The Health Benefits of Groundnuts

Boiled groundnuts

Chika Nnamdi, a nutritionist based in Anambra State, outlines the health benefits that are associated with eating groundnuts regularly

By Chinwe Okafor  |  Aug. 25, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

GOOD news for people who want to keep cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease at bay. They can achieve it by consuming boiled groundnuts. Chika Nnamdi, a nutritionist in Anambra State, said diabetics should also consider eating groundnuts because they address niacin deficiency and ensure a healthy menstrual cycle in women.

According to her, groundnuts fall among the best sources of protein in the plant kingdom and are also super high in polyphenols; the chief of the antioxidant group but although they are high in fat, like avocados, they are high in monounsaturated fat which is a good fat. She said that they also contain magnesium, foliate, vitamin E, copper, arginine, and fibre, all of which are known to lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Studies have revealed that groundnuts are really rich with significant, beneficial nutrients that are essential for optimum health which includes reducing the risk of colon cancer. Nutrients found in groundnuts, include folic acid, phytosterols, phytic acid and resveratrol which have anti-cancer effects. For instance, eating groundnuts just two or more times each week has been associated with a 27-percent lowered risk of colon cancer in men and about twice that figure in women.

Groundnuts contain high concentration of antioxidants known as polyphenols which is primarily a compound called p-coumaric acid and oleic acid. They do not only protect the heart but impede the growth of free radicals, keeping infections at bay and also lessening the risk of stomach cancer by preventing the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach.

They contain Vitamin B3 which boosts memory and helps lower cholesterol: The same nutrient which gives groundnuts their memory boosting power also helps reduce and control cholesterol levels. She said added to that is their copper content which aids in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol levels. Regular intake of groundnuts helps to lessen the effects of aging whilst preventing several cardiovascular challenges such as stroke, heart attack and hardened arteries.

Groundnuts and groundnut products are very beneficial in the treatment of haemophilia and other related blood disorders. People suffering from nose bleeding also gain from eating groundnuts are also helpful in reducing excessive menstrual bleeding in women. Nuts are good sources of tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is important for the production of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in mood regulation.

Groundnuts are rich in vitamins and contain at least 13 different types of vitamins that include Vitamin A, B, C and E. Added to this, groundnuts are also rich in 26 essential minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and boron, among others. The cocktail of all these vitamins and minerals helps in brain functioning and development, strengthening bones and purifying the blood adding that eating nuts regularly is associated with a reduced risk of weight gain.

Groundnuts can be enjoyed boiled, roasted, raw and fried but according a research carried out by some scientists in Alabama, USA, boiled groundnuts contain four times more isoflavones than raw groundnuts or oil and dry-roasted ones. Isoflavones which are natural antioxidants comparable to that of the well-known antioxidant vitamin E, is an antioxidant that counters the negative effect of oxygen by neutralising the damaging effects of free radicals which cause cell damage.


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