Peanuts Nutrients


According to the American peanut council, peanut fat profile contains about 50 % monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), 33 % Paraformaldehyde (PFAs) and 14 % saturated fatty acids which is a heart friendly combination of fatty acids (Feldman 1999). The amount of trans fat in peanut butter with 2 % stabilizer is 156 times less than what is needed to reach the 0 g trans fat cut-off on food labels (Sanders 2001).

Peanut products (raw, butter and oil) are more beneficial to heart health when compared to the low fat diets. The high monounsaturated fat peanut diets lowered their total body cholesterol by 11 % and bad LDL cholesterol by 14 %, while their good HDL cholesterol was maintained with reduction in triglycerides (Pelkman 2004). The benefits of the peanut diets on cholesterol were comparable to the olive oil diet. There is strong evidence supporting an association between monounsaturated fat as well as overall nut intake and reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease (Matilsky et al. 2009).

Emerging data clearly shows that type of fat can impact health in various ways at different stages of life. The fat in peanuts and peanut butter provides healthy calories to malnourished infants and children at their time of need (Fig. (Fig.11).


Peanuts are actually a legume and have more protein than any other nut with levels comparable to or better than serving of beans. After the peanut oil is extracted, the protein content in the cake can reach 50 % (Zhao et al. 2011). Peanuts contain all the 20 amino acids in variable proportions and is the biggest source of the protein called “arginine” (USDA 2014). According to Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) peanut proteins and other legume proteins such as soy proteins are nutritionally equivalent to meat and eggs for human growth and health (FAO 2002). The amino acid profile of the peanut meals shows that it can be an ingredient for protein fortification (Yu et al. 2006). Since the proteins in peanuts is plant based, it carries with it additional components that have positive health benefits like fiber and unique bioactive components, unlike animal protein. The peanut proteins have been found to have good emulsifying activity, emulsifying stability, foaming capacity, excellent water retention and high solubility, and can also provide a new high protein food ingredient product formulation and protein formulation in food industry (Wu et al. 2009). Based on these observations, recently peanut protein has been incorporated into noodles (Wu et al. 2007) and infant formula, (Nimsate et al. 2010). There is a renewed interest in the studies related to the flavors in the peanut kernel and skin.

Peanut digestibility

The components in peanuts are highly digestible. The true protein digestibility of peanuts is comparable with that of animal protein (Singh and Singh 1991). The limiting amino acid in peanuts varies based on the study i.e. lysine, methionine or threonine, (Venkatachalam and Sathe 2006). Protein quality is defined based on the amino acid pattern and percent of digestibility of proteins. The PDCAAS for peanuts has been estimated to be about 0.70 out of 1 where as for whole wheat PDCASS is 0.46 (Table (Table33).

Fat digestibility varies based on the structure of different fatty acids. Peanuts contain over 50 % monounsaturated fats, which are easily digested due to single unsaturated hydrogen bond which is easily broken (Feldman 1999). Since peanuts are legumes, they contain phytic acid which is associated with decreasing the bioavailability of other nutrients due to their binding properties, but the amount in peanuts is lower than compared to other legumes such as soybean (Schlemmer 2009). The fiber in peanuts is mainly insoluble, with lower amounts of soluble fiber (Higgs 2003). It contributes to daily intake, but has not been shown to bind nutrients and restrict their absorption. In fact, the small amount of soluble fermentable fiber may improve adsorption of some minerals (Greger 1999).


Peanuts are also a good source of fiber, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Sucrose and starch constitute the major while reducing sugars form the minor proportion of the peanut carbohydrates (Tharanathan et al. 1975). This may contribute to the fact that peanut have a low glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) (Foster and Powell 2002). On a 100 –point scale, the GI of peanuts is 14, and the GL of peanuts is one. Additional research has shown that when peanuts or peanut butter are added to a high glycemic load meal, such as with a bagel and a glass of juice, they actually keep the blood sugar stabilized so that it does not rise too high too quickly (Johnston et al. 2007). Peanuts contain carbohydrates, and all foods that contain carbohydrates elevate blood-glucose levels. Some carbohydrates, such as simple sugars, have a swift, dramatic effect on your blood sugar. Carbohydrates that contain fiber or starch, these two types of carbohydrates have a slower, less pronounced effect on blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association ranks peanuts and other nuts as diabetes superfoods. To make the list, foods must supply important nutrients such as fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, E and E. Foods on the list must also rank low on the glycemic index. Peanuts make the list because they contain magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy oils and do not overly affect your blood glucose.


Table Table22 provides the detail regarding the amounts of vitamin present in 100 g of peanuts and their levels as per the RDA.

According to the Table Table2,2, 100 g peanuts consumption is capable of providing up to 75 % RDA of Niacin, 60 % RDA of folate, 53 % RDA of thiamin, 10 % RDA of Riboflavin, 35 % RDA of pantothenic acid, 27 % RDA of pyridoxine, 55.5 % RDA of vitamin E.

It has been recognized as a great source of niacin, which is important for functioning of the digestive systems, skin, nerves, helps in conversion of food to energy and supposed to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline (Morris 2004). Peanut is an excellent source of vitamin E is considered a hard-to-get nutrients as it was shown that over 90 % of men and women were not meeting the recommendations for intake (Gao et al. 2006). Vitamin E consumption in low quantities can lead to benefits against coronary heart disease (Bramley et al. 2000). Peanut also contains good amounts of folate which is especially important in infancy and pregnancy, in production and maintenance of cells.


Table Table22 illustrates that small amounts of peanut consumption can meet the most part of RDA of many minerals which are crucial for health and proper functioning of the body. It is clear from the dates that 100 g of peanut can provide RDA levels of 127 % copper, 84 % manganese, 57 % iron, 54 % phosphorus, 42 % magnesium intake is associated with reduced inflammation (King 2005: Song et al. 2005) and a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome (Song et al. 2005) and type II diabetes (Larsson and Wolk 2007).

Compact source of energy

Peanuts provide high energy levels for lesser consumptions level (Kirkmeyer and Mattes 2000; Burton-Freeman 2000). They are also referred to as energy-dense (Alper and Mattes 2002). Peanuts contains about 50 % fat (Table (Table3),3), which at 9 cal per gram, contribute more calories than traditional foods used in humanitarian relief such as milk, corn, soybean, wheat and other grains. The majority of fat in peanuts is heart healthy monounsaturated fat, with balanced levels of polyunsaturated and saturated fats (Feldman 1999).

Nutrient dense

Peanuts are rich in multiple natural micronutrients (Table (Table2)2) including vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds such as resveratrol that are beneficial to health, making them a viable option for improving the nutrition status of those who are malnourished, developing, growing, or in need of critical nutrients in peanuts are integral to growth, development, metabolism, and immunity (Geulein 2010). It is likely that the individual nutrients in peanuts work by multiple mechanisms and that they have synergistic effects toward improving towards improving health status. In more than 15,000 people who consumed peanuts and peanut products, it was found that levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber were higher than those who did not consume peanuts (Griel et al. 2004).

Recent focus is on the proper utilization of the by-products from peanut processing. It has been found that peanut hull, peanut skin, peanut leaves, and stems are all nutrients rich parts of the crop with their own functional component. It has been reported that for 1000 kg of peanut for the cold procedure can generate 700 kg of peanut meals, while the hot crushing procedure can produce 500 kg. Usually, only a little peanut skin are utilized to extract polyphenolic compounds or make the cattle feed, most of the skins are as the wastes of peanut processing industry and discarded (Sobolev and Cole 2003). While peanuts skins can provide an inexpensive source of polyphenols for use as functional ingredients in food or dietary supplements, and make a positive contribution to nation’s health (Yu et al. 2006). An estimated 35–45 g of peanut skin is generated per kg of shelled peanut kernel. Over 0.74 million metric tons of peanut skins are produced annually worldwide as a by-product of the peanut processing industry (Sobolev and Cole 2003). The production of peanut hull has been estimated to be 230–300 g of peanut hull per kg of peanut. The production of peanut vine from harvested peanut has been estimated to be 60−65 %of the peanut production peanut vines are rich in dietary fibers and flavonoid components (Du and Fu 2008). The peanut vines include roots, stem, leaves and flowers.

Peanut as a functional food

Research has identified numerous compounds in peanuts and in their skins that may have added health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Peanuts have been touted as a functional food with numerous functional components like Coenzyme Q10 which protects the heart during the period of lack of oxygen example high altitudes and clogged arteries. peanuts are also a good source of dietary fiber and provide a wide range of essential nutrients, including several B group vitamins, vitamin E, minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium, antioxidant minerals (selenium, manganese and copper), plus other antioxidant compounds (such as flavonoids and resveratrol) (Geulein 2010). These bioactive components have been recognized for having disease preventative properties and some are antioxidants while other is to promote longevity. The antioxidant capacity in peanut is due to the total biological matters in peanut seed such as vitamin E in oil or chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, flavonoids and stilbene (resveratrol) (Yu et al. 2006). Fermented peanut meal (Zhang et al. 2011) has been used to study the antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging activity.

Post time: 17-06-21