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Health Benefits Of Peanuts-Peanuts and Diabetes, Cholesterol, Triglycerides and Cancer

Updated on September 30, 2011

Peanuts Help Control High Cholesterol And Other Common Health Issues

If you are diabetic, or have high cholesterol or triglycerides, peanuts are an ideal snack. They are rich in niacin (vitamin B3), which has been shown to lower triglycerides, while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. Peanuts are also a good source of resveratrol. Generally associated with red wine, resveratrol is thought to slow or prevent the formation of arterial plaque. While studies have suggested that a glass of red wine a day is good for your heart, it has since been found that peanuts actually contain more resveratrol than wine.

The Health Benefits Of Peanuts - More Evidence

Researchers at Perdue University conducted a study to determine the effects of peanut consumption on overall diet quality. They found that adding just one ounce of peanuts or peanut butter to your daily diet can significantly increase levels of magnesium, folate, fiber, copper, vitamin E, and arginine. They also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, to a lesser degree. All of these are major factors in preventing heart disease.

The Perdue study also suggested that peanuts can act as an appetite suppressant. A quick snack of peanuts or peanut butter was shown to satisfy hunger for up to two and a half hours, compared to twenty to thirty minutes for those snacking on rice cakes.

The Health Benefits of Peanuts Are Many and Varied
The Health Benefits of Peanuts Are Many and Varied

Peanuts and Cancer

A study at the University of Florida found that peanuts are also rich in antioxidants. These protect your body from heart disease and cancer causing free radicals. One such antioxidant, P-Coumaric acid, was actually found to increase by as much as 22% when the nut was roasted.

Peanuts And Diabetes

In addition to being one of the more potent of foods that lower cholesterol, peanuts make a healthy snack for people with type 2 diabetes. Ideally, the sugar in the food you eat should be digested more slowly than the other nutrients. This helps to avoid a severe insulin response, and lowers stress on the pancreas. With a low glycemic index rating, peanuts help to regulate the rate at which your sugar and insulin levels rise after you eat, and smooths out sugar spikes.

What Is The Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index is seen as a scale from 1-100. Its purpose is to rate different foods based on the rate at which your body absorbs the sugar in them. Typically, any food with a GI rating below 55 is considered good. High GI ratings cause your blood glucose and insulin to "roller coaster", which can cause several symptoms including fatigue. When added to or consumed with foods that are high in refined carbs, peanuts can cushion this roller coaster effect.

With a GI rating of 14, a 1/3 cup serving of peanuts or peanut butter is considered very low. Compare this to a small apple, which weighs in at 38 on the Glycemic Index. Here are a few other foods to compare:

  • Raw carrots, GI rating 16
  • Banana, GI rating 52
  • Instant oatmeal, GI rating 66
  • Snack sized bag of pretzels, GI rating 83
  • Medium baked potato, GI rating 85


Some Other Peanut Facts

Latin name: Arachis Hypogaea. Also called goobers, earthnuts, groundnuts, and monkeynuts, peanuts are, in fact, not nuts. They are legumes. Regardless of their name, they are closely related to beans and peas.

Peanuts are used in the manufacture of margarine, cooking oil, soap, and are used in various industrial applications. Their foliage is used for hay, and animal feed.

Native to South America, peanuts are said to have been introduced to Africa by early explorers. They are believed to have been brought to North America by Africans, transported as slaves, where they have been widely cultivated since about the 19th century.

An interesting fact about the plant is that the pod begins to grow above the ground, and is then pushed into the earth through elongation.

Arachis Hypogaea

The Peanut Plant
The Peanut Plant

Are Peanuts Healthier Than Garlic?

While their history is interesting and varied, the health benefits of peanuts are undeniable. As evidence continues to build, they are coming to rival garlic in terms of universal health benefits. Unless you have peanut allergies, which can be deadly, peanuts are a delicious and healthy addition to a balanced diet.

Comments

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  • profile image

    ashraf ali 

    7 years ago

    i was being eat peanuts in my childhood stage, while i dont know the real facts of this, now i learned more, i am trying to eat peanuts regulary. your information is very worth and very health tips.

  • profile image

    Sphe 

    8 years ago

    I exercise and eat peanuts & raisins almost everyday. I am very healthy, i thought it was the morning exercise, thank God i made the right choice and enjoying the health benefits of snaking with peanuts. thanks.

  • profile image

    Mutaz AL-Amin 

    8 years ago

    It is good to know that since I am diabetic.I have had peanuts for a long time without knowing their benefits.THNX

  • profile image

    filkez 

    8 years ago

    i love to crack the shell of peanuts all day and eat....I love peanuts... way to go to control my type 2 diabetes.

  • rmr profile imageAUTHOR

    rmr 

    8 years ago from Livonia, MI

    Thanks!

  • myawn profile image

    myawn 

    8 years ago from Florida

    I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or peanut butter on crackers. Good information in your hub!

  • rmr profile imageAUTHOR

    rmr 

    8 years ago from Livonia, MI

    Hi revitawellness. Glad you found it helpful. Thanks for letting me know!

  • revitawellness profile image

    revitawellness 

    8 years ago from Mecklenburg

    cracking write-up.....while i was looking for more back-ground info on the peanut i found your hub......thumbs-up

  • profile image

    Melanie Munn 

    8 years ago

    Monkeynuts? Interesting, I have never heard peanuts called that before. Peanuts are great as a compliment to fresh meals, especially snacks after lunch.

  • Kidgas profile image

    Kidgas 

    8 years ago from Indianapolis

    Fascinating. I had no idea peanuts had resveratrol.

  • Daddy Paul profile image

    Daddy Paul 

    8 years ago from Michigan

    Now I can have some peanuts and not feel guilty.

  • profile image

    Anita Powers 

    9 years ago

    I'm a southern girl. I grew up on peanuts. In Georgia we primarily boiled them. I am older enough to know now that boiling them robs them of their nutrients. I love them. When I am runned down at the end of my work day. I eat them right from the bag unshelled. Thanks for the health benefit info. Being a 50 plus woman. We need all the help we can get. Life changes and all. LOL!!!

  • profile image

    blairgirl 

    9 years ago

    Thanks for this information i'll share it with my friend cause she has diabetes. Keep up the good work.............boys!

  • chillingbreeze profile image

    chillingbreeze 

    9 years ago from India

    Informative hub ! Thanks for sharing this info :)

  • flutterbug77 profile image

    flutterbug77 

    10 years ago from USA

    Very informative. Good researching!

  • monitor profile image

    monitor 

    10 years ago from The world.

    I had no idea that peanuts could be so good for my health, rmr! Thanks for the very interesting information. Great hub!

    Your fan.

    Mon.

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 

    10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    I'm nuts with peanuts too LOL. Thanks for this informative hub. :)

  • compu-smart profile image

    Compu-Smart 

    10 years ago from London UK

    I had always wanted to eat peanuts for there health benefits, but they were not easy for me to consume-chew, so i used to add a handful of nuts in a blender to powder, then add to cold milk!, it was very easy to consume this way without all the chewing which for was very tedious!.. Now i buy peanuts in chocolate! and add dried fruit and seeds which are just as good as any candy! and i don't ever buy chocolate unless it has nuts or dried fruit in it|!! I'm still not sure if the chocolate will outweigh the benefits of eating the peanuts but who cares I'm enjoying them all the same!..

  • Tater2tot profile image

    Tater2tot 

    10 years ago from ~~~

    Yeah I used to eat almonds everyday. They are good and like you said good for you!

    Tayler!

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 

    10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    I put peanut butter, yogurt & maple syrup together and then pour in dry cereal for breakfast. That's very tasty to me, and healthy as well!

    At my old restaurant we used to make peanut butter malts.

  • Princessa profile image

    Wendy Iturrizaga 

    10 years ago from France

    I love roasted peanuts, peanut butter, peanuts in caramel... you name it! My mother used to make a delicious stew with rabbit and peanuts... yummy, you just reminded me that I should ask her for the recipe. I am glad to see that peanuts are so good health wise, thanks for the info :)

  • ProCW profile image

    ProCW 

    10 years ago from South Carolina

    Very good rmr! Thank you very much! I eat peanuts almost every day and knew some of the benefits, but not all of these. Again, thanks!!

    ProCW

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 

    10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    rmr! I just grabbed a snack...peanuts. Thanks for bringing back the greatness of the peanut to the forefront. The poor peanut has been the scapegoat now for quite a while. Anything that can't be explained is shoved under the peanut-alergy-blanket.

    great hub regards Zsuzsy

  • G-Ma Johnson profile image

    Merle Ann Johnson 

    10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

    wow wonderfully informative my dear..I also am a peanut lover, mostly in organic Peanut butter form..I love it on toast with a smashed banana on top for breakfast.  Almost daily.  Much good information here for all..thank you G-Ma :o) hugs P.S. along with that red wine yummm

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 

    10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    Put me on a desert island with peanuts and I'll be content. I adore peanuts in every shape & form. Thanks for the additional reason to love them!

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