The Popular Peanut

Fun facts about the nut and its health benefits

From the LifeMinute.TV Team

September 13, 2021

Americans eat more than six pounds of peanut products each year. According to the American Peanut Council, they are the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States, with a farm value of more than one billion U.S. dollars. To celebrate the popularity of the peanut on National Peanut Day (September 13), here are some interesting facts about the groundnut and its health benefits.

Where do peanuts come from?
Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) are actually legumes, not nuts. They grow beneath the soil best in the calcium-rich sandy dirt. The average peanut farm is 100 acres. A single plant can grow between 25 and 50 peanuts, so the plant needs some room to spread out.

Peanut butter facts
In 1884 Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Canada patented peanut paste, which was made by milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces. The more modern-day version, made from raw peanuts, was patented by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the creator of Kellogg's cereal) in 1895. It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the U.S. must be at least 90% peanuts. The other 10% may consist of sugar, salt, and oils. Today peanut butter is consumed in 94% of U.S. households.

Health benefits of peanuts
Peanuts are high in protein but low in carbs. In fact, the carb content is only about 13–16% of the total weight, which makes them a low glycemic index snack. Peanuts also contain a lot of good fats that may help lower your cholesterol levels. Research studies have shown that peanuts contain high concentrations of polyphenolic antioxidants, including resveratrol which can protect against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease, and viral/fungal infections. Other research suggests roasting/boiling enhances antioxidant bioavailability in peanuts. Peanuts also contain minerals and vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, folates, copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

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