Go NUTS!: Why “Mani” is the Best Street Food in the Philippines

Nostalgic common scenario in the Philippines: A “mama” or “ale” selling boiled peanuts still in their shells or fried and salted peanuts with chili and toasted garlic to idling bus commuters during traffic congestion. Peanut makes peanut butter which also complements “pandesal” partnered with juice, a good to go merienda. There’s a “maning hubad” and “maning may balat”. Mani that is slightly wet when cracked open and taste a little salty is the best to eat at night while watching. And that’s boiled peanuts, folks.

Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an errect shrubby plant with sturdy and hairy stems which is also called as groundnut, earthnut, or goober. It is a pod among pea family that produces edible oblong seeds with rounded end underground. It originated from South America and eventually spreads to the New World especially in our country. Peanuts can be usually harvested with at least six months in warm weather and ample amount of rainfall (or irrigation).

Variety of Nuts

Don’t be confused, there are several types of nuts and peanut is just one of them. Some may even ring a bell to you and probably had eaten them. Nuts provide different nutritional content depending on their variety, below are the list of them as per the USDA.

  1. Almonds– Nutritional Content: Vitamin E, Folic acid, Calcium, and Magnesium.
  2. Brazil Nuts– Nutritional Content: Selenium (anti-oxidant nutrient).
  3. Cashews– Nutritional Content: Copper and Magnesium.
  4. Hazelnuts– Nutritional Content: Monounsaturated fat, Vitamin E, Copper and Magnesium.
  5. Macadamia Nuts– Nutritional Content: Monounsaturated fat and Magnesium.
  6. Pecan– Nutritional Content: Monounsaturated fat, Vitamin E and Minerals.
  7. Pine Nuts– Nutritional Content: Vitamin E and Phosphorus.
  8. Pistachios– Nutritional Content: Fat and Protein, Antioxidants Mutein and Zeazanthine.
  9. Walnuts– Nutritional Content: Vitamin E, Antioxidant, Polyunsaturated Fat and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Nutrition Facts

According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a federal agency founded by Abraham Lincoln on 1862, every 100 grams (3.5 ounce) of peanut contains 567 calories. Calories helps our body to function keeping our heart beating and lungs breathing. Based on the USDA’s 2020 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”, the right amount of calories adult females need to intake is around 1,600 to 2,400 and around 2,000 to 3,000 calories for adult males each day.

As a matter of fact, nuts are so healthy that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim that states: “Eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease”. Moreover, every 100 grams of peanut contains the following nutritional contents:

Total Fat (49g- 75%)
Saturated fat (7g- 35%)
Cholesterol (0mg- 0%)
Sodium (18mg- 0%)
Potassium (705mg- 20%)
Total Carbohydrate (16g-5%)
Dietary fiber (9g- 36%)
Sugar (4g)
Protein (26g- 52%)
Caffeine (0mg)
Vitamin C (0%)
Calcium (9%)
Iron (25%)
Vitamin D (0%)
Vitamin B6 (15%)
Cobalamin (0%)
Magnesium (42%)

Ideal Peanut

Raw peanuts are the most recommendable to eat as it is the healthiest among all the variety of peanuts. Peanut butter offers healthy nutrients too. Roasted or salted peanuts are also okay but you should consume it in moderation.

Health Benefits of Peanut

According to Medical News Report, there are three main health benefits peanuts provide which may: support heart health, help a person maintain a healthy weight, and help a person manage their blood sugar levels. Peanuts are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and healthful fats which can be part of your balanced diet but in moderation. If you want to opt for a healthy snack, choose peanut as it helps to reduce carbohydrates and also increase healthful fat in your body.

1. Support cardiovascular health.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are more abundant in peanuts than saturated fats, which are less healthy. Peanuts have a lower saturated fat content than other forms of fat, making them healthier for the heart.

2. Maintain a healthy weight.

Peanuts are a filling snack since they are packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. A person may maintain a healthy weight by eating them in moderation.

3. Manage the blood sugar levels.

For those who have diabetes or are at risk for developing it, peanuts are a fantastic snack. Due to their low glycemic index (GI), peanuts do not result in significant blood sugar rises.

Note that like most foods, eating peanuts in moderation as part of a balanced, calorie-restricted diet is the key to enjoying them. So, what are you waiting for? Go NUTS!

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