Description : Peanut is an annual herb that grows 30 to 50 cm. The leaves are opposite, pinnate with 4 leaflets, each 1 to 7 cm long and 1 to 3 cm broad. The flowers are a typical pea flower in shape, 2 to 4 cm across, yellow with reddish veining. After pollination, the fruit develops into a legume 3 to 7 cm long, containing 1 to 4 seeds, which forces its way underground to mature. The pods ripen 120 to 150 days after the seeds are planted. The pods will be unripe if the crop is harvested too early. If they are harvested late, the pods will snap off at the stalk, and will remain in the soil. Uses : In Indian subcontinent, people savor the salted and roasted groundnuts as a snack. However, its major use in India is the extracted oil used in cooking. In the US, peanuts are used in candies, cakes, cookies, and other sweets. They are also enjoyed roasted and salted. Peanut butter is one of the most popular peanut-based foods in the US. Nutritional value : Peanuts are rich in essential nutrients, In a 100 g serving, peanuts provide 570 calories and are an excellent source (defined as more than 20% of the Daily Value) of several B vitamins, vitamin E, several dietary minerals, such as manganese (95%), magnesium (52%) and phosphorus (48%), and dietary fiber (right table). They also contain about 25 g protein per 100 g serving, a higher proportion than in many tree nuts. Some studies show that regular consumption of peanuts is associated with a lower specific risk of mortality from certain diseases. However, the study designs do not allow cause and effect to be inferred. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, "Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts (such as peanuts) as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.