Peanuts or groundnuts are a legume crop that grows in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. They are known as nuts but botanically speaking they are legumes as they grow underground and not like the walnuts and almonds that grow on the trees. Eating peanuts is beneficial for our health and also for skin and hair because of the essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, etc. present in them. Although peanuts are beneficial still it is better to eat them in moderation as there are some side effects of eating too many peanuts.
Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Peanuts
(1) Are Highly Susceptible To Contamination
Regular consumption of peanuts is good for our health but we have to make sure that we are eating them in moderation and not too much as peanuts are considered to be susceptible to salmonella contamination.
As per Peanut Science, 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 Because of all these reasons, it is important to make sure that you are not eating too many peanuts.
Another interesting observation is that this contamination risk is associated even with organic peanuts and peanut butter. This is all because of the nature of the peanuts. Peanuts are not actually nuts but are legumes that have a soft, permeable pod and grows underground as they are part of the plant’s root system.
While growing underground with a weak shell, they are at high risk of exposure to temperature and moisturize condition, including warm humidity and these are the conditions that allow the growth of the molds.
In addition to this, molds in peanuts can grow even at the time of storage, shipping and even in the shelves of grocery stores ( if the proper conditions are met ). It is important to remember that this side effect of peanut is all due to the nature of peanuts (being a legume and at high risk of being exposed to temperature and humidity) and has nothing to with pesticides or herbicides.
(2) Can Cause Allergic Reactions
Consuming peanuts are good for our health and it also provides a lot of beauty benefits for our skin and hair, but at the same time “Peanuts” is infamous as one of the most common food allergen.
Those who are allergic to peanuts should forget about eating peanuts, and in fact, they should try even to stay away from peanuts as it has been found that in some individuals 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.
These people should even avoid eating food that contains even a tiny amount of peanut. In the worst case, peanut allergy may even cause life-threatening anaphylaxis
(3) Contains Lectin
Eating too much of peanuts is bad for our health even because of the lectin present in them. Legumes like peanuts, soybean, etc. contain lectin, an antinutrient, a sticky substance which preserves the pest-resisting strategy in the plant.
Although this is good for the plant this is not so good for us as the stickiness and structure of the lectins makes them almost impossible to digest by our body. Lectins bound with the sugar present in our blood and cause inflammation and give rise to inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
It has been found that lectin mimics insulin behaviors in the human body and can have a negative effect on weight management. The presence of lectins are not just limited to peanuts and other legumes, and in fact, some vegetables also contain lectin but as per the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, vegetables’ lectins are not orally toxic and their level varies even among the same vegetable.
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(4) Lack Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The presence of Omega-6 fatty acid in peanuts make them very beneficial for our health but it is important to make sure that we don’t fall for these benefits and enjoy peanuts only in moderation.
This is because even though Peanuts are an excellent source of Omega-6 fatty acid, they lack Omega-3 fatty acid which is very important for maintaining our health, and, in fact, our body needs a combination of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acid can cause inflammation, heart diseases, and other health problem. Flax seeds, Chia seeds, fish oil, mustard oil, winter squash, etc. are some good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Limiting Peanuts ( Omega-6) is important even for repeating Omega-3 fatty acid benefits like Omega 6 blocks the conversion of Omega-3 to DHA and EPA.
(5) Are Heavily Loaded With Pesticides
Because of the nature of peanuts, they are at a higher risk of growing molds in them ( being a legume they are more prone to get exposed by the higher temperature and hot humidity which acts as a suitable environment for the growth of molds).
Some Non-Organic farmers, try to tackle the problem of molds by using pesticides on the crop. By doing so, they may save the peanut crop from the growth of the molds but contaminate them with a high level of pesticides which can cause a headache, dizziness, irritation of the nose, throat, eyes or skin, thirst, nausea, diarrhea, nervousness, fatigue, sweating, vomiting, blurred vision etc.
(6) Contains Saturated Fats
Eating too much of peanuts is bad for our health because of the presence of a high level of saturated fats in them. High level of saturated fat can give rise to problems like heart attack, stroke, clogged arteries, digestive problem, high blood pressure, and other health complications.
As per a study conducted by Donald M. Black and Shari L. Knauer at The Christ Hospital Cardiovascular Research, it was found that saturated fats are a type of “hidden fat” that may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems in an individual by giving rise to his cholesterol level, and it was also observed that reducing the level of saturated fats in our diet also reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Now, there is no need to worry about the saturated fats of peanuts as peanuts also contain copper helps in keeping cholesterol level under control and thus reduces the cardiovascular problems. The only thing we need to remember is to eat peanuts in moderation.
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(7) Not So Effective For Weight Management
The dietary fibers present in peanuts is very beneficial for weight management as it keep us satisfied for a long time and decreases our urge to eat again and again, and thus controls overeating which is known as one of the major causes of obesity. However, it is also important to remember that peanuts are high in calories and 100 grams of peanuts contain 567 calories.
Instead of using peanuts, it is better to consume apples, carrots, cucumber and other fruits and vegetables for weight management. This is because, in comparison to peanuts, they are low in calories and also contains a lot of water and dietary fibers, which helps in weight management. According to LIVESTRONG’s MyPlate, consuming 20 oz. of Fuji apples provides around 320 calories which are nothing compared to the 3400 calories gained by consuming 20 Oz. of peanuts. So, in order to avoid weight gain, limit your peanut consumption.
(8) May Contain High Sodium Level
As per Wikipedia, consuming 100 grams of peanuts provides around 18 milligrams of sodium. Sodium is good for our health as it balances the fluid in our body, helps in sending brain impulses, regulates muscles contractions, influences blood pressure, but too much of sodium is bad for our health as high dosage of sodium can give rise to high blood pressure, hypertension, cardiovascular problems like heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other problems like Osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney problems, etc. (source)
Eating 100 grams of peanuts provide 18 mg of sodium which is very low compared to the daily requirement of sodium ( which is 1500 mg to 2400 mg of sodium), but peanuts can still be a problem as in general they are mostly served in the salted and fried form. Because of the added salt, their sodium level increases and this makes them harmful for our health. Because of this reason, it is better to give more preference to unsalted peanuts ( even if they are not as delicious as the salted peanuts) and eat them in moderation.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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