Peanuts Are Not Actually Nuts

January 25, 2010 at 12:46 am Leave a comment

Sorry, this is not about Charlie Brown. I’m talking about the peanuts that some of us love to eat and others are deathly allergic to. Those peanuts are seeds and they belong to the legume family, along with beans, peas, alfalfa, lentils and others.

In fact, many things we typically consider nuts, do not meet the botanical definition of a nut. Try to pick out the non-nuts from this list:

  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Coconuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts

You probably guessed that coconuts are not actually nuts, and you’re right. If you guessed any of the others are not nuts, you’re right too — none of them are real nuts!

A nut is a hard shelled fruit that comes from a plant whose fruit does not open to release its seed. A nut is a composite of the fruit and seed, some examples of true nuts are: acorns, beechnuts, chestnuts and hazelnuts.

Some people avoid nuts because they are high in fat, but that’s actually the reason nuts are such a nutritious fruit. The Omega 3 fatty acids in nuts are believed to lower lipid levels (the “bad cholesterol”). Nuts also contain linoleic and linolenic acids, which are important for healthy growth, hair, skin, blood pressure, and immunological response. They are also rich in protein, folate, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium.

So, if you’ve been avoiding them, forget about it!

Go nuts.

Broken Secrets

Written By: Chad Upton

[available on Kindle]

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Sources: Nuts, Dehiscence

Entry filed under: Demystified, Despite Popular Belief, Food and Drink. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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