Powerhouse Plant: The Peanut

Updated: Jun 3

Ancient Incas of Peru were known to be the first people to cultivate wild peanuts. Used in religious ceremonies, they offered what was called, ynchic to the sun god. In modern American history, we know George Washington Carver to be the “father of the peanut industry.” In the 1860s, Carver developed more than three hundred products derived from the versatile and adaptable peanut. In the 1890s Carver invented peanut butter as a way to create a soft protein for people who couldn’t properly chew the peanuts or had poor teeth. A few years later, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented the “process of preparing nut meal” and used peanuts to serve the soldiers.


Today, peanuts and peanut butter are used around the world. Commercially, the peanut is widely used for oil production, but the whole nut itself and its bi-products are quite functional for health and food purposes. Peanuts contain high-quality proteins, polyphenols, fibers, antioxidants, and various vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown peanuts to contain cholesterol blockers such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and phytosterol. Peanut butter really only needs 1 or 2 ingredients; peanuts or peanuts and salt. There’s no need to add oils; including a lot of the ones you see on the mass market, e.g. palm oils, hydrogenated vegetable oils, corn syrup, and sugars.

Peanuts are a carbohydrate that contains fiber. Carbohydrates that contain fiber or starch are said to have a less pronounced effect on blood sugar. Peanuts, along with other types of nuts are a diabetes superfood, according to The American Diabetes Association. In order to qualify, the foods must contain important qualities such as vitamins A, E, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and calcium. Peanuts contain magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, fiber, and heart-healthy oils.


Magnesium

Magnesium plays a huge role in various physiological functions. Needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, this nutrient is especially important. Magnesium helps to maintain a steady heartbeat, supports a healthy immune system, and helps adjust blood glucose levels. It’s great for one’s bone health as well as aiding in energy, mood, sleep health, and regularity. Magnesium is prevalent in nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. Many Americans are lacking this nutrient in their diet. This can be due in part to a poor diet, ultra-processed foods, and agricultural practices which use magnesium deficient soil.


Selenium (Se)

Selenium is a trace mineral and an essential nutrient for one’s health. Higher selenium exposure is said to help provide protection against oxidative stress, immune diseases, and several types of cancers. Nuts, including Brazil nuts which are a staple at P. S. & Co. , are great ways to get your daily dose. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, peas are also fantastic options.

Fiber

The best way to get the recommended amount of daily fiber in is through whole plants. Nuts and seeds are great ways to add in this nutrient which most people are lacking. Yes, it’s not the protein that’s lacking in diets, it’s fiber! Fiber can also be found in whole grains, beans and legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Fiber can help to protect colonic gastrointestinal health (e.g., constipation, inflammatory bowel diseases, and irritable bowel syndrome). Increasing the number of different avenues of fiber is especially important for gut health as well and should be considered when exploring a diverse, plant-based diet.

Potassium

Potassium is a vital mineral and electrolyte. It plays an important role in the body to help support healthy nerve and muscle function. Potassium is also said to help to maintain normal blood pressure among other health benefits such as lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is to note, that these health benefits may also be attributed to the vitamins, minerals, and fiber content of the plant-based, potassium-rich foods in study.

Where Can You Find Peanuts on P.S.& Co.’s Menu?

Organic Roasted Peanut Butter Cookie

The Elvis - Everyone’s favorite smoothie containing organic brazil nut milk, organic banana, organic peanut butter, organic cocoa powder, sea salt, ice.

Ever-changing Organic Cake and Cupcake Options

Organic Peanut Butter and Jam Cake - with organic vanilla cream, peanut butter buttercream, and fresh berry jam

Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter Patties - organic sugar cookie filled with organic peanut butter covered in organic dark chocolate, a healthy take on a classic treat!

As an option as a topping for our Organic Acai bowls


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065437/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002423.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213372/