Do you love consuming peanuts? If yes, do you know what it does to your health?
Peanuts have variety of names such as groundnuts, earth nuts and goobers.
Despite their name, peanuts are unrelated to tree nuts. As a legume, they' re related to beans, lentils and soy.
Why peanuts are legumes?
Peanuts are legumes that originated in South America. Peanuts are legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to small and large commercial producers. Typically among legume crop plants, peanut pods develop underground rather than above ground. With the characteristics in mind, peanuts are scientifically called Arachis hypogaea, where the hypogaea means " under earth" .
Peanuts are similar in taste and nutritional profile to " tree nuts" such as walnuts, almonds and as a culinary nut. They are often served in similar ways in Western cuisines. Peanut is not a nut. However, peanuts are usually categorized as " nuts" for culinary purposes and in common English more generally.
Peanuts are good sources of healthy fats, protein and fiber. They also contain plenty of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins. Despite being high in calories, peanuts are nutrient- rich and low in carbohydrates.
The mixture of healthful fats, protein and fiber in peanuts means they provide nutritional benefits and make a person feel fuller for long. This make peanuts healthful snack compared to chips, crackers and other simple carbohydrate foods.
The nutrients of peanuts are discussed below;
Protein: Peanuts are an excellent source of plant based protein, offering 25. 8g per 100g of peanuts or around half of a person' s daily protein needs. Protein is essential for building and repairing body cells. The amount of protein a person needs varies, depending on their age and activity level.
Healthful fats: Fatty acids are essential part of every diet. Most of the fats in peanuts are mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are a healthy type of fat.
There is also a small amount of saturated fat in peanuts. Saturated fat is less healthful than unsaturated or polyunsaturated. Doctors link too much saturated fat with cardiovascular diseases. As a consequence, it is best to eat peanuts in moderation to get their optimal health benefits.
Dietary fiber: Peanuts are a good source of dietary fiber. They contain 8. 5g per 109g, which around one- quater of a male' s recommended fiber intake or one- third for females.
Types of peanuts
Peanuts can be processed for consumption in different ways. The pod must be dried before hand until they reach a safe humidity level for storage (up to 9%). Then, the grains are separated from the shells and are classified by size and intended treatment.
Once processed, we can find several different formats of peanuts. They are:
natural, roasted, fried, without the shell(but with skin), bleached(without the shell) or in halves(splits). They can also be granulated, chopped, made into flour, or marketed as peanut butter, paste, oil or extract.
How peanuts can be consumed?
Some of the products made with peanuts are:
Peanuts butter: Peanut butter is a paste that is made with dry roasted peanuts. You can have up to 100% peanut content, according to the need. They don' t contain artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives although some manufacturers may add salt, sugar or oil to stabilize the mixture. It is estimated that more than 50% of peanuts grown in the US are eaten in the form of peanut butter, especially in sandwiches, both for its delicious flavor and for being an alternative source of vegetarian protein.
Peanut butter provides all the properties of this product in a concentrated form, and it' s a very practical solution in pastries and industrial cuisine in order to add flavour and texture to dressings, cakes, chocolates, smoothies, ice cream, rice, soup, pasta.
Peanut flour: Peanut flour is made with roasted, crush and defatted peanuts. This flour is a good alternative for people with celiac disease(gluten allergy) and vegans. Peanut flour has a widespread use in the good industry for its pleasant taste and aroma. It is used to prepare snacks, which are baked like french fries, and also to enrich smoothies and thicken sauces.
Peanut oil: This peanut by- product is used to fry, saute or add flavour. Peanut oil can be used at high temperatures and has a high smoke point. In addition, the food that' s cooked in it doesn' t absorb its flavour.
Which type of peanuts are most healthy?
Raw peanuts are the most healthful variety. Peanut butter is a great choice, offering a healthy nutritional profile and a range of healthy benefits.
People can also buy roasted or salted peanuts. Eating these types is okay in moderation, though consuming too much sodium is likely to cause high blood pressure and heart diseases.
Where possible, choose raw peanuts with skin attached. Peanut skins contain antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the body' s cells from damage from free radicals.
Producers usually remove the skins from most roasted or salted peanuts.
People can enjoy peanuts and peanut butter in moderation as a snack throughout the day. In main meals, peanuts make a great addition to salads and soups.
Which type of peanuts do you enjoy most and why?
Do answer using the comments section below
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