Although we treat them like nuts, peanuts are very healthy legumes that, even so, we should not abuse.
We are used to thinking of them as if they were nuts, but botanically speaking peanuts are legumes, and in fact they share a lot of beneficial properties for our health. So, in case you didn't know, there are also legumes that you don't have to cook for hours to be able to consume them, you just have to toast them.
And it is that, as legumes that they are, peanuts have a protein contribution that is higher even than meat, although as we already know the proteins of legumes to be complete must be consumed together with some whole grain.
Peanuts are very nutritious legumes
For the following reasons:
· They have 26% protein, so they are a suitable snack for after a session of sports training or physical effort of a certain duration.
· They have carbohydrates that are mostly starch and maltose, so they must be chewed well so that the amylase present in saliva breaks the starch bonds and simpler and easier to digest compounds are formed. If they are not chewed well, indigestible carbohydrates ferment in the colon and can produce gas, the same as other legumes.
· As for vitamins, they stand out for their high content of vitamin E and vitamin B3 or niacin.
· Regarding minerals, they have iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium in very balanced proportions, so they do not alter the ionic concentration of the body.
· 50% of its content are fats, most of them unsaturated and they stand out especially for having two essential fatty acids (linolenic and linoleic) that our body is not able to synthesize and that are beneficial for the heart.
Why you should not abuse peanuts
Although due to their nutritional properties, peanuts are good allies in a healthy diet that allows us to live longer and this is evidenced by some scientific studies such as this one carried out by the University of Maastrich and their consumption is even recommended in diets for control or weight loss as stated in this other study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , the truth is that peanuts are one of those foods that in small amounts are very beneficial, but consumed in excess can be counterproductive.
This is due to:
· Although their fats are "good fats" they are present in large quantities, which makes their caloric intake very high. If we add to that that they are rich and very easy to eat, it is easy to exceed the ration and, if we do that daily, it will make us gain weight and our liver, in charge of processing the fats we consume, will not seem like a good plan. Ideally, take about 50 g of peanuts every 4 or 5 days.
· Apart from the starch we mentioned above, peanuts also have fiber that, when one is not used to consuming it, can cause gas and bloating problems and, due to the large amount of fat, can also cause diarrhea.
Of course, although perhaps it goes without saying, I mention it just in case, when we talk about healthy peanuts, we refer to roasted and peeled peanuts, no fried peanuts loaded with salt. The same for peanut oils and butters, in which we must choose simple recipes in which the butter has been made without any type of oil or added salt.
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