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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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.