The peanut or peanut is one of the most consumed foods worldwide, but is it really a dried fruit? Despite this belief, peanuts are actually legumes They belong to the same family as lentils or chickpeas.
This food native to South America has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years and is an edible seed of the legume plant Arachis hypogaea, which belongs to the Fabaceae family, as indicated in the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN).
However, it is true that “due to its nutritional composition, as it contains more fat than most legumes, it is considered a dried fruit”, explains the dietician-nutritionist, Adriana Oroz, on the nutrition portal Alimmenta.
Source of protein, fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids
This legume is a source of nutrients and non-nutritive substances such as “proteins, monounsaturated and unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, magnesium, niacin, thiamine, folates, vitamin E and vitamin B6”, adds the FEN. In fact, contains 27% proteins of high biological value and almost as much fat as blood.
About 50% of total lipids are monounsaturated and 29% polyunsaturated, “the latter being mainly of the omega-6 series”. For this reason, its intake is recommended to improve blood cholesterol levels.
Fiber is another of the essential nutrients in peanuts with more than 8% in each 100-gram serving, so they contribute to the regulation of intestinal transit and the proper functioning of the digestive system.
On the other hand, they are rich in minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium or zinc, which have beneficial properties for the protection of the bone and muscular system. In addition, “an average portion of peanuts is equivalent to 15 and 12% respectively of the recommended daily intakes of phosphorus and magnesium,” emphasizes the FEN.
By last, Niacin (vitamin of group B) is one of the most prominent in this food, as well as vitamin E. Thus, they have important antioxidant properties to neutralize the damaging action of free radicals and protect the body from certain diseases. Also, vitamin E is essential for skin care.
What is the best way to consume them? It is a very common snack and a snack that we usually resort to between meals. In addition, “now it can also be found in the form of peanut butter, very versatile to combine with fruit, yogurt or in sandwiches,” says nutrition expert Adriana Oroz.
However, “the consumption of raw or roasted peanuts is always recommended as opposed to fried and salted “. If they are to be ingested in the form of a cream, look at the composition table “to ensure that it does not have any added fat or sugar.”