It’s no secret that peanuts are a beloved food in many cultures. Known as “longevity fruits,” they have been cherished for centuries for their nutritional benefits. Dr. Zhang Wei Jun, a respected traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and heir to Taiwan’s Hwai Sheng Tang, is a wealth of knowledge on the subject. He shares how peanuts can support your health, especially as you age, and offers some creative ways to incorporate them into your diet.
Dr. Zhang explains that peanuts have been called the fruit of longevity for a good reason. They are packed with vital nutrients that can help you live a healthier life, particularly as you get older. It’s important to note that this wasn’t always the case. In times of scarcity, peanuts were especially prized for their ability to nourish the elderly. Dr. Zhang highlights the specific nutritional elements that make peanuts such a valuable addition to your diet.
Peanuts are a great source of nutrients that can benefit your body in many ways. Let me share some of these benefits with you:
1. Palmitic Acid: Did you know that peanuts contain palmitic acid? This is a primary source of cardiac energy that can strengthen your heart, especially if you have insufficient fat intake, weak cardiac strength, and overall vitality.
2. Acetylcholine and Linoleic Acid: Your brain health is essential, and peanuts can help with that. Linoleic acid in the body can convert into arachidonic acid, which, along with acetylcholine, can improve memory and brain responsiveness.
3. Plant Sterols: Peanuts contain plant sterols that can inhibit cholesterol absorption and lower blood pressure. A study found that consuming two grams of plant sterols per day can lead to a 10% decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. Eating peanuts with plant sterols can improve the circulatory system and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
4. Resveratrol: Another valuable nutrient found in peanuts is resveratrol. This antioxidant helps fight free radicals and counteracts premature aging caused by stress.
5. Tryptophan: If you struggle with mood swings, anxiety, or depression, peanuts may be able to help. They contain tryptophan, which acts as a mood stabilizer and promotes better sleep. Improved sleep enhances memory and responsiveness. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, peanuts are believed to tonify qi (vital energy) and stimulate appetite. Individuals with poor mental health often have weak qi, leading to appetite loss and nutritional deficiencies. Peanuts’ rich nutrient content bolsters qi, revitalizing energy and appetite and breaking the vicious cycle.
Nutrients and peanuts function
Here are some benefits of peanut skin that you may find interesting:
1. Peanut skin contains dietary fiber which can help promote intestinal health by aiding the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
2. The polyphenols and flavonoids in peanut skin act as antioxidants, fighting free radical damage and reducing the risk of chronic diseases while slowing cell aging.
3. Peanut skin also contains natural phytochemicals like plant sterols and tannins which can help lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.
4. If you have hemophilia, skin prone to red spots, bruises, nosebleeds, or experience excessive menstrual bleeding, peanut skins may help improve blood clotting. However, if you have blood clotting issues, a history of stroke, heart attack, or venous thromboembolism, it is best to avoid peanut skins.