The Peanut, also known as the groundnut, monkey nut (UK) or goober, and taxonomically classified as Arachis hypogaea, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to both small and large commercial producers. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to both small and large commercial producers. It is classified as both a grain legume and, because of its high oil content, an oil crop.
Peanuts are similar in taste and nutritional profile to tree nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, and as a culinary nut are often served in similar ways in Western cuisines. The botanical definition of a "nut" is a fruit whose ovary wall becomes hard at maturity. Using this criterion, the peanut is not a typical nut. However, for culinary purposes and in common English language usage, peanuts are usually referred to as nuts.
Why Peanut is Important ?
Even more impressive were the results of a review study of the evidence linking nuts and lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Most important is to lower your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, enjoy a handful of peanuts or other nuts, or a tablespoon of nut butter, at least 4 times a week.
In addition to their monounsaturated fat content, peanuts feature an array of other nutrients that, in numerous studies, have been shown to promote heart health. Peanuts are good sources of folate, niacin, protein, manganese and vitamin E. In addition, peanuts provide resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant also found in red grapes and red wine that is thought to be responsible for the French paradox for example: the fact that in France, people consume a diet that is not low in fat, but have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to the U.S. With all of the important nutrients provided by nuts like peanuts, it is no wonder that numerous research studies, including the Nurses' Health Study that involved over 86,000 women, have found that frequent nut consumption is related to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
While unable to boast an antioxidant content that can compare with the fruits highest in antioxidants, such as pomegranate, roasted peanuts do rival the antioxidant content of blackberries and strawberries, and are far richer in antioxidants than apples, carrots or beets.
Colorectal cancer is the second most fatal malignancy in developed countries and the third most frequent cancer worldwide. In Taiwan, not only has incidence of colon cancer increased, but the likelihood of dying from the disease rose 74% from 1993 to 2002.
Risk of colon cancer was found to be highly correlated with both peanuts, which greatly lessened risk, and pickled foods, which greatly increased risk, particularly in women.
Eating peanuts just 2 or more times each week was associated with a 58% lowered risk of colon cancer in women and a 27% lowered risk in men.
In women, but not in men, eating pickled foods 2 or more times a week more than doubled the likelihood of developing colon cancer risk for women, increasing their rick 215%.
Tips: To help prevent colon cancer, avoid pickled foods, but enjoy peanuts at least twice each week. In addition to that old stand-by, the PB&J sandwich, try some of the following:
a). Add a tablespoon of peanut butter to your morning smoothie.
b). Spread peanut butter on your morning waffle, whole grain toast or mid-morning crackers.
c). Enjoy a handful of dry roasted peanuts with a glass of tomato juice as an afternoon snack.
d). Combine peanut butter, coconut milk, and ready-to-use Thai red or green curry paste for a quick, delicious sauce. Pour over healthy sauteed vegetables. Use as a cooking sauce for tofu or salmon.
e). Toss cooked brown rice with sesame oil, chopped peanuts, scallions, sweet red pepper, parsley and currants.
When purchasing peanut butter, be sure to read the label. Hydrogenated (trans) fats and sugar are often added to peanut butter. Buy organic and choose brands that contain peanuts, salt-and nothing else!
h). Eating Nuts Lower Risk of Weight Gain
Tips: Don't let concerns about gaining weight prevent you from enjoying the delicious taste and many health benefits of nuts!
a). Fill a celery stick with nut butter for an afternoon pick-me-up.
b). Spread some nut butter on your morning toast or bagel.
c). Remember how many great childhood lunches involved a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Upgrade that lunchbox favorite by spreading organic peanut butter ad concord grape jelly on whole wheat bread.
d). Sprinkle a handful of nuts over your morning cereal, lunch time salad, dinner's steamed vegetables.
e). Or just enjoy a handful of lightly roasted nuts as a healthy snack.
@ Jackie San