Groundnut, also known as peanuts is a legume crop grown mainly for its seeds. It is also classified as Arachis hypogaea. Groundnut is eaten widely across the globe and there are many uses of the seed. Groundnuts are rumoured to be bad for the skin, making people shy away from them, however, some people are curious to know its benefits. You want to know if it benefits the skin, benefits during pregnancy, groundnuts in weight loss diets, also benefits of roasted groundnuts and more. It has a similar taste to walnuts, however, is higher in oil content. Groundnuts are covered in an easy-to-crack shell and are bean seed like when raw, only softer. Groundnuts can be boiled or roasted before consumed, however, roasted groundnuts are more popular.
Groundnuts grow best in calcium-rich, sandy soil. They are usually planted in spring and harvested in fall. The groundnut seed itself is fascinating because it grows mainly in the tropics. Unlike other nuts, groundnuts don’t grow on trees because they are legumes. Peanut pods develop undergrown as opposed to above the ground like the flowers of the plant. Groundnuts are pulled from the ground using special machinery and are spread over a field to dry.
Groundnuts are referred to as ‘ekpa’ in Yoruba language of Nigeria. Groundnuts are more than the roadside snack you munch on in traffic. This snack creates the best combinations such as guguru and ekpa, which means popcorn and groundnut, soaked garri (cassava flakes) and groundnut, boli (roasted plantain) and groundnut and more. Groundnuts can be bought in supermarkets, main markets, in traffic or by the roadside all year round and are sold in packs, bottles, jars or nylons. Most people may not know but these nuts have numerous health benefits.
Groundnut is high in protein. Protein is essential for growth because amino acid is the active agent the stimulate the growth of cells in the body.
Groundnuts are a great source of energy due to its mineral content such as Magnesium which converts blood sugar to energy. Also, vitamins and anti-oxidants present in groundnuts are rich sources of energy.
These nuts lower the level of bad cholesterol in the body and build good cholesterol. This is crucial in maintaining a healthy heart as bad cholesterol can affect the arteries and thus, proper functioning of the heart. This, along with poly-phenolic anti-oxidant present in groundnut will go a long way in preventing heart diseases, cancers, nervous diseases and viral or fungal infections effectively.
Groundnuts contain anti-oxidants which are key in fighting free radicals that are harmful to the body. These anti-oxidants become more active when the nuts are boiled.
The vitamin E component in groundnuts protects the skin. This is because this vitamin protects the cells of mucous membranes and skin. This way, the skin is protected from free radicals which can cause harm to it.
Groundnuts contain minerals such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium, iron, selenium and zinc. These minerals play key roles in easing digestion, the growth of strong bones and teeth, anti-stress, conversion of blood sugar to energy, DNA synthesis initiation and more.
Groundnuts contain numerous vitamins like vitamin B complex and Vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential for the development of healthy hair with rich roots and strengthened strands.
Other skin benefits
Groundnuts contain anti-inflammatory properties, acids in groundnut help in treating skin disorders like eczema and reduces swelling and redness. The fiber content in nuts is essential for the elimination of toxins and waste. Toxins in the body reflect on outside appearance, causing breakout, dullness and excess oil. It lowers the risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer. Groundnut moisturizes the skin, preventing dry and scaly skin.
Regulates blood sugar
Manganese in groundnuts regulates blood sugar. This mineral helps in calcium absorption, fats and carbohydrates metabolism and sugar level regulation in blood. It also converts blood sugar to energy to further maintain a good blood sugar level.
Groundnuts contain folic acid. Folic acid, when consumed in the early stages of pregnancy, can reduce the risk of the baby being born with neural tube defects by up to 70%.