Groundnuts are the ever-so-humble ingredient that is a part of snacks, chutneys, main-course, and desserts in the Indian cuisines.
The unassuming legume has been an ingredient in the traditional Indian cooking for more than two hundred years (1, 2).
As a grain legume, an oilseed, or as part of cattle feed, or simply as an accompaniment for your evening drinks, groundnuts excel in each of these roles!
Despite the rich nutritional profile and the numerous medicinal uses that it brings, it is often pushed to the background.
This article turns the spotlight on the nutritional health benefits of this legume.
Nutritional Value of Groundnuts
Groundnuts are incredibly high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and, minerals.
100 grams of groundnuts provides the following nutrients (3).
- Calories: 567 kcal
- Protein: 25.8 grams
- Total Dietary Fiber: 8.5 grams
- Fat: 49.24 grams
- Carbohydrate: 16.13 grams
- Calcium: 92 mg
- Iron: 4.58 mg
- Potassium: 705 mg
These nutrients, along with a host of others, make groundnuts one of the most sought after foods for health seekers.
Health Benefits Of Groundnuts:
1. Good For Heart
Groundnuts and its products such as peanut butter and oil offer greater advantages for heart health than any other low-fat diet (4).
Groundnuts contain a high percentage of monounsaturated fat that helps lower total body cholesterol by 11% and LDL cholesterol (bad) by 14%.
At the same time, the HDL cholesterol level (good) is well-maintained with a reduction seen in triglycerides (5).
As a result, the intake of groundnuts can help prevent the risk of coronary heart diseases (6).
2. Promotes Weight Loss
Apart from being small packets of high energy (567 kcal/100g), groundnuts are a rich source of proteins and healthy fat. Together, these nutrients help in preventing weight gain.
But most importantly, eating groundnuts gives a feeling of satiety which helps those trying to lose weight (7, 8, 9, 10, 11).
Another mechanism through which groundnuts modulate appetite is attributed to their low glycemic index (12).
3. Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
The low glycemic index (GI) of groundnuts essentially means that their consumption does not cause your blood sugar level to shoot up suddenly.
Their low GI of 23 can be ascribed to the low percentage of carbohydrates and higher content of protein, fat, and fiber in them (13).
The incidence of fiber allows for a sustained release of energy over a length of time.
Also, the protein takes longer to break down than simple carbohydrates which allow for the sugar levels to not spike (14).
4. Helps Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases
Groundnuts are a storehouse of antioxidants such as polyphenols. These antioxidants inhibit neuroinflammation and have therapeutic potential against the neurodegenerative disease of Alzheimer’s (15, 16).
The antioxidant properties of resveratrol afford neuroprotective properties to prevent any further degeneration (17).
5. Helps Prevent Gallstones
North India is known to have one of the highest incidences of gallstones in the country (18).
Women are especially vulnerable to gall bladder stones at an occurrence of 41.5%.
Research confirms that regular consumption of groundnuts can help reduce the risk of gall bladder stones (19, 20).
With so many benefits in this tiny nut, there is every reason to include it in your diet.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, or maintain it, or simply trying to keep serious health problems at bay, groundnuts are the food of choice.
Maybe we could say, “A handful of groundnuts keep you looking healthy each day!”