Are you Nuts?

Do you classify peanuts as a type of nut? If you chose the obvious answer…guess again. Peanuts are part of the leguminosae plant family, which also include beans and peas. Legumes have edible seeds enclosed in pods, which split along both sides (like a pea pod). Nuts, however, usually only have one seed and do not open on their own. Unlike walnuts, almonds, and other true nuts, which grow on trees (hence “tree nuts”), peanuts grow underground. Peanuts start growing as flowers above ground, but as a result of their heavy weight, the flowers bend, burying their stalk into the ground, ultimately leading to the peanut maturing underground.

Regardless of the classification, peanuts have great health benefits including:
· Monounsaturated Fat – known to prevent many heart related conditions and lower LDL (bad) blood cholesterol levels
· Vitamin E – helps to eliminate free radicals (cellular damage agents), which assist in reducing the potential risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases
· Niacin – helps reduce cholesterol within the body, aids in cellular damage recovery, and provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive problems
· Folate – is essential for numerous body functions, including DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, and growth. It is especially important for proper fetal development in pregnant women
· Protein – high amounts are found in peanuts, which are needed for muscle hypertrophy (increase of muscle cells) after strength training
· Magnesium – important for building and strengthening bones and keeping blood circulating smoothly
· Resveratrol – a powerful antioxidant found to improve blood flow to the brain thus reducing the risk of a stroke

Disclaimer: Although peanuts are healthy and beneficial, they are calorie dense, containing high amounts of good fat and protein content. Just be aware, each gram of fat has 9.3 kcals compared to protein which has 4.3 kcals. Eating excessive amounts of peanuts would lead to consuming too many calories through fat. Click here to learn more.

Fun Facts:
· A 12 ounce jar of peanut butter contains about 540 peanuts.
· One acre of land produces 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
· The FDA requires peanut butter to contain at least 90% peanuts.
· C.H. Sumner first introduced peanut butter to the USA in 1904 at the St. Louis Universal Exposition, selling $705.11 worth.
· Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter were the only two peanut farmers who eventually became US presidents.
· The fear of having peanut butter stuck to the roof of one’s mouth is called Arachibutyrophobia.
· Up to 250,000 jars of peanut butter can be produced a day by the largest manufacturer.
· The term “Peanut Gallery” derived from the very rear (cheap) and front seats where people would throw peanuts at the audience in front of them or at the performers themselves.
Click here for more of these fun facts.

Find out how to combine peanuts with other healthy foods for a nutritious snack and/or meal by contacting Dan at (978) 807-8579 or visit seachangefitness.net.

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About Sea Change Fitness & Nutrition

Exercise Physiologist Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist Certified Nutrition Specialist

Posted on October 23, 2011, in Dan's Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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