Good & Bad of Eating Peanuts (Groundnuts - Nelagadale - Mungfali)


Widely known as Peanuts - Groundnuts in English, Nelagadale in Kannada, Mungfali in Hindi. This belongs to legume family of crops grown & consumed widely in India, Asia & most part of the world. 

Peanuts also contain high healthy fat, protein, fiber, phosphorous, magnesium,sodium and B vitamins content. As a result, they are a rich source of energy. There are also disadvantages of peanuts, such as too much sodium content can harm you due to its inflammatory nature when consumed in large volume.

A healthy intake would be at an approximation of 10-20 peanuts (the qty quoted depends on person to person), anything above can bring in hard than good.

Properties

Rich in protein, fat & carbohydrates, but less fiber. High in Omega-6, and traces of Omega-3 fats.

Alert: Inflammatory Food

High consumption causes inflammation in the gut, and the entire gastro-intestinal system, especially highly inflammatory when it is roasted, moderately inflammatory when consumed raw and less inflammatory when soaked for 4-8 hours in water.

High/wrong consumption can lead to high-severe feeling of heartburn & known for the 'leaky gut' condition. It will upset the large ecosystem of 'good bacteria' (also known as 'gut bacteria') that resides inside the gut/intestinal system of every mammal, including humans.

Reason

As most seeds, it has 'Lectins', which is the main reason for the cause of inflammation. Lectins are found on the outer skin and on immediate surface of the seed, which is nature's self-defense mechanism for the seeds.

This is the major reason why some people are 'peanut allergic', 'peanut sensitive' or 'peanut intolerant', as the Lectins in them affect these people in the most dangerous way that could even kill them. So know your body & consume it wisely.

Lectins are poisonous substances that are released into the immediate environment when exposed to water/rain which enables the seed to germinate in the wild, protecting the seeds from being consumed by insects, worms, bacteria, fungi, birds, etc.

Remedy

Soaking method: As most legumes, if soaked for 6-8 hours in water (changing water every 1 hour during the process) will help dilute / remove most of the Lectins thereby making it safer to consume.

Roasting method: it will not get rid of the Lectins, but it could also worsen the legume making the fat in it to go 'rancid' as even slightly over-roasted can make this a bad food to consume. However, the roasted peanuts are addictive, due to its desirable aroma & flavor.

Boiling/Cooking method: Boiling or pressure cooking it can nullify the Lectins & thus make them safer, however the lectins are now released into the boiling water in the vessel, however much decomposed due to hot steam. Some decomposed Lectins could turn into another form, so it is not as safe as Soaking method

Eating Raw: consuming raw can be dangerous, as the Lectins are now released directly into the digestive system and do major harm.

Storage:

Since it is rich in fat [40-50%], it can become rancid fast, if not dried well before stored. Best stored in dry environment.

Best Usage & Consumption:

Soaking method is best for consumption, which also eliminates for the need to have it cooked. As it is rich in carbs, protein & fats, it is considered a wholesome food.

Roasted peanuts are better consumed with skin peeled off, which comes off easily when rubbed slightly if they are of good quality & roasted correctly.

Best way:

A handful of soaked peanuts (100-200g) as described above, with a couple of bananas can be enough for a day's worth of nutrition & energy. However, it is best to be reduced to once in a week or fortnight and not be consumed on daily basis.

Weight Gainer:

Rich in carbohydrates, protein & fat will help to gain muscle & overall body weight.

Wikipedia description

The peanut [Arachis hypogaea], also known as the groundnut, goober [US], pindar [US] or monkey nut [UK], is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, important to both small and large commercial producers. It is classified as both a grain legume and, due to its high oil content, an oil crop. World annual production of shelled peanuts was 44 million tonnes in 2016, led by China with 38% of the world total. Atypically among legume crop plants, peanut pods develop underground (geocarpy) rather than above ground. With this characteristic in mind, the botanist Carl Linnaeus gave peanuts the specific epithet hypogaea, which means "under the earth".

Scientific Name: Arachis hypogaea

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