Peanut is considered as one of the oldest cultivated crops in America. It is said to have originated in South America, most likely in the regions of Brazil and Paraguay. In the Ñanchoc Valley in Peru, archeologists unearthed 7,600 year old fossilized peanut hulls, suggesting that ancient South Americans were largely using peanuts back then. The European explorers were the first to discover peanuts in Brazil and brought it back to Europe, where traders spread them to Asia and Africa.
Technically, peanut is actually legumes and not a nut. Its scientific name is arachis hypogaea. It is a small annual herb which is easy to grow. It only takes about 150 days to produce crops after sowing.
Peanut is 20-30% concentrated protein. It is packed with vitamins, especially B vitamin or niacin, which promote brain health. Peanut is equally rich in essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. It is also loaded with potassium that helps you regulate your body’s water levels and also maintains the normal metabolism of food in your body which prevent muscle cramps, especially when you’re doing a workout. It’s a good idea to take a handful on your way to the gym.
This superfood also possess anti-aging compound that is commonly found in red wine that can slow down cellular aging. This anti-aging compound is called resveratrol and is highly concentrated in peanut’s skin. They can also promote heart health. Peanuts contain a good amount of poly-phenolic antioxidant one of which is called P-coumaric acid that can minimize the risk of developing carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach.
It’s true that they have fat, but don’t worry, they’ are not fattening as long as you keep within a portion size of about an ounce which gives out 166 calories. Peanut fat is about 85% unsaturated fat and about 50% of it is monounsaturated fat which is good news. They help clear your blood of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), aka “the bad cholesterol”, keeping your arteries clog-free. They also contain fiber, which make them satiating.
Excessive eating of peanuts may lead to heartburn and gas. If you have a nut allergy, avoid peanut too. Even a tiny amount can cause a very serious allergic reaction that could be life threatening. And another thing, peanuts are highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination caused fungus, never eat molded peanuts.
Everyone just loves peanut butter… Right? If you’re like me who can’t get enough of it, I suggest that you buy one that is all natural or made from pure peanuts only. Avoid the commercial type which is high in sugar, sodium and fat. They contain hydrogenated oil to keep them fresh and that is not a good thing.
Peanut fun fact: Peanuts were the staple food of the African slaves on their voyages to America, and the African word for peanut is “nguba” which eventually changed to “goober”!
Do you go for creamy or crunchy?
Stay fit. Love life. Eat organic
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