Peanuts are known as “Kalaya” in ayurveda. It is recommended by vaidyas for weight loss, pcos and erectile dysfunction.
Peanut, which has scientific name “Arachis hypogeal” is a small dicotyledonous herb produced annually and consumed as food or snack. It is planted through seedling and developed through self-pollination into ovaries to form peanut pod. Peanut is believed to have originated from Central America to spread to other continents. The nut is now widely found in India, China, Africa, and other nations of the world.
Table of content
Peanut in ayurveda
Peanuts in pregnancy
Peanut for weight loss
Peanut for erectile dysfunction
peanuts for hair growth
Peanuts for glowing skin
Culinary Uses of Peanut
Peanuts are thought to be nut; however, it belongs to the family of legume in relation to soy, lentils, and beans. Varieties of products are made from peanut, and they include peanut flour, peanut oil, peanut butter and peanut protein to be used as ingredients in foods such as cakes, snacks, desserts, sauces, and confectionery.
Nutrition Facts of Peanuts
Peanuts are equipped with numerous nutritional values similar to most of the essential nuts that mainly contain fats and protein. 1 oz of Peanut (according to USDA National Nutrient Database) has the following key nutritional values:
- 168 calories
- 2.6 g of fibre
- 4.9 g of protein
- 7.2 g of carbs
- 14.6 g of fat
- 1.3 g of sugar
Ayurveda Health Benefits of Peanuts
Health benefits of Peanuts were explained in ayurvedic texts somewhere around 14th century. Ayurveda Acharyas have grouped them under beans. Peanuts are referred as ‘Kalaya’ in ayurveda.
Peanut balances kapha dosha and pitta dosha . It can also cause indigestion (Read Ayurvedic Treatments and Home Remedies for Indigestion) and ama the body toxin, when eaten in excess. They have ruksha guna or tissue drying properties. Hence it is not recommended for persons who have vata dosha as predominant.
Peanuts are rich in fat, protein, Vitamin E, folate, and other essential healthy nutrients that provide medicinal benefits to the body. Peanuts have been studied to help treat many health problems such weight loss (Read Ayurvedic Tips for Weight Loss After Delivery), skin problems, hair problems like hair loss (Read Ayurvedic Hair Care Tips and Regimen), memory loss, diabetes (Read How to Prevent Diabetes – Ayurveda Tips), cancers, and much more. Peanuts are usually consumed dry roasted, boiled, salted, deep fried, soaked and rarely raw. They are also called varieties of names such as groundnut, monkey nut, earthnut, goober peas or pignut.
When it comes to health benefits of peanuts or other leguminous nuts, the list is long and may not be discussed in just one article for a better understanding of their numerous benefits. Peanuts are an essential nutritional source in some underdeveloped and developing countries due to their numerous nutrients. Below are the key health benefits of peanuts:
Kapha dosha imbalance causes diabetes. Since peanuts balance kapha they help in lowering blood sugar level.
A recent study has shown that peanut is equipped with an essential nutrient such as manganese to help minimize the risk of diabetes disease by 21%. Manganese plays a vital role in blood sugar regulation, calcium absorption, and fat and carbs metabolism. ( Click here to know about Natural Ayurvedic Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction in Diabetes ) . They are also good source of healthy protein .
Pitta dosha balance prevents gall stones. Since peanuts balance pitta incidences of gall stones formation is reduced in people who consume peanuts
Regular consumption of peanuts helps in putting gallstones at bay. Studies have shown that weekly consumption of 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1 oz of peanut is capable of reducing the chances of gallstones or gallbladder by 25%.
For heart health:
Peanuts contain high levels of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are helpful for a healthy heart. They are also equipped with oleic acid and poly-phenolic antioxidant to help lower bad cholesterol or LDL, enhance good cholesterol level, and prevent any forms of heart diseases such as corollary artery disease as well as stroke by improving the profile of healthy blood lipid. ( Click Here for Increased Cholesterol and Erectile Dysfunction )
The high concentration of beta-sitosterol (SIT), a phytosterol form, helps prevent cancer by hindering tumor growth in the body. This has been discovered to be more helpful in women than men. Research has shown that a consumption of peanuts two times in a week is capable of reducing the risk of getting cancer by 27% and 58% in men and women respectively.
Helps in pregnancy:
Due to its high concentration of folate, peanut is studied to help women in pregnancy. The studies showed that pregnant women who eat 400 g of folic acid either before or during their early stage tend to reduce the development of having a baby with neural tube defect with a reduction rate of 70%. Apart from this, consumption of peanuts during pregnancy reduces the chances of allergic diseases such as asthma in children.
Helps brain health:
These nuts are referred to as “brain food” due to their concentration of vitamin B3 or niacin which has been found helpful in boosting memory and help the brain function optimally. Peanuts are equipped with flavonoid which aids and boosts the flow of blood to the brain.
Helps in weight management:
Due its tissue drying property (ruksha guna) these beans reduce fat tissues. Kapha balancing property of these nuts also helps in weight loss. It is the best ayurvedic way to manage obesity (Read Ayurvedic Herbs, Medicine and Treatment for Obesity).
Protein, fat, and fibre contained in peanuts have been found helpful in minimizing the risk of weight gain. These essential nutrients make peanuts a high satiety food, keeping you full and satisfied for longer period; hence, lowering your appetite to prevent overeating. They also give energy and increase your metabolic rate. Peanuts combine all these attributes together to help in weight management.
Peanuts for Erectile Dysfunction
Since Peanuts are heart friendly and also helps in weight loss, they are preferred beans for erectile dysfunction (Read Ayurvedic Medicines and Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction).
Norman Feed says “Peanuts have been described as “dietary Viagra”. Peanuts are rich in L-arginine, which causes vasodilatation in blood vessels. L-arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide, which is responsible for inducing smooth muscle relaxation. Research has shown that the levels of L-arginine are higher in peanuts. Additionally, peanuts are a very good source of monounsaturated fats, and feature an array of other nutrients that have been shown to promote heart health. Peanuts are also excellent sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese”.
Prevents hair loss:
Peanuts are an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient that enhances collagen production for keeping hair tissues together. They also have L-arginine which is used as a remedy for male pattern baldness and omega-3 fatty acids which help strengthen hair follicles for healthy hair growth. ( Click Here for Ten Ayurvedic Tips to increase Healthy Hair Growth )
Flushes out excess toxins for healthy skin:
Skin is the location of bhrajaka pitta. When pitta is balanced skin gets a good complexion and glow.
Peanuts are equipped with healthy monounsaturated fats resveratrol which is essential for a clear, flawless, and glowing skin by flushing out toxins that result in excess oil and breakouts on the skin. Another skin benefit of peanuts is their composition of anti-aging and antioxidant properties. Nutrients such as vitamin E and vitamin C help in preventing aging symptoms such as fine lines, spots, and wrinkles, and keeping the skin healthy and younger. (Read Ayurvedic Daily Detox at Home for Weight Loss )
Promotes healthy growth in children:
The amino acids found in proteins contained in peanuts promote healthy growth and development. This benefit has been found useful mostly in children growth according to some studies.
Like any other beans , Peanuts when soaked overnight becomes soft and easy to digest. Soaked peanuts reduce acidity and stomach cramps. This also provides dietary fiber which helps to relieve constipation.
Peanut Butter and Ayurveda
Peanut butter is healthier for diabetic patients. As it is easy to digest and has very low glycemic index. It is also a good source of protein. This butter imbalances vata dosha.
Peanut butter for weight loss
This butter increases vata. Increased vata reduces kapha and medha dhatu (body fat). So it is always better to use unsweetened peanut butter, if you are on a weight loss diet.
Peanut butter is not recommended for vata imbalanced conditions. Persons who want to gain weight, people with neurological disorders and elderly with joint pain, have to refrain from using this.
Peanut Butter for Body Building- An ayurveda view
According to ayurveda a person who wants to build body has to strictly follow ayurvedic daily routine and ayurvedic seasonal routine. Diet should contain healthy protein which can be digested easily without causing indigestion. Peanut butter has to be used with milk protein to balance vata. It is always better to consume peanut butter with milk protein shakes. Vegans can use peanut butter powder along with other plant based proteins with banana.
Other Uses of Peanut
Peanut is a leguminous plant which means it helps in soil nitrogen fixation. This improves fertility of soil. Usually they use these plants in rotating crops. Peanut oil is used as cooking oil in India. It is an healthy alternative which resists rancidity. The residue protein- rich cake after extracting oil , is used as supplement to cows and also utilised as fertilizer. The groundnut oil is used in paint, varnish, lubricants, insecticides and nitroglycerin. It is widely used in cosmetic industry to prepare cosmetics and soaps (Read 5 Top Neem Tulsi Hand Made Ayurvedic Soaps for a Healthy Skin). Groundnut shells are used to manufacture hardboard, abrasives, fuel, cellulose and glue.
On a final note, having considered the health benefits of peanuts, it appears that consumption of peanuts is unavoidable. The benefits are not limited to the above, but it is worthy of mentioning that peanut fat and oil-free peanut flour according to studies, have the ability to lower bad cholesterol and have been found to offer protective effects to the heart.
Another significant advantage of peanuts is that they are affordable to the common man with low income. You don’t need to consume too much of them to enjoy the numerous benefits of peanuts. One or two tablespoon or 1 ounce of peanut is enough to gain all the nutritional values attributed to them. Try it today!
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Author : Dr. Savitha Suri Consultant Ayurvedic Physician
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