The Humble Peanut Is The Ultimate Health Snack You Should Be Reaching For
All that you need to know about this wonderful food in six simple points
Peanuts have been part of Indian homes forever. Whether you are sitting with your family under the winter sun, cracking open the shell and enjoying them, or popping a handful with a chilled drink on your very first bar experience with close friends. Easy on the pocket, this quintessential Indian snack is a powerhouse of nutrients and the ultimate hunger-buster. Here’s all you need to know about this wonderful food:
1. Did you know that peanuts or groundnuts, as they called in some parts of the world, are not nuts but edible seeds of a legume? In the world of science, peanuts are more closely related to the pea family.
2. India is the second largest producer of peanuts globally, after China. According to the US Department of Agriculture, peanuts account for 25 per cent of India’s total oilseed production. Besides oil, peanuts are widely consumed as a snack, added in health bars as well as confectionery items, and used in making peanut butter and peanut sauce.
3. In their review on ‘Health Aspects of Peanuts as an Outcome of Its Chemical Composition’, published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness, authors Rabiata Bonku and Jaianmei Yu write: “A 12-week clinical study conducted with 151 participants found that moderate daily peanut consumption (42 g/day) resulted in significant reduction of blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood triglyceride in participants with elevated serum lipids and blood pressure.”
4. Studies are also being done to find a correlation between peanut consumption and heart health. An article by Harvard Health Publishing says, “Numerous studies suggest that people who eat peanuts or tree nuts frequently have lower rates of heart disease compared with people who rarely eat them.”
5. Rich in protein, heart-healthy fats and fibre, peanuts also have a low glycaemic index (GI is 14), a reason why they are considered diabetes superfood. Peanuts contain vitamins B and E along with minerals, such as copper, manganese, iron, phosphorus and magnesium.
6. Recommended by nutritionists, peanuts are a cost-effective and healthy choice for snacks. Munch on some peanuts instead of those fried potato chips to fight mid-meal hunger pangs.