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The goodness of peanuts

PARVATHY KRISHNAN
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Health The humble peanuts are a rich source of Resveratrol, a compound that protects against illnesses and prevents ageing

Packed with nutrients
Packed with nutrients

What could boiled peanuts from a street vendor in India, Pinot Noir from France and Itadori tea from Japan possibly have in common? Resveratrol – that’s what they all contain. Research bodies all over the world are looking for this miracle compound that protects against cancer, ageing, cardiac and vascular diseases, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. The excitement over Resveratrol is mainly due to its proposed anti-aging properties.

There has been such hype about drinking red wine because of its resveratrol content which supposedly keeps the French heart healthy despite their high fat intake–a paradox that has intrigued the medical community.

Resveratrol is a polyphenolic antioxidant that some plants like grapevine and legumes make in response to fungi or to survive drought and lack of food. It is present abundantly in the skins and seeds of red and purple grapes, particularly the muscadine variety. Although resveratrol was initially isolated from roots of plants like white hellebore and Japanese knotweed, finding it in red wine notably caught the attention of both commoners and researchers.

And equally quickly did the medical community advocate that those who do not drink please do not start to do so just for the sake of getting resveratrol. Thankfully, red wine is not the only source of it.

Resveratrol is also found in the skins of cranberries, mulberries, bilberries, blueberries, and peanuts and the Itadori tea, a herb that has been used for ages in China and Japan to treat heart diseases and stroke.

Boiled peanuts

Boiled peanuts with its pink skin and sprouted peanuts containing 1.80 to 7.87 microgram/gm (according to USDA) are close contenders to red wine. When peanuts are roasted and skin discarded, the content of resveratrol reduces drastically. Hence the best way to get resveratrol from peanuts is to boil it in its shell.

Peanuts in its shell may be washed well and cooked for 20 minutes in the pressure cooker with enough water to drown the peanuts as you would cook any other legume.

After shelling, add spices if you prefer so or just eat them bland. Peanuts give you just more than resveratrol. In its tiny leguminous body it conserves vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants all given up as bonuses along with the resveratrol—something that will send the high class red wine to a backseat.

PARVATHY KRISHNAN

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