The Peanut Makes an Appearance

Peanuts are used in many ways to add flavor and nutrition to food. Peanuts belong to the legume family. They originated in Africa, India and China.

Modern technology has led to easy importing of peanuts. The plant is now grown in different parts of the world. Processing has ensured that peanuts are available in many forms. While adults like snacking on salted or roasted peanuts, children are especially fond of peanut butter.

Some suggest that peanuts are fattening but good for the body if eaten in moderation. Peanuts are an excellent source of protein for people who do not eat meat products. Bodybuilders and weight watchers often include peanuts in their daily diet. Raw peanuts with their crushed skins are nutritionally superior to the better-looking processed versions.

Peanuts contain coenzyme Q10, which aids the heart during emergencies when there is lack of oxygen. People travelling to high altitudes are advised to carry plenty of peanuts for this reason. Peanuts also contain antioxidants that are crucial for maintaining efficient bodily function.

Regular consumption of peanuts reduces cholesterol and aids the functioning of blood arteries. The niacin content helps repair cells. The niacin in peanuts is believed to reduce the effects of Alzheimer's disease. The peanut improves overall cognitive capabilities. Peanuts are also rich in iron and can significantly increase the number of red blood cells in the body. Peanuts also assist in the production of hormones.

The fiber content of the peanut is said to reduce the incidence of bowel cancer. An ounce of peanuts contains up to 2 g of fiber. Eating sufficient quantities of peanuts can meet most dietary requirements.

~ Ajeet Khurana

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