Are they healthy for us?
First of all, peanuts should not be treated like nuts because they are not. Nuts grow on trees and peanuts grow underground. They are botanically legumes. They have good and bad sides. As in any other plant-based product, they definitely have something good in them, like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids. They also contain copper which helps in keeping cholesterol level under control and reduces the cardiovascular problems. Unfortunately, they have a bad side too and should be eaten in moderation, or excluded at all as they are literally the worst out of all legumes and nuts if you put them on the beneficiary for people scale. So, what is the bad side of peanuts and what are side effects of eating too many of them?
1) Peanuts are susceptible to salmonella contamination. One of the most concerning toxins related to the peanuts is a mold that produces Aflatoxin, which is a carcinogen that increases the risk of liver cancer. It has been found consuming aflatoxin also reduces the growth rate in children. If read my article about flaxseeds, you know that aflatoxin can be easily removed from any beans, seeds and nuts by simple soaking them in cold water for at least 12 hours, but who does it for store peanuts? It is important to remember that it is not because of pesticides or herbicides. Even organic peanuts will have this problem due to their nature as legume that grow underground and are being exposed to warm temperature and humidity. 2) Peanuts are famous as one of the most common food allergens. For some people peanut allergies can be so severe that may show allergic reactions even if they inhale the air contaminated with a tiny amount of peanut dust. 3) Peanuts have lectin in them, which is impossible for our body to digest. Lectin is good for the plant itself because it prevents it from getting worms, but it is bad for people. Lectin is not toxic for people though. Do not think of it as a poison. 4) They are heavily loaded with pesticides. 5) Peanuts contain high level of saturated fats. Saturated fats rase risks of heart attack, stroke, clogged arteries, digestive problems, high blood pressure and other health issues. 6) Not the best for weight management. 100 grams (3,5 oz) of peanuts contain 567 calories. 7) Peanuts contain phosphorus in the form of phytic acid, or phytate, and these phytates will bind with other minerals. When they do, it interferes with the body's ability to absorb minerals. This also could be solved by simply soaking them for at least 12 hours in cold water. Bottom line, if you really love peanuts too much to give them up, try saving them for special occasions. If your love for them is an absolutely worst case, do not eat peanuts more than 1 oz (28 gm) a day.