There are numerous health benefits associated to peanut butter (unless you’re allergic). Unfortunately, many have taken to removing it from the weekly shopping as consumers grow out of childhood… However, there are some surprising facts about peanut butter that could see the lunchtime food of choice for millions return to the pantry!
1. Peanuts are Packed With Protein
A wise choice for breakfast is a slice of toast with thick peanut butter spread over it. A small amount (two tablespoons) contains as much as 7 grams of protein. It makes the body feel full, helping to stave off mid-morning snacks and pickings. It is also the spread of choice for many bodybuilders and athletes.
Peanut butter helps to build and repair muscle. It is so high in protein, it should be up high on the list of consumables for those that workout regularly.
2. Love the Heart
The heart benefits from the consumption of peanut butter. It may be a surprising fact, mostly as the majority of people believe this protein-rich butter is actually unhealthy. It has high levels of saturated fats but these are offset by other qualities.
Olive oil has a high level of unsaturated fats which places it in the healthy region of foodstuffs. Peanut butter has high levels of unsaturated fats too. It is important to select high quality, preferably organic, peanut butter. This is actually good for the heart and is an excellent way to consume nuts, without actually eating a nut.
There are many people who cannot eat nuts. Usually a nut is too hard on the teeth or others simply don’t like the consistency of this protein food. Peanut butter is easy to consume and tasty. This makes it an excellent and tasty way to consume peanuts without damaging dentures or teeth.
3. Potassium Acts as a Barrier to Sodium
There is no doubt that sodium forms a huge part of the American daily diet. This is not a good thing. Sodium is not kind on the cardiovascular system (heart and lungs). However, enrich the body with potassium and the sodium levels will dissipate. Peanut butter contains high levels of potassium.
4. Full of Friendly Fat
There is such a thing in food that can be labelled as “healthy fat”. Olive oil, avocados, cheese, whole eggs and peanut butter have high levels of unsaturated fat. It is this fat that the body needs.
- Unsaturated Fat = Healthy
- Saturated Fat = Not so healthy
Fat can be friendly, if it is the right kind. Peanut butter has plenty of this.
5. Higher Energy Levels
You probably already know that peanut butter has a high source of protein and fats. It offers a high amount of calories too. Calories give energy. If an athlete or bodybuilder wants to consume extra calories, in order to work out, then the butter offers a chance to supply that.
6. High Fibre for Perfect Digestion
Getting enough fibre in the body is essential for everything to work with optimum efficiency. Peanut butter provides a gram of fibre in just one tablespoon. It is recommended to consume 2 to 3 grams of fibre from peanut butter to help supplement what it gained from other meals.
7. Peanut Butter and Weight Loss
It would appear to be something of a contradiction in terms but: peanut butter and weight loss actually are very much connected. It has been established that there are plenty of proteins and fibre in the spread. Combined, this helps us feel fuller for longer. There is sodium and fat in it too, but when consumed, it will keep cravings at bay for several hours. This in turn switches off the desire to have a little something extra or eat in between meals.
However, it is more than simply leaving the body feeling satisfied and full. Peanut butter has fibre and protein that will halt the craving for sweet or sugary foods.
Just one serving of peanut butter (2gm) provides around 3 mg of Vitamin E – a known antioxidant. There is also large quantities of magnesium too. This nutrient is excellent for building bones and helping damaged tissue recover. There is a trace of the powerful Vitamin B6 present as well. This is enough to boost the immune system. Zinc is also found in the protein food and can help to boost immunity too.
Buying the Right Peanut Butter
There are many varieties of the spread on the market and supermarket shelves. But choosing the right one can be important, if the benefits are to be reaped. Selecting a natural or organic peanut butter is always the best option. Look closely at the percentage of saturated fats on the jar too.
However, looking at the fat content alone is not enough. Natural and organic peanut butter will always have real peanuts in the ingredients. There are some brands that use artificial ingredients to boost the taste and often too much sugar is added.
There are some commercial brands that have shown to have as much as an eye-watering 250 mg (per tablespoon) of sugar than natural products. Sugar makes the butter taste stronger and it is often used in baking. Cheesecakes, cookies and desserts are all very popular when there is peanut butter added as an ingredient. It is better to use a natural spread and add a little sugar into the baking mix to get that desired taste.
As well as sugar, sodium is also something to look out for. Check the back of the jar to see how much sodium content there is. Natural peanut butters have less sodium. The lower the sodium content, the better. Remember, peanut butter has potassium to negate the harmful effects of sodium.
Peanut butter eaten in moderation is very good for you. Allow around 2 tablespoons every day. If on a diet, and a craving suddenly kicks in, eat a spoonful of peanut butter. It will stifle cravings dynamically and stop us eating unhealthy snacks in-between meals.