Peanuts and dental caries

Peanuts are tasty nuts, which are also known as ground nut. It is an oil producing legume belonging to the plant family ‘Fabaceae’. Botanically it is an underground grown fruit herb which is rich in energy. Theses nuts contain good amount of copper, manganese, potassium, calcium and iron. They are rich source of vitamin E and vitamin D and B complex group of vitamins like niacin and folates. They also contain well amount of monounsaturated fatty acids. Roasted or boiled nuts have higher levels of antioxidant as compared to raw nuts
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In India, peanuts are regarded as poor man’s rich food. This is so because, they are easily available, economic and energy yielding nutritious nuts as compared to other types of nuts like almonds, walnuts etc.
Peanuts on dental caries:
Some literature evidence indicates that, peanuts are non sugary nuts. Theses nuts when consumed after a sugary food increase the salivary PH .Thus enhancing the buffering effect of saliva and preventing the dental caries.These nuts are also found to stimulate the salivary flow aiding in clearance of the food diluting the acid effect on the tooth.
Since these nuts are good source of calcium and vitamin D they may help in tooth mineralization.
However, health benefits of peanuts vary based on the method of cooking and the ingredients added during cooking processes. If they are prepared as sticky item, then their oral clearance rate will be reduced. Further, the sugars added in the preparation may encourage the formation of dental caries.
But, more scientific research has to be conducted on peanuts on dental caries prevention to establish its factual effects on dental caries.

Dr Ramya Bilagi

BDS, MDS (community dentistry). My passion for blogging is due to my husband. Assistant Professor SDM dental college Dharwad, Administrator Jeevan Jyoti Hospital Hubli.

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