The peanut, which is actually not a nut, but a legume, originated in South America and was spread throughout the New World by the Spaniards (who also brought them back to Europe). The expansion of the peanut industry in North America was the brainchild of George Washington Carver (a talented botanist) who recognized the value of the peanut as a cash crop. It was his idea for peanuts to be planted as a rotation crop in the cotton-growing areas of the South; this changed Southern farming forever. Today the U.S. is the world's third largest producer of peanuts.
The most common uses of peanuts are: peanut butter, peanut snack (salted or unsalted), peanut confections (used widely in candy making), and peanut oil.
Highest amount of folates compared to other nuts; folates are essential for brain development. Peanuts are also high in Vitamin E. Peanuts promote a healthy pregnancy because of the high folates which help reduce the risk of birth defects. Peanuts also boost memory, help fight depression, and reduces the risk of heart disease.