanut are no less than in some fruits. However, most of the antioxidants are found in the dark skin of the peanut, which is rarely eaten, as is the raw nut.

The bean kernel contains the following antioxidants:

  • resveratrol (also found in red wine; reduces the risk of cancer or heart disease);
  • p-coumaric acid (antioxidant);
  • phytic acid (negatively affects the absorption of iron and zinc);
  • phytosterols (reduce cholesterol);
  • isoflavones (can bring both benefit and harm to the body).

How to choose nuts

Peanuts can be bought at any time of the year. It can be sold both in the husk and unpeeled both salted and sweetened, or in the form of oil. So what is the healthiest form of peanuts? The best option would be raw nuts in the shell. Quality walnut pods are creamy in color, free of stains, mold, and no unpleasant odor. If you take the pod in the palm of your hand, you should feel the weight of the beans.

If unshelled peanuts are kept in a cool, dry place, they can retain their quality for several months. Peeled nuts should be kept in an airtight pack in the refrigerator – otherwise they will become bitter.

How to use peanuts for weight loss

Scientists conducted a series of studies, as a result of which they found out how the properties of peanuts affect a person’s weight. The main conclusion is that, despite the large amount of fat and high calorie content, the nut does not cause obesity.

Moreover, it can help prevent weight gain. Several women took part in the study. For a couple of months, instead of other foods that contain fat, they ate peanuts. As a result, on average, each of them threw off 3 kg of weight.

During another experiment, women added 90 g of peanuts to their usual diet (this is about 500 Kcal). Surprisingly, there was no weight gain.

A similar experiment was carried out in Spain. 28 months of observation showed that those who ate peanuts at least twice a week were 31% less likely to put on weight than others. Peanuts have a lot of proteins, so they satisfy hunger very well, you don’t need to eat a lot to not be hungry. It also contains insoluble dietary fiber, with the help of which weight loss occurs.

At the same time, do not forget that salted peanuts retain moisture in the tissues, which adds extra weight. You should also control the number of calories contained in this product – if you eat too many portions of this product, you can get the opposite effect and seriously gain weight.

Beneficial features

Peanuts not only promote weight loss, but also have a large number of other useful properties. Increasingly, it is used in order to improve their health. What other benefits can this nut bring?

  1. Strengthening the heart

Cardiac diseases are the main cause of premature human death. After conducting scientific research, it was concluded that peanuts, like other types of nuts, have a positive effect on vascular and heart health. If a person consumes a peanut 5 times a week, he has a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. In Iowa, USA, a study was conducted that showed that people who eat peanuts 4 times a week significantly reduced the possibility of ischemia – 37%. Each additional serving raises this percentage by another 8 points.

This is possible due to the incredible chemical composition of the beans. They include nicotinic acid, magnesium, antioxidants, copper, etc. With their help, strong protection is formed for the heart and other parts of the body.

  1. Effect on the brain

Thanks to the flavonoids found in nuts, brain blood flow improves by a third. Thanks to this, you can protect yourself from all sorts of strokes and other disorders.

  1. Cholesterol Reduction

The main enemy of cholesterol are phytosterols, which are also found in peanuts. Scientists claim that plant sterols rid the body only of “bad” cholesterol. To confirm this fact, postmenopausal women with high cholesterol levels were selected for the study. They ate peanuts for several weeks, after which it was found that their cholesterol levels dropped significantly. This is another positive effect of peanut on women’s health.

  1. Prevention of gallstones

Statistics show that almost 25% of the adult population of the planet have gallbladder disorders. Scientists conducted several experiments, as a result of which it turned out that eating peanuts reduces the risk of getting this disease by 4 times.  This fact is explained quite simply. Gallstone is pure cholesterol, and peanuts lower cholesterol levels in the body.

  1. Anti-cancer effect

For 10 years, scientists in Taiwan have been researching the relationship between peanuts and colon cancer. The experiment was more than large-scale – about 24 thousand women and men took part in it in approximately equal numbers. The result of the experiment showed that if there are at least 2 servings of peanuts per week, the risk of bowel cancer decreases by 58% in women and by 27% in men.

  1. Alzheimer’s disease

A study in Chicago involving 3,000 people over 65 years of age was conducted, as a result of which it was found that in the presence of a daily allowance of niacin (20 mg), the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by 70%. But peanuts are the easiest way to get a vitamin norm – you just need to eat a handful of these nuts.

allergic reactions

Peanuts are among the top eight most common food allergens. Statistics show that peanut intolerance affects about 1% of the population. If ground peanuts cause allergies, then it proceeds in a very severe form. A person may begin vomiting, shortness of breath, stomach pain, swelling of the throat. 

It is also forbidden to eat peanut beans when:

  • arthrosis;
  • arthritis;
  • gout;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

It is not recommended to give peanuts to young children

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