Peanuts are among the most popular nuts in Bulgaria. Peanuts are delicious, healthy and they come roasted, raw, in a shell, in the form of peanut butter or flour, so on and so forth. We all love them and enjoy eating them, but do we know enough about them?
Where do peanuts come from?
Although today Arachis hypogaea (or simply “peanuts”) are produced almost everywhere in the world, 7,600 years ago they grew only in South America. Scientists think that these incredibly delicious nuts originate from the foothills of the Andes, in the regions of Bolivia and Peru. Around 1st century AD, they were transferred to Mexico and after European explorers reached the New World, peanuts made their way to Europe.
Around 1,500, it was again European sailors that spread them to China and Africa, and after the colonization of North America, African slaves transfered them to the USA.
What kind of plant are peanuts?
Although peanuts are considered nuts in terms of their nutritional value, from a botanical point of view, that is not exactly the case. Botany says that peanut plants belong to the family of legumesand are very similar to beans, peas, soy and lentils. Like all plants in this family, the edible nuts of peanuts grow into pods, making them one of the best sources of vegetable protein.
How does the plant grow?
Peanuts are relatively low-growing, green plants with oval leaves. About 40 days after planting, yellow flowers appear at the bottom of the plant. As soon as the flowers are pollinated, their petals fall off and a peanut ovary with an embryo is formed. This so-called "ovary" develops and begins to grow downwards, forming a thin stem that enters the soil.
When it enters the soil, it turns horizontally to the soil surface and begins to ripen in the form of a peanut. The time from planting to the formation and ripening of the nuts in the peanut pod takes between four and five months, depending on the sort of peanuts.
Main sorts of peanuts
Today there are many subspecies and varieties of peanuts, but the main ones are only four:
This variety is distinct for its large nuts. Runner is grown mainly in the United States and is used to make peanut butter (over 45%). This variety is not very common in Bulgaria.
Virginia is the variety with the largest and extremely delicious nuts. These peanuts are typically offered raw and in a shell.
Spanish is a peanut variety with small, round nuts with reddish skin. They are offered mainly raw, baked in packets, or baked inside the shell. Due to theirhigher fat content, a large percentage of this variety is used both for the production of peanut butter and as an ingredient in snacks and desserts.
Valencia is a variety containing three or four nuts per shell. The nuts are small, round, with a reddish skin. Their taste is delicate and slightly sweet. They may be roasted with salt or sea salt (peeled or in a shell), or raw in the shell. This variety and its subspecies are most commonly grown in Bulgaria.
What are the benefits of consuming this type of nut?
Peanuts support heart health and normalise cholesterol levels.
Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats. In other words, the fat content in 100 grams of peanuts is 49.2 g. Of these, monounsaturated are 24.43 g, polyunsaturated – 15.56 g, saturated – 6.28 g, Omega-6 – 15.56 g and 0 g of trans fats.
The healthy fats in peanuts reduce the levels of "bad" cholesterol and increase the "good" one, maintain normal levels of blood pressure, prevent stroke and support the health of blood vessels and arteries.
Approximately 10 to 25% of the world's adult population complains of gallbladder problems. In recent studies, scientists have found that the regular intake of peanuts can reduce the formation of gallstones by 25%.
It has been found that peanuts contain the powerful anti-ageing molecule resveratrol. It is a type of antioxidant (as found in red wine and in grapes), which actively fights the accumulation of fat deposits, helps to absorb sugar faster and slows down ageing. In addition, this antioxidant neutralizes free radicals and prevents the formation of cancer cells.
They help weight-loss
Although high in fat, peanuts actually help you to lose weight and stay in shape. Experts believe that this is due to the high percentage of protein and unsaturated fats in nuts, which quickly satisfy your hunger and help you burn calories faster. Peanuts are also a source of insoluble fibre, which also helps in weight-loss. Finally – this type of nut is low in carbs.
What is their healthiest form?
As already mentioned, this type of nut comes in many different forms. You can buy peanuts both in convenient small packages and by the pound. They can be found raw, roasted (peeled or skinned), raw or roasted in a shell, in the form of flour, peanut butter, etc.
The healthiest option are raw peanuts, of course, because they preserve a 100% of their healthy substances. Raw shelled peanuts are the healthiest alternative, as they contain a fairly high percentage of antioxidants.
The runner-up is peanut butter, which is great for maintaining a healthy diet. Contrary to what most of you might expect, roasted and salted peanuts can also be beneficial, as long as they are consumed in moderation.
Where to find high-quality and freshly-prepared peanuts?
If you have a store where you want to sell high-quality nuts, you can view the product range of Elit Nuts. We not only distribute but also manufacture most of the products we offer. We have a production plant where we grow, prepare and package nuts are self-grown nuts.
You can choose from a variety of package sizes:
- Roasted large peanuts without salt
- Roasted skinned peanuts with sea salt
- Roasted peanuts in shell
- Raw peanuts and many other
The peanuts we offer are grown with a lot of love, stored properly, and their processing and packaging are closely monitored. Before we offer our nuts on the market, we make sure that all quality and safety requirements have been met.