The season of peanuts popularly called groundnuts in Nigeria is here with us again. At every nook and cranny you will most likely encounter hawkers of this nuts. The boiled peanut (which is always salted) is a delicious, eat-in-before-meal snack for many Nigerians, little wonder the business of groundnut is a big deal.
Groundnut is rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Key vitamins and minerals in peanut include; vitamin E, vitamin B8 (Biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), manganese, copper, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), phosphorus and magnesium.
But are there differences in the the nutritional benefits of boiled peanuts and raw or roasted peanuts?
Sure there are. You might note these.
1. Boiled peanut is lower in calories than the roasted type, (so, has less weight gain effect)
2. Boiled peanuts have higher concentration of nutrients that protect our body cells from oxidation. For example they contain a significantly higher content of FLAVONOIDS and POLYPHENOLS even more than the raw peanut. Flavonoids and polyphenols are antioxidants which protect our cells against the onslaught of free radicas. They are also known for reducing our risk of suffering from a number of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid-arthritis, tumors and cancer.
3. Boiled peanuts are also lower in fat content. For weight watchers this is something of special interest.
4 . Boiled peanuts are higher in fibre content than the raw or roasted peanuts. “Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest. Including more fiber in your diet from foods such as the boiled peanut offers a number of health benefits, including appetite control, preventing constipation and reducing your risk of both heart disease and diabetes.” (http://www.livestrong.com)
5. Boiled peanut has its skin (peanut skin) intact. The peanut skin contains powerful antioxidants such as phenolic compounds and Resveratrol.
So enjoy your boiled peanuts to the fullest while the season lasts!
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Dr Gilbert Ezengige is a licensed natural medicine practitioner, lecturer and writer on health and social issues.