Groundnut Food Value and Natural Benefits
Groundnut Health Benefit
Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea)
Groundnut is a leguminous plant. However, it is considered a nut and is quite nutritious. Groundnut is the only nut that grows underground. It is a perennial herb and grows up to 50 cm tall. Flowers are produced on buds and after fertilization, they go underground where pods (fruits) are formed.
There are usually two seeds in a pod. The fruit ripens within two months and the leaves turn yellow. Then the fruit is picked up from the ground.
Origin and spread
Groundnut is a native plant of South America, where it has been cultivated for a long time. Groundnuts dating back to 1000 BC have been found at excavation sites in coastal areas of Peru. The Portuguese brought it from Brazil to West Africa in the 16th century. Then it spread to different places.
Peanuts are especially valuable for protein. It contains more protein than meat, about two and a half times more than eggs, and more than all other vegetables except soybeans and yeast. Peanut protein is balanced, except for slight deficiencies in a few essential amino acids. But these amino acids are more abundant in milk, so milk and groundnut should be consumed for better results.
Food Value (%):
- Aqueous matter-3.0
- (Edible portion per 100g)
Minerals and Vitamins:
- Calcium-90 mg
- Phosphorus-350 mg
- Iron - 2.8 mg
- Vitamin C-261.4 mg
- A small amount of vitamin B complex
Energy (calorific) value is 567
Groundnuts should be chewed thoroughly for proper digestion. If it is not chewed into a smooth paste, it is not digested well. Frying removes this difficulty. Baking raw starch increases digestibility. It can be made into a paste as an alternative to chewing and is called peanut butter due to its abundance of fat. A little salt is usually added to it. If it is too thick, little amount of groundnut oil is added.
Natural benefits and healing rituals of Groundnuts
Groundnut is one of the most nutritious foods. Apart from nutritional value, groundnut also has medicinal value. It contains a large amount of oil, which is easily digested. This oil is mild laxative and emollient and softens the skin. Jaggery and goat milk with roasted groundnuts is a very nutritious food for growing babies, childbearing women and lactating mothers. It builds resistance against all types of infections, especially tuberculosis and hepatitis.
However, excessive consumption of groundnuts leads to increased body acidity, spermatorrhoea and premature ejaculation. Some people are allergic to roasted peanuts. Asthma patients should not eat more groundnuts. Groundnuts boiled in salt water are less harmful for these people. Eating excess groundnuts can cause stomach hyperacidity, indigestion and heartburn, so patients with gastritis and jaundice should avoid it.
Test results have shown that groundnuts help stop excessive bleeding in people with hemophilia, a type of hereditary blood disorder. It is also effective in stopping nosebleeds and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Groundnut is used in the treatment of obesity. Test results have shown that eating a small amount of roasted peanuts with tea or coffee an hour before lunch leads to weight loss. It reduces hunger, so weight loss is gradual.
Groundnut benefits diabetes.
Groundnut is effective in diarrhoea, especially chronic diarrhoea. More benefits are obtained if the patient consumes goat milk and roasted groundnuts mixed with a little lemon juice. This type of diarrhea is due to nicotinic acid deficiency. As groundnuts contain sufficient amount of niacin, groundnuts are effective for this disease.
Chewing groundnut with a little salt strengthens gums, cures stomatitis, kills harmful bacteria and protects tooth enamel. However, after eating peanuts, the mouth should be washed with water.
Groundnut oil is used as a beauty enhancer. Mix one teaspoon of refined almond oil with equal amount of lemon juice and apply on the face every night before going to bed. It keeps the face fresh. Regular use nourishes the skin and prevents acne.
Groundnuts are eaten in a variety of ways. Groundnut flour is more nutritious than wheat flour. Nutritious and delicious milk can be made from groundnuts. Slightly roasted groundnuts should be soaked in water for about two hours, rubbed and peeled. A fine paste is made by grinding wet groundnuts. This paste should be mixed with water as required and strained before use. This milk can be boiled, it will not lose its food quality. Sugar can be added if required. Groundnut milk is similar to cow milk in nutritional value and composition. So it can be used as an alternative to cow milk.
Yogurt can be made from groundnut milk. A small amount of cow milk curd can be mixed in this milk. It tastes like cow milk curd.
Groundnut is sometimes used as a vegetable when the seeds are young. It can also be eaten sprouted. It is easily digested when sprouted and its nutritional value, especially its vitamins B and C, increases.
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