Originating in South America, peanuts are a legume. They are offered by different names such as earthnuts, groundnuts, and goobers. Peanuts are one of the most popular dried fruits and are mostly eaten raw. The same is the case with the United States as well. Peanuts are offered as roasted or as peanut butter. Today peanuts are used in a variety of cuisines, recipes, and desserts, etc. Although peanuts themselves are packed with healthy nutrients, other products, including peanuts, also include flour, oil, and protein.
Things to consider when buying Peanuts
As already mentioned, peanuts are a great source of healthy nutrients. However, it is often that some people tend to be allergic to such things. Therefore, we would like you to consider some things before you begin with your peanut hunt.
Peanuts are high in fat
Peanuts consist of a lot of fat. Actually, peanuts are so high in fats that they are considered as oil-seeds. In most parts of the world, a large proportion of peanuts are used to produce peanut oil. With that being said, the fat content in peanuts ranges from 44-56% and normally consists of polyunsaturated fat.
Peanuts pack good proteins
If the peanut fat thing was disturbing news to you, then this one might make it up for it. Peanuts pack quite a good amount of good proteins, and by good proteins, we mean the proteins that are actually beneficial to the body.
The protein content ranges from 22-30% of its total calories, ultimately making peanuts a great source of plant-based protein. The most abundant protein types found in peanuts are contracting and arachis, which some people are very allergic to and can sometimes lead to life-threatening situations.
Peanuts are low in carbs
This might be both good and bad news to some, but peanuts are low in carbs. So low that the carb content in peanuts ranges from 13-16%. Since peanuts are low in carbs and high in proteins, fiber, and fat, this provides peanuts a very low glycemic index, which is basically a measure of how quickly carbs enter your body once you consume a meal. This is particularly helpful for diabetic people.
Peanuts and weight loss
Even though peanuts have high-fat content, numerous studies have been conducted to study the relationship between peanuts and weight loss. The majority of studies have found that peanuts do not cause weight gain. In fact, studies have found the exact opposite of this as it was stated that peanuts help reduce the risk of obesity and maintain a healthy weight.
Types of peanuts
Runners were introduced back during the 1970s and since then have become very popular. It was introduced due to a new runner variety Flourunner, which was responsible for amazingly increasing the peanut yields. Peanuts today are popular due to their uniform kernel size shape and are mostly used in peanut butter.
Virginia holds the title of producing the largest kernels and the most peanuts roasted and processed in-the-shell. When they are shelled, they are mostly sold as gourmet snack peanuts. Lastly, they are mostly grown in North Carolina, South Carolina, and southeastern Virginia.
Covered with a reddish-brown skin, Spanish peanuts comparatively have smaller kernels. These peanuts are predominantly used as snack nuts and in huge amounts in peanut butter in addition to peanut candies.
Valencia peanuts are covered in a bright-red skin. These pods of these peanuts usually contain three or more small kernels. Furthermore, these are usually roasted and feature a very sweet taste. Typically sold in-the-shell, they are an excellent product for fresh use as boiled peanuts. At the moment, New Mexico stands as the primary source which produces Valencia peanuts.
Adverse effects of peanuts
As we had already mentioned in the ‘things to consider before buying peanuts’ section, some people tend to be allergic to peanuts. Therefore, we must discuss how to avoid them as they can result in life-threatening allergies.
Peanuts can sometimes be contaminated with pieces of mold that produce aflatoxin. The common symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include loss of appetite and discoloration of the eyes such that they become yellow. Severe aflatoxin poisoning can even lead to liver cancer and failure.
Peanuts contain antinutrients that impair your absorption of nutrients and reduce the nutritional value. Amongst the antinutrients found in peanuts, phytic acid is the most noteworthy. However, phytic acid is found not only in peanuts but also in all edible seeds such as grains, nuts seeds, and legumes. The presence of phytic acid reduces zinc and iron availability in peanuts, lowering their nutritional value.
It goes without saying that peanuts are as delicious as they are healthy. They are an excellent source of proteins and essential nutrients in addition to vitamins and minerals. You can use them in your weight loss program and reduce the chances of both gallstones and heart diseases. However, keep in mind that peanuts are high in fat and legume is a high-calorie food. Therefore, be careful not to consume excess.