Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

Description

Peanuts are an annual short herbaceous plant of the legume family, growing in countries with warm and humid climates. A peanut flower on a long peduncle emerges from the axil at the leaf petiole base attached to the stem. The yellow peanut flower only blooms for one day.

After pollination, an ovary is formed, and the long peduncle begins to gradually descend to the ground. The ovary of the future fruit reaches the soil and buries itself in the ground. There, peanuts ripen.

The peanut also has other flowers – underground, small, at the top of the main root. Self-pollination also takes place underground. Groundnut pods also develop from underground flowers at a depth of 10-20 cm. They are similar to thick-walled pea pods, light brown in color. Inside there are several yellowish grains covered with thin red or pink skin.

Arу they nuts?

It is worth noting that, in reality, peanuts are not nuts but legumes, but nutritionists often combine these concepts due to the similar nutritional qualities. Someone complains about a peanut allergy. Someone argues that regular consumption of nuts or peanut butter halves the risk of heart attack and makes it difficult for fibrotic changes to lead to cancer.

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

Composition and calorie content of peanuts

Peanuts are rich in vitamins and minerals such as: vitamin B1 – 49.3%, vitamin B5 – 35.3%, vitamin B6 – 17.4%, vitamin B9 – 60%, vitamin E – 67.3%, vitamin H – 35%, vitamin PP – 94.5%, potassium – 26.3%, silicon – 266.7%, magnesium – 45.5%, phosphorus – 43.8%, iron – 27.8%, cobalt – 67, 5%, manganese – 96.7%, copper – 114.4%, molybdenum – 16.6%, selenium – 13.1%, chromium – 19.4%, zinc – 27.3%

Peanuts are high in calories (550 kcal per 100 g), but nuts can speed up metabolism, and the body is not able to fully absorb them, so a handful of nuts added to the diet will not hurt the waist.

  • Proteins 26 g
  • Fats 52 g
  • Carbohydrates 13.4 g

Use of peanuts

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

A simple and tasty snack of nuts (just a handful a day) can extend life by two whole years!

Peanuts themselves are good as a snack. Stir-fried with salt or chili, it almost always appears on bar tables and in front of pubs. Everything is clear here: salt provokes the desire to drink more, and with such a free snack, you order more drinks than you expected.

In India, peanuts are fried in the north and boiled in the south. It is cooked with a mixture of Sichuan spices in China, and in the United States, boiled peanuts are a popular snack in the southern states. Here, peanuts are popular to make peanut paste and peanut butter, without which no breakfast goes.

In Indonesia, traditional salads are seasoned with peanut sauce; speaking about Mali and Zambia, vegetables and fried chicken are seasoned with peanut butter mixed with onions and garlic; while in Mauritius, it is customary to tint roasted peanuts pink as a sign of well-being; in Mali, it is added to a stewed rabbit.

In Vietnam, peeled roasted peanuts are often served with pho soup. All over the world, peanuts are popular for making desserts and sauces, to which they give their dense aroma and recognizable taste.

How to choose and store

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

Choosing the right peanuts is important in order to enjoy their wonderful taste and get the most out of their use. So, today, peanuts are most often in bags.

Buy nuts in places with quick assortment update; in this case, you can be sure of the product’s freshness. It is essential, regardless of whether you buy peanuts by weight or packaged, so that the humidity is low and that there are no debris and insects in the peanuts.

 

When buying whole peanuts in shell, take the nut in your hand, it should be heavy and rattle when shaken. Look at the peel, it should be intact without any damage or stains.

Store peanuts in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer, as heat and light will help make the nuts rancid. In the refrigerator, peanuts will retain their consumer ability for 3 months, and in the freezer for up to six months.

Crushed peanuts are best to use immediately. If the peanuts are in the skins, place them in a bag or container in a cool place or in the refrigerator. In this state, the shelf life is 9 months.

 

Beneficial features

The beneficial peanuts are high in vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent natural antioxidant. It is best to use it as a prophylaxis for problems with the heart and blood vessels. With regular consumption, the risk of tumors lowers, and peanuts have anti-aging effects.

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

Doctors recommend using peanuts for people with gastritis, ulcers, as well as for various problems with the nervous system. With regular consumption, you can significantly strengthen the immune system, improve hearing, memory and attention.

The composition of peanuts contains a lot of fiber, which removes toxins from the intestines, which in turn helps to normalize the activity of the digestive system as a whole.

 

The iron content improves the process of hematopoiesis and blood composition. The composition of peanuts includes potassium, which has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system activity, and magnesium, a mineral necessary for the work of the heart muscle. In large quantities, peanuts contain phosphorus and calcium – minerals that improve the condition of bone tissue.

Peanuts have a choleretic effect, which is beneficial for those who suffer from ulcers, gastritis, and hematopoiesis problems. Also, there is folic acid in nuts, which is especially necessary for pregnant women, and it also activates the process of cell renewal.

With diabetes mellitus

For diabetes mellitus, eating peanuts will provide moderate benefits. The components contained in the product are capable of dissolving cholesterol plaques and accelerating metabolism. Only now do you need to consider that the product must necessarily undergo heat treatment and not contain extraneous components, for example, sugar or salt?

Unroasted peanuts are also beneficial for diabetics, but one should consider that such a product takes longer to digest and is less filling. You want to eat a lot of nuts, but it will not do the good. After n excessive use will inevitably follow weight gain, which already easily comes in people suffering from this insidious disease due to improper metabolism.

When dieting for weight loss

If you follow a diet for weight loss, the use of peanuts is not unadvisable. Only the approach to nutrition is radically opposite to that described above.

Peanuts for weight loss are good to saturate the body with useful substances and dull the feeling of hunger for the longest possible time. You need to know the measure only in this matter: it is optimal to use no more than fifteen raw grains per day, which is about fifty grams of nuts. In terms of their nutritional value, peanuts are comparable to meat, so it is better to eat them in the morning.

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Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

The calorie content of the product is quite high, and its saturation with various minerals and oils. These useful components disappear during the roasting process, so it is best to use raw kernels. A useful product can be good both as an independent delicacy and for preparing salads, as well as as an additive to muesli or porridge.

Peanuts for women’s health

Peanuts are very beneficial for women’s health. As mentioned above, it is rich in oils and fiber, which, when eaten, has a beneficial effect on the skin and hair condition and helps to get rid of the slagging of the gastrointestinal tract as easily as possible. Although not always eating peanuts is good. You should pay particular attention in this matter to such periods of a woman’s life as carrying and breastfeeding a child. This we will discuss further.

During pregnancy

In pregnancy, for example, eating peanuts is undesirable. The first argument in favor of this statement is as follows: heavy food, such as the kernels of a peanut, negatively affects the state of the digestive system of the expectant mother, which in turn can cause vomiting and indigestion.

Another argument that will not be in favor of eating peanuts during pregnancy is the rather high content of erucic acid in the product, which can increase the tone of the uterus and lead to undesirable consequences, up to hospitalization.

A final argument against eating peanuts in pregnant women is the potential for contamination by pathogens from eating raw peanut kernels.

When breastfeeding

Eating peanuts is also undesirable when breastfeeding. Peanut kernels are a fairly highly allergenic product; moreover, in the process of industrial treatment, they can undergo various processing methods that adversely affect the quality of mother’s milk.

It is no secret that manufacturers often disguise grains that have been moldy as a quality product by roasting. Temperature and preservatives and fragrances, and flavor enhancers can completely kill the fungus’ smell and taste. Still, it is impossible to remove waste foods from nuts in these ways. Therefore, in the most crucial periods of women’s lives, the use of peanuts is inappropriate.

Benefits for the body of men

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

The benefits of eating peanuts in the diet of men is due to the presence of such a useful substance as biotin in the nuclei. This substance helps to fight the problem of hair loss. Its action aimes primarily at normalizing hormonal levels.

By eating roasted peanut kernels, men can avoid inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary system, such as prostate adenoma, and also reduce the risk of infertility or decreased potency. One of the most well-known ways to consume the product to obtain the desired result is to take a long-term nutritional formula intake at night, which consists of one tablespoon of crushed peanut kernels mixed with one teaspoon of bee honey.

For men engaged in hard physical labor or playing sports, the use of peanuts will also bring invaluable benefits, because a small handful of the product can help restore strength and improve the general condition of the body in a matter of minutes.

After strength training in the gym, a handful of peanuts and half a banana will help you restore muscle conductivity. It is thanks to this that you will not feel severe pain the next day.

Daily norm of peanuts

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

The daily consumption of peanuts is individual for each person. It depends on many factors (general health, the presence of chronic diseases, the rate of metabolic processes in the body, etc.). Still, mainly nutritionists recommend consuming no more than fifty grams for women and about seventy-five grams of peanuts.

However, we should note that you need to consume the product in such quantities from time to time. Frequent consumption of peanuts can adversely affect digestion and cause allergies to this product. And best of all, if you do not eat these nuts to satisfy hunger as an independent food.

Cooking use

Peanuts are very popular in cooking, especially in Asian cuisine. Chopped nuts are part of sauces, salads, snacks, and vegetable and meat dishes. Peanuts are widely popular in confectionery, as they are part of recipes for cakes, rolls, chocolate, pasta, etc. Roasted and salted peanuts are very popular as an independent snack that people like to eat with beer—also, butter, milk, and various mixtures.

What’s the best way to eat peanuts?

What is the best way to eat peanuts? You cant eat graing on an empty stomach and instead of eating?. The answer is: you need to eat peanuts as part of the main dishes and sweets. Modern chefs use the product to prepare treats and desserts, such as:

You can make peanut butter from peanuts, which will be an indispensable product for those who adhere to an active lifestyle or who are purposefully fighting extra pounds. You will learn how to cook a unique product from the video tutorial below.

How To Make Peanut Butter - EASY Homemade Peanut Butter

Peanut dressing

Peanuts are also good to make all sorts of diet (and not so) salads, as well as various sauces. You will learn about one such product below. It is good both for dressing salads and for marinating meat. Best of all is to marinate a young domestic chicken with it.
To prepare, you to need to mix:

  • two tablespoons of peanut butter;
  • two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar;
  • two cloves of garlic;
  • three tablespoons of olive oil;
  • three tablespoons of lemon juice;
  • one tablespoon of Dijon mustard;
  • a pinch of salt.

You need to coat the chicken with this composition and leave it to soak in the refrigerator overnight. After that, you may bake, grilled, or simply fry meat in a pan. Boiled rice can be a good side dish for such a dish.

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

How to quickly open and clean?

You will learn how to quickly open and peel peanuts in this section of the article. So, let’s start by opening, or rather, getting rid of the peel. There is nothing difficult in this because the peanut shell does not fit tightly to the grains. It is enough to press the pod with some effort – and it will crumble in your hands.

All that remains is to take out the grains. To clean a large number of nuts, you can use this trick: spread the nuts on a flat surface, and put a board on top. Then gently press the board down onto the table. The peel will split, and you can easily remove the nuts.

But with the nucleoli themselves, covered with a dense and bitter peel, you will have to tinker a little longer. Many do not purchase a more budgetary version of nuts because they do not want to peel them for a long time. But for those who know the secrets of cleaning, the latter is not a problem. We also own these secrets and share them with pleasure.

The first way consists of the following sequential actions:

  • Fry the peanut kernels in one layer.
  • Cool the nuts on a cotton towel.
  • Gather the towel’s edges into a knot, then gently shake the “bag” with your hands.
  • Place the towel on the table, carefully untie the knot, and select the clean nuts.

Repeat the operation with the remaining nuts from the third step.
The second cleaning grain method is similar to the first, except that instead of a cloth bag, use a fine mesh net, in which vegetables are usually sold.

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Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

The second method of cleaning is suitable if you want to get raw kernels.

Here boiling water will come to the rescue! It is they who should pour aserving of nuts for seven to ten minutes. After the time has elapsed, you must drain the water, and rinse the peanuts under running cold water.

You will have to dry the nuts afterwards. An excellent solution would be to use a device for drying vegetables and fruits. The total drying time is six hours at 45 degrees Celsius.

How to fry peanuts?

How to roast peanuts properly? In fact, there are not so many ways to roast. We will discuss them below.

In a frying pan – the easiest and seemingly familiar way. A frying pan for such a purpose must be thick-walled. It must be thoroughly washed, wiped dry, and then calcined with salt. This will protect the peanuts from unpleasant odors. You need to fry the grains on low heat and stir them constantly. Note that this activity requires patience and close attention!

On a baking sheet in the oven. This method is much simpler than the previous one because all the hostess needs to do is pour the peeled nuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and then put the sheet in the oven heated to 180 degrees Celsius. After seven to ten minutes from roasting the kernels, remove the nuts on the table and cool in a towel made from natural fibers.

Harm of peanuts and contraindications

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

Peanuts can be harmful to people who have an individual intolerance to the components of the foods. In general, this nut is a powerful allergen, so start eating it with a minimum amount.

Peanuts are not good for people with gout and arthrosis. Eating large quantities of nuts can lead to digestive upset.

It is also worth considering the high calorie content of the product, it is worth limiting the amount of consumption in case of obesity, as well as for those who monitor their weight or are on a diet.

Peanut varieties

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

There are actually a huge divercity of peanut varieties. It is hardly worth listing them all, so we will focus on the most popular varieties of peanuts. There are only four of them, and the pronunciation of their names may vary slightly depending on the region.

  • Valencia (Red Skin) – has medium-sized kernels, which are externally covered with a red shell, and is also famous for its impeccable taste. One pod contains three grains.
  • Virginia – has the largest kernels, has a delicate texture, and excellent taste.
  • Spanish (Java) – nuts of various shapes, but most often small. It is this variety that confectioners use to prepare various delicacies, such as, for example, peanuts in chocolate, peanuts in sugar, and other high-calorie desserts. Salted nuts, by the way, are also most often from grains of this variety.
  • The runner is a hybrid of the above two plant varieties – Virginia and Java. It absorbed the best qualities of both oiliness and size and received resistance to many diseases that peanut plants are susceptible to during cultivation. The kernels of this variety are oblong.

The main varieties of peanuts, zoned for our climate, are considered Valencia, Klinskaya, Krasnodarets and Stepnyak. It is they who are the least whimsical to conditions and less susceptible to diseases such as powdery mildew and phyllostictosis.

How to germinate peanuts at home?

The question quite often sounds from many novice gardeners who are imbued with the idea of ​​growing peanuts on their site. In fact, there is nothing difficult about this, and the process is no different from sprouting beans, lentils, or any other legumes. We will describe step by step how to do it correctly.

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms
  1. So, step one: select the strongest and largest seeds for germination. The best choice will be nuts from the previous harvest, but the seeds of the year before last often retain good germination. Consider one more important condition: peanuts should not be raw and should not have a sweet smell.
  2. Step two involves soaking the seeds in a weak solution of potassium permanganate. The seed holding time is fifteen minutes.
  3. Step three – washing the seeds under a gentle pressure of cold water.
  4. Step four – soaking the peanut kernels for germination. For this purpose, use glass or plastic utensils with a wide base. Place wet peanut seeds in a container and then pour cold water over them to cover them completely. Cover the container with gauze and let the seeds sit for a week. During this time, healthy seeds will surely hatch and increase significantly in size. There will be enough moisture for the plants until the first pair of leaves on the earth’s surface forms.

If you notice that the seeds have taken too much water during the swelling period and become bare, then carefully add a new portion of water.
5. After the sprouts appear, it remains to carry out the most important part of the work – the shoots’ hardening. This will be the fifth and final step in the seed germination process.

How to?

This should be done as follows: drain the excess water from the container with seeds, put the seeds in one layer on damp gauze, and take the seeds to a cool room for three days. It’s good if it is a basement, but you can use the refrigerator if you don’t have one. The nucleoli will feel most comfortable on the lower shelf of the refrigerator or in the section for storing vegetables. After three days, soak the seeds at room temperature for 24 hours, and then plant them in the ground.

When the peanut kernels will swell and harden, be sure to prepare the bed in which you will grow plants. So, how to do this correctly and care for a plant to obtain a bountiful and high-quality harvest, you will learn from the next section of the article.

How to grow properly in the garden?

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

The question is also common and requires the attention of summer residents. We will try to tell as fully as possible about all the intricacies of this lesson.

Let’s start with a little digression and talk about soil. Land for growing peanuts must meet some criteria.

The air temperature when planting plants in the ground should be around 20 degrees Celsius, and the ground temperature at the same time should be at least fifteen degrees Celsius. The lower heat of the soil will provoke rotting of shoots and seeds, and therefore there will be no shoots.

The quality composition of the earth is of great importance to obtain the desired result. The soil should be loose and fertilized, and the best solution would be black soil or soil with a neutral pH. Keep in mind that peanuts grow best in areas where nightshades (potatoes, bell peppers, and tomatoes), grains, or cucumbers grew previously.

Planting

Planting peanuts is best in two ways: square-nested or wide-row.

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

In the first case, the distance between the plants should be at least sixty centimeters, in the second, this should be the row spacing, and the distance between plants should not be more than twenty centimeters.

With a square-nested method of planting, one hole can contain up to five seeds at a distance of seven centimeters from each other. When growing peanuts in a wide-row way, place two grains in the hole.

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The area for the cultivation of peanuts should be lite and, if possible, be on a hill. This will provide drainage and eliminate stagnant water that threatens crop rot. That is why many gardeners prefer to grow peanut plants in the so-called “smart” or, in other words, high beds.

Caring for peanuts is an activity that requires attention. It consists in the timely irrigation of the site, hilling and feeding the plants, as well as protecting them from possible pests.

Watering

Watering the plant should be plentiful, followed by loosening the soil. The water must be warm and settled, it must not contain chlorine. That is why plants use water from various containers for irrigation, or they are watered exclusively with industrial water, unsuitable for drinking and cooking. Watering plants planted in a square-nesting method should be at the root, and with a broadband planting method, fill the ditches with water.

A day after watering, it is imperative to loosen the soil. During the entire growth period of peanuts, plants need hilling. The first time the process is carried out when the plants have reached a height of fifty centimeters, the second hilling is after the first flowers’ appearance, and all subsequent ones are carried out at intervals of seven days.

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

Feeding

Feeding plants is identical to the process of feeding root crops. The best choice would be a complex fertilizer that contains a maximum of nutrients. To obtain the best harvest, plant feeding is best to do at least once every two weeks, and preferably every ten days. Basically, this time completely coincides with the period:

  • the appearance of the first true leaves;
  • abundant flowering;
  • ovary formation.

I would like to note that when planning the beds in autumn, it would be advisable to prepare a bed for growing peanuts in advance: add compost, humus, complex mineral fertilizer, and then cover it all with dark oilcloth or agrofibre.

Protection of peanuts from pests consists of carrying out some measures. Combating small rodents and a bear beetle. Rodents are usually poisoned with various baits, or special structures are built to prevent them from getting close to the peanut pods. Methods of dealing with the bear are to create special traps for insects and their constant capture and subsequent destruction.

After five and a half to six months from the start of seed soaking, you can harvest your own peanuts. If all activities were carried out in accordance with the cultivation technology, then the harvest will delight you. The maximum amount of dry and shelled peanuts harvested from one square meter can reach one hundred and fifty grams.

Interesting facts about peanuts

Homeland of peanuts

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

In the history of agriculture in the Old World, peanuts can reasonably be classified as a new crop. The homeland of peanuts is South America – possibly the foothills of the Bolivian Andes. Archaeological finds provide the earliest information about peanuts in Peruvian burial grounds of the XII-XV centuries.

These findings suggest that the Peruvian Indians cultivated a peanut called ankhuk even before Europeans’ arrival there. With America’s discovery, peanuts went across the Pacific Ocean to the Moluccan and Philippine Islands (along the sea route discovered by Magellan). From there to India, Japan, China, Indochina and spread throughout southern Asia.

This culture came to Africa at the beginning of the 16th century. during a period of lively communication between Brazil and the West African coast. Peanut beans brought there American ships, and here the crop spread quickly and widely.

Europe

Peanuts were brought to Europe by Portuguese sailors at the beginning of the 16th century, but not from America or from India. From China.
Obviously, this is why peanuts have long been called Chinese nuts in Europe. On the European continent, peanuts became known primarily in Spain. From there, it penetrated into France, where this culture was first tested in the botanical garden in Montpellier.

The peanuts’ crops in France acquired economic significance only at the beginning of the 19th century. However, peanuts did not receive further development in this country since imported beans (particularly from Senegal) were cheaper. In Europe, apart from Spain and France, peanuts were also cultivated at different times in Italy, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands.

Peanut foods

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

If you think that peanuts are just salty nuts for beer, then you will be surprised at the breadth of their application. Peanuts are among the valuable oilseeds, since beans contain up to 60% fat and more than 30% protein. Therefore, process it into the oil.

Cold pressing produces the highest grades of almost colorless oil – an excellent food product without odor, with its pleasant taste almost as good as olive oil. It is mainly used to prepare the best varieties of canned fish, margarine, confectionery (chocolate), and bakery foods and is also used in pharmacology.

Oils of peanuts

The lower grades of oil are good for soap making, and of high quality, you can obtain so-called Marseilles soap. Oilcake and meal are excellent concentrated protein feed used for fattening poultry and cattle, especially young animals. Like the hay from it, the tops are perfect for livestock and are almost as nutritious as alfalfa hay.

Bean leaves are used as a mulching material to improve the composition of soils, litter in poultry farming and construction (to create particle boards or insulating material), for the production of packaging.

The best vegetable wool, ardil, is of peanut protein, and it is also raw material the production of plastics, glue, and many other foods. At the same time, being a leguminous plant, peanuts are a good soil reclamator and, like alfalfa, enriches it with nitrogen.

It is well known that toasted nuts are tasty on their own. So they are good whole, sometimes salted or sweetened. In a crushed form, chiefs mix them into many confectionery foods, coffee, various creams and pastes, drinks, halva. These nuts are very high in calories: one kilogram of peanut beans provides 5960 calories.

In Africa, peanuts are a soup ingredient or mixed with millet or rice. In China, peanuts serve as raw materials to prepare more than 300 types of food foods. A popular treat in the USA is ground peanuts, honey, soy flour, malt, peanut butter, and ground to a smooth paste.

Benefits of peanuts

Peanuts – Description of the nut. Health benefits and harms

Everyone knows the basic foods that are “healthy.” These are fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood rich in substances necessary for the body. But it turns out that another category of food foods brings our health no less benefit, but which nutritionists keep forgetting about, equating it with “ballast food.” One such product is peanuts.

Research from Florida State University has shown that peanuts are very rich in antioxidants, which protect cells in the body from dangerous free radicals. First of all, the polyphenols contained in it have antioxidant properties – compounds close in chemical structure to the antioxidant components of red wine, making it one of the most effective means of preventing cardiovascular diseases.

By the way, as scientists have found, after roasting peanuts, the content of polyphenols in it increases by 20-25 percent. That is, the nuts become even more beneficial to health. And if we compare peanuts in terms of their antioxidant effect with other foods, it turns out that, along with strawberries and blackberries, they are second only to pomegranate, a recognized leader in the content of antioxidants.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Peanuts

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