What are peanuts?
Peanuts are the seeds of Arachis hypogaea, a species belonging to the family Leguminosae (or Fabaceae). It is thought to be native to Central America. Today they are among the most cultivated oil seeds. Commercially, the leading manufacturers are China, India, some African nations and the United States.
What are the nutritional properties of peanuts?
100 g of roasted peanuts provide about 598 calories broken down as follows:
- 75% lipids (about 23% monounsaturated, 14% polyunsaturated, saturated 7%)
- 6% carbohydrate
In particular, in 100 grams of peanuts are about:
- 16,13g carbohydrates
- 25,80g protein
- 49,24 glipid
- 8.5 g of fiber (especially insoluble)
- 12.066 mg Niacin
- 0.384 mg of pyridoxine
- 8, 33 mg of vitamin E
- 0.135 mg of riboflavin
- 0.640 mg thiamine
- 240 micrograms of folate
- 1,767 mg of pantothenic acid,
- 705 mg potassium
- 76 mg phosphorus
- 168 mg magnesium
- 92 mg calcium
- 18 mg sodium
- 7.2 micrograms of selenium
- 4, 58 mg of iron
- 1.144 mg copper
- 3.27 mg of zinc
- 1,934 mg of manganese
Peanuts are sources of phenolic compounds, in particular of p-coumaric acid, resveratrol, genistein and biochanin-A.
When should you not eat peanuts?
There are some conditions where the consumption of peanuts may interfere with medications or other substances.
Seasonality of peanuts
In Italy, peanuts are harvested between September and October, but they are available on the market throughout the year.
Possible benefits and drawbacks of peanuts
Peanuts have qualities similar to those of other nuts and dried fruit. Their monounsaturated fats help lower bad cholesterol and increase the good one, while their sources of protein are amino acids of high quality essential for growth and development. The p-coumaric acid and resveratrol are powerful antioxidants. The first is thought to reduce the risk of stomach cancer, while the second seems to exert a protective effect against cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and viral or fungal infections. Other compounds with antioxidant properties are biochanin-A, genistein and vitamin E. The B vitamins help a healthy functioning metabolism.
Peanuts can trigger severe allergic reactions.