Peanuts are legumes that grow on a plant under the earth. The peanut plant is an unusual plant because the fruits grow exceptionally quickly. It takes 120 to 160 days from seed to harvest. The flower sets above the ground and after it wilts its stem elongates, bends downwards and drills into the ground. The seeds develop underground. Therefore, the peanut is not picked but dug up, and peanuts are not classified as nuts but as legumes.
Peanuts originally come from South America. More than 3,500 years ago, the Incas used peanuts when burying their dead to give them food to take along to the hereafter. The Spanish explorers took peanuts back to Spain and from there they were distributed through Asia and Africa. The peanut became a frequently grown crop, especially in Africa where they were even considered to have a soul. Peanuts were introduced to the United States from Africa having been carried on the slave ships. Peanut consumption increased enormously as an effect of the American Civil War in the 1860s, since both the Northern and the Southern army considered the peanut as a valuable food product. Nowadays, peanuts are processed into different products and are used as an ingredient in many kitchens throughout the world.
Peanuts contain high amounts of vitamin B3, vitamin E and zinc. Zinc is important for the development of proteins and for renewing tissue. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that can play an important role in preventing cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Vitamin B3 plays a role in the functioning of our nervous system and in keeping a healthy skin
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