Peanuts (Arachis hypogea) are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds with several health benefits. They are often consumed roasted or in their own way.
Peanuts And Heart Health
Peanuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fat—a heart-healthy type of fat that helps lower LDL levels. They also contain fiber, magnesium, and potassium which can help control blood pressure levels. Its antioxidants, such as vitamin E help protect cells from free radical damages, another factor contributing to cardiovascular diseases.
According to researchers from Pennsylvania State University in the US, eating peanuts along with a meal may help protect us against cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks.
After eating our meals, our body experiences a spike in blood lipids and triglycerides – a type of fat that travels in our blood that may contribute to the stiffening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls (arteriosclerosis) — which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. According to the results of the study, consumption of three ounces of peanuts with a high-fat meal by healthy men had reduced the lipids spike in their bloodstream. Aside from this, the participants had also experienced a 32% reduction in their triglyceride levels.
Penny Kris-Etherton, Professor at Pennsylvania State University, says:
“Typically, whenever we eat something, it causes the arteries to get a little bit stiffer during the post-meal period, but we have shown that if you eat peanuts with your meal, this can help prevent the stiffening response.”
Over time, this arterial stiffening can limit the blood flow throughout our body. This makes our heart work harder thus increasing our risk of cardiovascular problems which could lead ultimately to heart failure.
Kris-Etherton added that eating peanuts after a meal may help prevent that big increase in triglycerides which typically decreases the dilation of the arteries.
Moreover, in a separate study, researchers found that participants who ate peanuts or tree nuts two or more times per week had a 15% and 23% lower risk of coronary heart disease, respectively, and a 13% and 15% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, respectively, compared to those who never consumed nuts.
Other Health Benefits Of Peanuts
- May decrease the risk of diabetes
- May aid weight loss
- May boost energy
- May promote skin health
- May prevent gallstones