Peanut: healthy food
The World Health Organization (WHO) includes peanuts among the recommended healthy food for a beneficial diet.
The peanut is a type of dried fruit that has its origin in the Inca Empire (South America) belonging to the family of legumes (beans, soybeans, lentils).
The main components contained in the peanut are vegetable proteins, unsaturated fats and fiber.
Nutritional information: peanuts, raw – serving 100 grams
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (USA) the benefits for human health when consuming peanuts are diverse.
Peanuts, as a healthy food, contain monounsaturated fatty acids, paraformaldehyde (PFA) and saturated fatty acids, which is a friendly combination of fatty acids.
Peanut products are more beneficial for heart health compared to low fat diets. Diets high in monounsaturated fats reduced their total body cholesterol by 11% and bad LDL cholesterol by 14%, while HDL cholesterol was maintained by reducing triglycerides. The benefits of peanut diets on cholesterol were comparable to the diet of olive oil.
Peanuts have more protein than any other nut with levels comparable or better than a serving of beans. They contain all amino acids in varying proportions and are the largest source of a protein called “arginine.” Peanut and soy proteins are nutritionally equivalent to meat and eggs for human growth and health. Unlike animal proteins, those of plant origin have bioactive components and antioxidants.
Peanuts are also a good source of fiber, sucrose and starch are the main source, while reducing sugars make up the lowest proportion of peanut carbohydrates.