Peanuts of Arachis hypogaea, also known as groundnut, earth‐nut, arachis nut, monkey nut and, in southern USA, goober pea — The nickname “goober” comes from nguba, a word used in the Congo region. Along with beans and peas, belong to the single plant family, Leguminosae. Legumes are edible seeds enclosed in pods. As a group, they provide the best source of concentrated protein in the plant kingdom. While their physical structure and nutritional benefits more closely resemble that of other legumes, their use in diets and cuisines more closely resembles that of nuts. Want to know how peanut came into Africa, what your body gets every time you eat some?
– Peanuts originated in South America where they have existed for thousands of years. They played an important role in the diet of the Aztecs and other Native Indians in South America and Mexico. The Spanish and Portuguese explorers who found peanuts growing in the New World brought them on their voyages to Africa. They flourished in many African countries and were incorporated into local traditional food cultures. Since they were revered as a sacred food, they were placed aboard African boats traveling to North America during the beginning of the slave trade, which is how they were first introduced into this region.
– It is a rich source of protein, niacin, and vitamins E and B1, a good source of copper and zinc, and a source of protein, vitamin B6, foliate, and iron.
– When dry‐roasted or roasted and salted, some of the vitamin B1 is damaged and the nuts are only a source of this vitamin; dry‐roasted peanuts usually contain about 500 mg of sodium per 60‐g portion, and roast and salted about 250 mg.
– Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Studies of diets with a special emphasis on peanuts have shown that this little legume is a big ally for a healthy heart.
– A number of studies have shown that nutrients found in peanuts, including folic acid, phytosterols, phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate) and resveratrol, may have anti-cancer effects. A rich source of all these nutrients—including the phytosterol beta-sisterol, which has demonstrated anti-cancer actions—peanuts have long been considered a likely candidate as a colon cancer-preventive food.
– Research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatryindicates regular consumption of niacin-rich foods like peanuts provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
– Although nuts are known to provide a variety of cardio-protective benefits, many avoid them for fear of weight gain. A prospective study published in the journalObesity shows such fears are groundless. In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.
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