Superfood series - Part II - Peanuts | Moongfali | Arachis hypogaea
It is often said that big surprises come in small packages. Peanuts are an embodiment of this saying. Popular known as the poor man’s almond, peanuts actually belong to the legume family i.e. beans and lentils. But with being able to pop them in the mouth uncooked, we tend to associate them more with almonds and cashews.
So what all does this small package have and why is peanut a superfood?
This superfood and a variety of nutrients that make it an immunity and energy booster along with working on critical ailments for long term health benefits.
Peanuts being a very rich source of proteins is well known. Hence it is a preferred food for athletes and gym enthusiasts either as peanut powder or peanut butter sandwich etc. as it works as a natural energy booster.
Peanuts also contain a lot of vitamins and are an excellent source of niacin. These help in a better digestive system. They are also known to help against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive declines. One of the key nutrients in peanuts is Vitamin E which is considered hard-to-get. 90% of people fail to meet the daily recommended amount for Vitamin E. It can help protect against coronary heart disease.
Peanuts are also a very rich source of anti-oxidants making it an immunity booster. People lean towards green tea and some justify a glass of red wine as containing anti-oxidants. Here’s a surprise. Peanuts have a higher content of anti-oxidants than both of these and it doubles if peanuts are had with their skin.
This “nut” also has high fibres further adding to the ability to help in digestion. It also makes you feel full for a longer time. If you feel full, the chances of excess / binge eating are that much lower. The high fibre content combined with healthy fats contribute to lower levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
The phytosterols and flavonoids in peanuts, as per studies, have shown to reduce the growth of various types of cancers (lung, stomach, ovarian, prostate, colon and breast)
Lastly, one of the ailments where has to be the most cautious of what he / she eats, Diabetes. Even diabetic patients are allowed to have peanuts and the minerals (Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Molybdenum) reduce the risk of type II diabetes.
Peanuts can also be used for external application. According to Ayurveda, peanut oil can be applied externally to manage dry skin by moisturizing it due to its Snigdha (oily) property. It can also be applied to get relief from joint pain due to arthritis due to its Vata balancing and Snigdha (oily) properties (https://www.1mg.com/ayurveda/peanut-99)
Is there a “good” way to have peanuts?
Peanut allergies are one on of the most common allergies the world over. Hence, even with all the benefits, it might not be suitable for everyone’s consumption.
Peanuts are also high in calories and thereby have a very high heat quotient. Also, having water immediately after eating peanuts might result in coughs. The best way to have peanuts, as suggested by the Isha Foundation (https://isha.sadhguru.org/in/en), is to soak the peanuts overnight in water. This ensures a rather neutral effect of the ingestion of peanuts.
The icing on the cake to prove the importance of peanuts - there is an institute in USA called The Peanut Institute (https://peanut-institute.com) Institute with a mission support nutritional research. While you may have known about the comic strip called peanuts, bet you did not know about the institute.
With all these benefits, we recommend having it along with Chyavan Kaya Swastham, the immunity and energy booster (https://www.chyavanrishi.com/products/chyavan-kaya-swastham) for overall health, immunity and energy.