Bold PEANUT (50/60)
Peanut is a small annual dicotyledon herb growing up to a foot above the ground. It is thought to have originated in the Central Americas and from where it spread to rest of the world through Spanish explorers. Today, it is one of the widely cultivated oil-seed and established prime commercial crop in China, India, African nations, and the United States of America.
Peanut plant takes approximately 120 to 150 days to produce the crop after sowing its seed. The process of peanut development is quite interesting! Its yellow flowers, after self-pollination, develop into "ovaries" called pedicels, which elongate rapidly to turn downward to bury several inches deep under the ground surface, from where the fruits develop into peanut pods we know.
To harvest, the entire plant including roots, is dug out of the soil. Each plant may bear 10-150 fruit pods. The pods have rough, wrinkled outer shells with 2-3 constrictions as in bean pods. Each peanut kernel is covered with thin brown layer and can be split into two equal halves as in any other legumes.
Health benefits of Peanuts
Peanuts are rich in energy (567 calories per 100 g) and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
They compose sufficient levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), especially oleic acid. MUFA helps lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increaseS HDL or "good cholesterol” level in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and stroke risk by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
Peanut kernels are good source of dietary protein; compose fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth and development.