The peanut, also known as the groundnut, goober, pindar or monkey nut, and taxonomically classified as Arachis hypogea, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to both small and large commercial producers. Botanically, most nuts are the seeds of a fruit, while true nuts — such as chestnuts, acorns, and hazelnuts — are fruits in and of themselves. Peanuts are the exception, as they’re legumes — and thus technically vegetables.
Many people believe the peanut is not as nutritionally valuable as true nuts like almonds, walnuts, or cashews. But actually, peanuts have many of the same health benefits as the more expensive nuts and should not be overlooked as a nutritious food.
Much attention has been paid to walnuts and almonds as “heart-healthy” foods, given their high content of unsaturated fat. But research suggests that peanuts are every bit as good for heart health as more expensive nuts.
Foods with a lot of protein can help you feel full with fewer calories. And among nuts, peanuts are second only to almonds when it comes to protein count. Studies have shown that people who include a moderate amount of peanuts in their diet will not gain weight from peanuts.
Longer Life Span
Eating peanuts might help you live longer too. A large-scale study found that people who regularly ate any kind of nuts (including peanuts) were less likely to die of any cause than were people who rarely ate nuts.
Peanuts Contain Some of the Same Antioxidants as Red Wine
Antioxidants are a class of molecules that neutralize free radicals, the unstable molecules that can cause damage to your cells. Excessive free radical activity has been suggested as a possible mechanism for the formation of cancerous cells, meaning that getting plenty of antioxidants may lower your cancer risk (American Cancer Institute, 2014).
Eating Peanuts May Protect You Against Gallstones
As their name implies, gallstones are small particles that form in the gallbladder. Certain people are at higher risk of gallstones, including women, overweight individuals, people over age 40, and those with a diet high in calories and refined carbohydrates (National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2013). In a long-term study of nurses, scientists found that eating high levels of nuts — particularly peanuts — lowered risk of gallstones by 25%.
10 Amazing Benefits Of Peanuts
Peanuts Contain Copper
Copper is a trace mineral that is considered an essential micronutrient. Although often overlooked in dietary considerations, copper is necessary for several important physiological processes. In particular, copper forms a crucial part of enzymes that govern energy production and neural activity. In the nervous system, copper is needed for neurons to create the myelin sheath that encases their axons and increases the speed of neural transmission (Prohaska, 2014).