Peanut – nutrition, proven health benefits, uses

The scientific name of the Peanut is Arachis hypogaea Linn. It is also knownas Ground nut, Monkey nut, Earth nut, and Goober.

Other names include

AFRIKAANS: Apeneutjie, Grondboontjie.
ARABIC: Fûl sûdânî, Fûl sûdânî.
BENGALI: Mata kalai.
BURMESE: Mye pai.
CHINESE: Di duo, Chang sheng guo.
CZECH: Bursky orisek, Podzemnice olejná.
DANISH: Jordnød, Jordnødder, Jordnoedder.
DUTCH: Aardnoot, Grondnoot, Pindaplant
ESTONIAN: Maapähkel.
FINNISH: Maapähkinä.
FRENCH: Arachide, Cacahuète, Pistache de terre, Pistachier de terre.
GERMAN: Erdnuß, Echte Erdnuss, Erdmandel.
GREEK: Arahida, Arahidi, Arapico fistiki.
HINDI: Cini badama, Moong phali, Mosambi cana, Mumg phali, Muungaphalii.
ITALIAN: Arachide, Mandorla di terra, Nocciolina, Pistacchio di terra.
JAPANESE: Nankinmame, Piinatsu, Rakkasei.
KHMER: Sandaek dei.
KOREAN: Ttang kong.
MALAYALAM: Nellakkadalai, Nilakkatala.
MARATHI: Bhui muga.
NEPALESE: Mungphalii.
POLISH: Orzech ziemny, Orzacha podziemna.
PORTUGUESE: Amendoim verdadeiro, Aráquida, Jinguba, Mancarra, Mendoim, Mendubi, Mondubim.
RUSSIAN: Arakhis
SANSKRIT: Bhu canaka, Mandapi.
SPANISH: Alcagüeses, Aráquido, Avellana americana, Cacahuate, Maní.
THAI: Thùa lísong.
URDU: Mugphalii
VIETNAMESE: Dau phong.

Peanut is an annual, spreading, hairy, branched herb, with stems 30 to 80 centimeters long. Leaves are pinnate, 8 to 12 centimeters long, with a clasping petiole base and the sheath produced in 2 linear-lanceolate stipules. Leaflets are in two pairs, oblong to obovate, 2 to 5 centimeters long. Flowers are axillary, few, fascicled, yellow, about 8 millimeters long. Pods ripen underground and are oblong, leathery, reticulate, 1 to 5 centimeters long, containing 1 to 3 seeds that are oval and smooth.


Cultivated in the many parts of the world for its edible seeds.


  • Has a high protein and fat content, with considerable carbohydrates and a fair source of calcium and iron.
  • The seeds yield arachis oil, colorless and with a pleasant taste.
  • The fixed oil is 43 to 45 percent.
  • Peanut oil contains glycerides of palmitic, oleic, stearic, lignoceric, linolic, and arachidic acids.
  • Three alkaloids have been isolated: betaine, choline, and arachine which may be a cause of poisoning in animals.
  • Phytochemical study yielded isoflavonoid, 1-pentene-3-ol, geraniol.
  • Study yielded a new 3,9-dihydroxy-4, 8-dimethoxycoumestan.

Medicinal properties of peanuts

  • Oil is considered aperient, demulcent, emollient and pectoral.
  • Considered aphrodisiac, decoagulant, anti-inflammatory, peptic.

Nutritional composition

– Seed In grams (g) or milligrams (mg) per 100 g of food.

– 500 calories per 100 g

– Protein, 29g; fat, 45 g; carbohydrate, 15 g; fiber 2.7 g.

– Minerals: calcium 49 mg; phosphorus 409 mg, iron 3.8.

– Vitamins: A, 15mg, B1, 0.79 mg; B2, 0.14 mg; niacin, 15.5 mg, vit C, 1 mg.

Parts used and preparation

Seeds, oil.


– Seeds are edible.

– Kernel of the peanut used for oil extraction; an ingredient in many food products: peanut butter, candies and desserts.

– Peanut oil used for salads; an inexpensive substitute for olive oil.

– Peanuts also contain resveratrol, touted for its varied health benefits.

Folkloric traditional remedies and uses of peanut

– Teaspoon of oil in milk used for gonorrhea.

– Oil used for bladder conditions.

– In China, used for gonorrhea and rheumatism; also used for insomnia.

– In Zimbabwe, used for plantar warts.

Other uses of peanut

– Oil used in liniments and ointments.

– Lower grades of oil used for making soap and illumination.

– Peanut cake makes excellent cattle feed.

– The leafage makes good fodder and hay for livestock.

– Some portion of the oil is used in the manufacture of some textile fibers.

– Peanut shells are used in the manufacture of plastic, wallboard, abrasives and fuel. Also, used to make cellulose (for use in rayon and paper) and mucilage (glue).

Scientific proven health benefits of peanut

Diabetes and HDL-C/ good for heart:

Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) Consumption Improves Glutathione and HDL-Cholesterol Levels in Experimental Diabetes: Peanut consumption may improve oxidant-antioxidant status without increasing blood lipids. Increased HDL-C may have cardioprotective benefits in diabetics.

Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic:

Aqueous extract study in alloxan-induced diabetic rats caused a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar, decrease in TC, triglycerides, LDL and HDL-C.

Antioxidant / Antiinflammatory:

Biosynthesis Enhancement and Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Arachidin-1, Arachidin-3, and Isopentadienyl resveratrol: Peanuts yield bioactive stilbenoids, which except for resveratrol have not been investigated The study showed all the test stilbenoids to have potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities.

Antioxidant / Luteolin:

Methanolic extracts of peanut hulls (Spanish variety) exhibited strong antioxidative activity; further study showed luteolin as the active antioxidative flavonoid present in the peanut hulls.

Immunochemical Studies:

Study yielded 14 antigenic constituents in A hypogea seeds. Arachin contains 4 antigens and conarachin contains 2.

Decrease Fat Absorption / Decreased lipolytic Activity:

Study of peanut shell extracts showed inhibitory effect on lipid metabolic enzymes and also increased fecal fat suggesting use in reducing dietary fat absorption. The reduction of intracellular lipolytic activity may reduce circulating levels of free fatty acids.

Sedative / Sleep Effects:

Study on peanut leaf aqueous extracts (PLAE) showed a mild hypnotic effect on sleep ameliorations. As a mild tranquilizer, the PLAE significantly elevated GABA-mediated neurotransmission and reduced Glu/GABA in target brain region, suggest some efficacy on spontaneous sleep improvement.

SIRT1 Gene / Resveratrol:

SIRT1 is a gene found in humans and mammals, a principal regulator of lifespan, involved in repairing damage from free radicals and boosting mitochondrial energy production. It is activated by caloric restriction or by resveratrol. Resveratrol is believed to modulate the growth of cancer cells. Resveratrol is naturally found in grapes (providing the anti-aging attribute to red wine), some green teas, and even peanuts. Study is being designed to determine if A. hypogaea extract can be a source of resveratrol.

Peanut Phytoalexins / Stilbenoids / Sleep Effects:

Study evaluated peanut phytoalexins, together with related natural and synthetic stilbenoids. Results suggest peanut stilbenoids, as well as related natural and synthetic stilbene derivatives exhibit a wide range of biologic activities.

Effect on Metabolism of Osteoblastic Cells:

Study evaluated the effects of A. hypogaea extracts on metabolism of osteoblastic cells. A hydroalcoholic extract stimulated the proliferation and differentiation of ROS cells and differentiation of without effect on osteoblastic cells. The action was attributed to phyto-estrogens, notably isoflavones and/or to non-estrogenic substances.

Allergy & toxicity

Allergy: Peanut allergy is common and can be severe, occurring with a prevalence rate of 0.5% in the general population, accounting for 10-47% of food-induced anaphylactic reactions. Symptoms vary from mild urticaria to severe systemic reactions that can be fatal. Hypersensitivity starts in childhood and usually lasts the lifetime. For many, the history is obvious, commonly occurring in atopic individuals with other food allergies; laboratory will reveal a peanut-specific IgE antibody. Although immunotherapy is promising, present treatment consists of strict avoidance and self-injection of epinephrine.

Toxicity / Aflatoxins: A concern is the possible contamination of damaged or spoiled seeds with teratogenic, carcinogenic aflatoxins – the principal toxins aflatoxin B and G, and the less toxic dihydro-derivatives, aflatoxins B2 and G2, formed by aflatoxin producing molds (Aspergillus flavus, etc). Arachin, with 4 antigens and conarachin with 2 antigens are also reported.

Read about other interesting fruits

Acai berry        Ambarella         Avocado           Bael       Banana      Bilberry      Cocunut   

 Cantaloupe        Cashew apple      Dragon Fruit        Fig      Jack fruit  Jamun        Kiwi      

 Mango        Mangosteen       Miracle fruit         Pomelo      Papaya        Phalsa      Pineapple  

Plum       Pomegranate        Prickly pear           Quince        Rambutan           Roselle      

Santol          Sapota       Sea buckthorn       Sour Orange     Soursop       Sweet Lime        

Star gooseberry         Star Apple      Strawberry      Surinam Cherry          Sweet lime

Tamarind    Tomato       Tree tomato       Wampi       Watermelon         Wood apple

Read about herbs and spices

Allspice          Alfalfa       Ashwagandha        Bay leaf              Black cohosh           

Black onion seeds       Black pepper        Celery          Chives         Chamomile        Clove  

Coriander            Cumin        Fennel          Fenugreek        Ginger           Gotu Kola   

 Holy basil      Kava Kava        Licorice      Lotus        Majoram       Mustard seeds          

 Nutmeg       Oregano     Peppermint    Red  clover    Rose     Rosemary           Sage       

 St.John’s wort        Tarragon         Thyme        Triphala powder      Wheat grass

Exit mobile version