We all know these “nuts” from childhood, the use of which can be difficult to control: the impressive size of the package sometimes “flies away” at a time. It is noteworthy that peanuts are not, contrary to popular misconception, nuts. Its Botanical name “groundnut” has largely caused a mass misunderstanding of what peanuts are. In fact, peanuts belong to the legume family.
Peanuts — an annual plant that produces fruits that do not differ in appearance from other legumes. The fruit is covered with a dense shell, but the sale of peanuts often comes peeled, since the fruits in the shell begin to quickly mold and deteriorate, which significantly reduces their shelf life.
Peanuts: benefits and harm to the body of men and women
Peanuts are rich in vitamins, trace elements and, most importantly, amino acids, so the increased content of peanuts is often observed in the diet of vegans and vegetarians. Also, peanuts are a high-molecular protein; the protein content in the seeds is quite high — 26 g per 100 g of the product.
For comparison, in peas-only 5 g per 100 g of product, in chicken egg-13 g per 100 g of product, and in cow’s milk-3.4 g per 100 g of product. Thus, peanuts in terms of protein content exceeds many not only vegetable, but also animal products.
Peanuts are rich in fatty oil (53 %), it contains arachinic, stearic, palmitic, hypogeic, linoleic, lauric, begenic, lignocerinic, myristic, eicosene, ceroteic and other acids. Also, the fruits of peanuts contain B vitamins, vitamin E, and many others. However, is peanuts as useful and, most importantly, harmless as it may seem?
The dangers of peanuts
To begin with, it is worth noting that any foreign protein in our body is digested and assimilated with great difficulty. Of course, the harm from animal protein and vegetable protein is not comparable. However, even plant protein requires a complex and energy-consuming process of digestion with the concomitant formation of various toxins. Peanuts are a high-molecular protein that is digested for three to five hours, which the body spends almost all its resources on.
The fruits of peanuts can have a healing effect in diseases of the male genitourinary system. There is information about the fact that eating peanuts can prevent or alleviate the course of diseases such as adenoma and prostatitis. Also, the substances contained in peanuts can be useful during pregnancy. Peanut fruits are rich in phosphorus, potassium, zinc and calcium.
However, it is worth remembering that any product that is consumed in excessive amounts is harmful. The fruit of the peanut contains the so-called erucic acid, which have a negative impact on the activities of smooth muscles, and cardiac muscles. Also, the husk that covers the seeds of peanuts is the strongest allergen and can cause a sensitive body and with a large amount of food eaten, a life-threatening form of an allergic reaction up to suffocation and death. Therefore, in order to avoid negative effects, it is not recommended to eat peanuts more than 50-100 g per day. And this is subject to a healthy state of the gastrointestinal tract and the entire body as a whole.
Harm of peanuts to the whole body
Despite many useful properties, the harm of peanuts in most cases exceeds its usefulness. This happens in three cases:
- poor product quality due to improper storage conditions;
- poor product quality due to certain growing technologies.
Consider these reasons in order.
The first reason: overeating. Most often, it is not possible to control the consumption of peanuts. The very shape of the product contributes to its uncontrolled use. Once in the stomach, peanuts begin to digest immediately, so saturation during the process of consumption is not felt. Moreover, most of the product is not absorbed by our body, since many components simply do not have the necessary enzymes for splitting. Therefore, most of the product is excreted from the body in undigested form.
However, the digestibility of peanuts increases if you soak it and grind it. And you can do a simple experiment: take your usual daily allowance of peanuts, soak it and grind it, and then try to use it. And surprisingly, experience shows that after the first two or three spoonfuls of ground peanuts comes saturation. Why is that?
The fact is that soaked and ground peanuts are better and faster to digest, so the body gives us signals of saturation. A whole product is almost not digested, the body does not perceive it as a full–fledged food, and that is why people overeat peanuts three to five times. This leads to an excessive load on the digestive tract and, in particular, on the liver and intestines, which are forced to work actively to remove the decay products of the semi-digested product.
Therefore, to avoid overeating and increase the percentage of assimilation, peanuts need to be soaked and ground. Or at least soak it. The fact is that in nature it is so designed: the activation of all useful substances in seeds, grains and legumes occurs when they fall into a humid environment. This is a signal that the grain is ready to germinate, and various processes of conversion of biologically active components begin in it.
Second reason: poor product quality due to incorrect storage conditions. Unfortunately, most of the peanuts are stored incorrectly. And on average, 30 to 50 percent of nuts are affected by fungi and mold. And this is also a big harm of peanuts for the body.
These fungi and mold are incredibly toxic to our body: they not only have a detrimental effect on the entire gastrointestinal tract, striking primarily at the liver and stomach, but also contribute to the development of cancer. You can, of course, fry nuts before use, but there is another problem: peanuts, subjected to heat treatment, loses almost all its useful properties and becomes just a useless product that the body seeks to withdraw.
In addition, most types of fungus and mold that affect nuts are resistant to temperature, so roasting will not solve the problem. And to minimize the harm of peanuts to the body, you must carefully choose the product.
The third reason is the low quality of the product due to certain growing technologies. There is one big problem with growing peanuts: they are very fond of all sorts of insects. The same problem is relevant during storage: pests inexorably eat stocks of peanuts.
Manufacturers and distributors suffer losses and are looking for a solution. And the solution is found in peanut genes include the genes of Petunia. How does this change the situation? Cardinally. Peanuts become a poisonous product that neither insects nor pests simply eat, because they do not want to be poisoned. But it appears on the shelves of our stores and is successfully sold to consumers who are in full confidence that they are buying a useful product rich in vitamins and trace elements. And in this gene modification — a great harm to the body.
Is all the peanuts on our store shelves genetically modified and, as a result, poisonous? The question remains open.
Peanuts are one of the most controversial foods. Despite the fact that it is rich in vitamins and trace elements, the risk of buying a low-quality product and causing great harm to your body is quite high. Therefore, it may be worth looking for an alternative source of amino acids and vitamins, much less dangerous; after all, buying peanuts, we can never be 100% sure that it was properly grown and stored correctly. And this game of “peanut roulette” can cost a person health and even life.