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Health Benefits of Peanuts
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Health Benefits of Peanuts


    Health Benefits of Peanuts


    Surprisingly, peanuts are not actually in the

nut family. They are classified as legumes along with foods like green peas, soybeans,

and lentils. The peanut plant likely originated in South America in Brazil or Peru. Scientists have found 3,500-year-old

pottery in the shape of peanuts, as well as decorated with peanuts, in South America.


    Peanuts grow below ground as the fruit of the peanut plant. In the early 1800s, Americans started growing peanuts as a

commercial crop. On average, Americans eat more than 6 pounds of peanuts per year. Today, 50% of the peanuts eaten in the

United States are consumed in the form of peanut butter.



   
        Health Benefits
   
   
        Many people believe the peanut is not as nutritionally valuable as true nuts like almonds, walnuts, or cashews. But

actually, raw peanuts have many of the same health benefits as the

more expensive nuts and should not be overlooked as a nutritious food.
   
   
        Heart Health
   
   
        Much attention has been paid to walnuts and almonds as “heart-healthy” foods, given their high content of

unsaturated fats. But research suggests that peanuts are every bit as good for heart health as more expensive nuts.
   
   
        Peanuts help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. They can also stop small blood clots from forming

and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
   
   
        Weight Loss
   
   
        Foods with a lot of protein can help you feel full with fewer calories. And among nuts, peanuts are second only to

almonds when it comes to protein count. Studies have shown that people who include a moderate amount of peanuts in their diet

will not gain weight from peanuts. In fact, peanuts could help them lose weight.
   
   
        Longer Life Span
   
   
        Eating roasted peanuts might help you live longer too. A

large-scale study found that people who regularly ate any kind of nuts (including peanuts) were less likely to die of any

cause than were people who rarely ate nuts.
   
   
        Because the study was observational, it cannot prove that peanuts were exactly what caused the lower death rates, but

they are definitely associated with them.
   



    How to Save Seeds


    1. Know what to grow


    Start With Open-Pollinated Seeds


    Open pollinated varieties, aka OPs, are like dog breeds; they will retain their distinct characteristics as long as they

are mated with an individual of the same breed. This means, with a little care and planning, the

seeds you produce will be true-to-type, keeping their distinct traits generation

after generation as long as they do not cross-pollinate with other varieties of the same species.


    Annual, Biennial, Perennial


    Not all plants flower, set seed, and die in a single growing season. Those that do, like lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers,

are called annuals. Biennials, such as carrots and onions, don’t flower until their second growing season, after they have

gone through a cold period. Some long lived plants, like apple trees and asparagus, are perennial, surviving and flowering

for many years.


    Learn About Species


    A species is a group of individuals that are able to reproduce together. In the garden, most crops are different species

from one another, but not always. There are several species of squash and two distinct species of kale - meaning some

varieties of these crops are not able to cross pollinate with each other. On the other hand, Cucumis melo, commonly

categorized as a melon, also contains some varieties that are sold as cucumbers like ‘Armenian’ because fruits of the

variety are unsweet and sometimes pickled.


    2. Plan for seed saving


    Start With Easy Crops


    Some crops like peas, beans, lettuce, and tomatoes are great for beginning seed savers. These annual, self pollinating

crops require little to no isolation, and only a few plants are needed to reliably produce seeds.


    Grow Enough Plants


    Some crops have a hard time producing seeds when too few plants are around. Others can reproduce with just a single

plant. If the population size of a seed crop is too small, some genetic diversity may be lost and over many generations; in

time this can result in a noticeable decrease in plant stature, overall vigor, germination, and yield.


    Put A Little Space Between Varieties


    In order to produce seeds that are true-to-type, a little garden intervention is needed to prevent unwanted cross

pollination between different varieties of the same species. For some crops like lettuce and peas, all that is needed is a

little extra space between varieties. For others, more advanced methods can be used, including larger isolation distances,

pollination barriers, or hand pollination.


    3. Collect Your Bounty


    Know When Your Seeds Are Mature


    For crops that produce wet fruits, the seeds are not always mature when the fruits are ready to eat. Eggplant, cucumber,

and summer squash fruit are eaten when the fruits are immature and still edible, but before the seeds are actually mature.

This means that seed savers need to leave a few fruits to fully mature in the garden when they want to save seeds. Dry

fruited crops, like grains, lettuce, and beans, can be removed from the plant once seeds are dry and hard.


    Know How To Harvest Seeds


    Garden crops can be classified as either dry fruited or wet fruited. Collecting seeds from dry fruited crops, can be as

simple as going out to the garden, handpicking a few mature seedpods, and bringing them into the house for further drying and

cleaning. Fruits from wet fruited crops must be picked when their seeds are mature. The harvested fruits are either crushed

or cut open, and the roasted seeds are extracted from the flesh and

pulp before the seeds are dried.


    Store Seeds


    Raw seeds are happiest when they are stored in a cool, dark, and dry

place. A dark closet in a cooler part of the house or a dry, cool basement are both good spaces to store seeds for a year or

two. Once properly dried, seeds can also be sealed in airtight containers and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for

several years. The seeds of some crops are naturally longer lived. Tomato seeds and beans can be left for many years in

adequate storage conditions, while onion and carrot seeds are notoriously short lived. Don’t forget to label your seeds with

the crop type, variety name, and any useful notes about your seed source, when you harvested the seeds, and how many plants

you harvested from.


    Snack foods


    Snack foods are a very broad category with a wide range of processing steps. In general, snack foods have a more robust

flavor profile and require a standard or reduced-flavor sage or rosemary antioxidant. If possible, the antioxidant should be

added to the dough of the snack food. This could be predispersed in a water

or oil phase or added directly to the blender. If adding without predispersion, an antioxidant should be chosen with a less

concentrated form of antioxidant and used at a higher dosage rate (i.e., 0.2%). This will allow for even distribution

throughout the dough and avoid “hot spots” that could occur when using a more concentrated product. If the snack food does

not have a mixing step (i.e., potato chips), the antioxidant could be added to the frying oil or after preparation as a

spray-on step. For snack foods, the easiest way to measure oxidation is use of GC to measure hexanal or another marker

compound.


    Is peanut butter good for you?


   
        Peanut butter is a firm favorite among adults and children alike.

Although tasty, many people wonder about the health benefits of peanut butter.
   


    Peanuts and peanut butter contain nutrients that may boost a person’s heart health and improve blood sugar levels.


    Depending on how people use peanut butter in their diet, it can help them lose weight, or put on pounds during weight

training or bodybuilding.


    However, peanut butter is high in calories and fat, so people should enjoy it in moderation.


    In this article, we look at the benefits of eating peanut butter and explain the risks associated with consuming it.


    Peanut butter provides a good amount of protein, along with essential vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium,

potassium, and zinc.


    Most notably, each
   
        2-tablespoon (tbsp)Trusted Source
    serving of smooth peanut butter provides the following nutrients, minerals, and vitamins:


    Protein. Peanut butter contains 7.02 grams (g) of protein per 2-tbsp serving. This counts toward the


    recommended dietary allowances (RDA)Trusted Source


    for women of 46 g and 56 g for men, which varies by age and activity level.


    Magnesium. With 57 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, each serving helps towards the


    RDATrusted Source


    of 400–420 mg in men and 310–320 in women. Magnesium is essential for health, playing a role in over 300 chemical

processes in the body.


    Phosphorous. Each serving contains 107 mg of phosphorus, which is about 15.3 percent of the RDA of 700 mg for adults.

Phosphorus helps the body to build healthy cells and bones and helps cells to produce energy.


    Zinc. A serving of peanut butter provides 0.85 mg of zinc. This is 7.7 percent of the


    recommendedTrusted Source


    daily intake of 11 mg for men, and 10.6 percent of the RDA of 8 mg for women. Zinc is necessary for immunity, protein

synthesis, and DNA formation.


    Niacin. Peanut butter contains 4.21 mg of niacin per serving, which makes a useful contribution towards a person’s

recommended intake of 14 to 16 mg. Niacin benefits digestion and nerve function and helps produce energy.


    Vitamin B-6. With 0.17 g of vitamin B-6 per serving, peanut butter provides almost 14 percent of an adult’s


    RDA of 1.3 mgTrusted Source


    . Vitamin B-6 plays a role in over 100 enzyme reactions in the body and may be necessary for heart and immune system

health.


    However, there are also nutritional disadvantages if a person eats more than the recommended amount of peanut butter.


    Peanut butter is high in calories, saturated fats, and sodium.


    Each serving contains 3.05 g of saturated fats, which is 23.5 percent of the American Heart Association’s maximum

recommended daily intake of saturated fat for those consuming 2,000 calories a day. People should aim for less than 13 g of

saturated fat per day.


    It also contains 152 mg of sodium, which is 10.1 percent of an adult’s ideal daily upper intake of sodium of 1,500 mg.


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