One of peanuts’ little known virtues is its high amount of reservatrol, the same phenolic antioxidant found in red wine that’s been proven to provide anti-ageing benefits by speeding up the cell's energy production centers.If you like your peanuts roasted, here’s good news for you. Roasting actually boosts antioxidant content by up to 22%!
Peanuts are also a good source of fiber. Its high fat content (monounsaturated) is proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease without making you gain weight. Vegetarians can also turn to peanuts as replacement for red meat because of its high protein content. It also has significant amounts of Vitamin D, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
A word of caution though. If you only shop for peanuts at the supermarket, be careful about those hidden trans fats. Take a look at this package found at my neighborhood store.
On the front panel, the peanut pack proudly proclaims “trans fat FREE”. But just flip the pack over, and you’ll see that its second ingredient is hydrogenated oil. Tsk-tsk!
The best peanuts for your health are the raw or dry roasted kind. And keep them unsalted or lightly salted. Steer clear of flavored or processed varieties because all those additives and flavorings can mean a lot of MSG, extra sodium, carbs and calories.
As for those dealing with gout, peanuts are often listed as one of the foods to avoid. That’s because despite their name, peanuts aren’t really “nuts”—they’re legumes. They’re the edible seeds of a plant belonging to a large family which includes peas and beans. One thing that sets peanuts apart is that their pods grow under the soil instead of a vine. Another thing that differentiates peanuts from other legumes is that their purine content is low (less than 50 mg per 100 grams). Health professionals say that it may even be beneficial to those with gout because it contains fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties. Which is perhaps why I know of several gout sufferers who happily gorge on unshelled peanuts in our parties. They're simply nuts about peanuts!