Who hasn’t grown up loving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Hardly, anyone I know. You can do so much with peanut butter, spread it on bread, make cookies, have it as a go-to snack anytime, use it in energy shakes and even put it on crackers. Peanut butter was part of my daily diet as a kid in one form or the other, but obviously as I grew up and started to worry about calories and inches on my waist, peanut butter became a distant childhood memory, until recently. Peanut butter a favorite kid snack has raised to the level of healthy adult food because of the many benefits of peanut butter.
I’m certain most of you steered clear of this food after growing up, but recently doctors and nutritionists have been recommending to include peanut butter in our daily diets. This obviously makes one wonder is peanut butter healthy? A moderate amount of peanut butter meets a lot of your daily nutritional requirements, and too much of anything is never good for you; the same goes for peanut butter. We have put together top 10 benefits of peanut butter for you, so you no longer have to wonder is peanut butter good for you. Read on to find out about all the peanut butter benefits.
“I’m certain most of you steered clear of this food after growing up, but recently doctors and nutritionists have been recommending to include peanut butter in our daily diets. This obviously makes one wonder is peanut butter healthy?”
10. Great Source Of Protein
Proteins are our body’s building blocks. They give us lean muscles, help in muscle development and repair, protein rich foods take longer to digest; thus, give you a feeling of being full for a long time. Nuts are a great source of protein if you are looking for a meat alternative. If you have about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter it gives you approximately 7 grams of protein. If you are active and workout you require more protein in your daily diet.
- You could add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to your banana shake or smoothie instead of sugar. This makes a great protein shake. A lot of trainers recommend adding peanut butter to your protein shakes, for that extra boost of protein.
- It is a perfect way to start your day so spread some peanut butter on a slice of bran bread, as the proteins provide you with the necessary energy you require to do everyday activities.
9. Good For The Heart
Cardiologists extensively recommend having at least a handful of unprocessed nuts daily to maintain the health of your heart. If you can’t do that peanut butter is one of the best ways to add nuts to your daily diet. It gives you all the health benefits of peanuts. Peanut oil can lower your risk of developing atherosclerosis, this is a cardiovascular disease in which the arteries shrink and become thin and narrow.
- The fat content of peanuts similar to that of olive oil. They help in maintaining your cholesterol levels and somehow lower the triglyceride levels in your blood stream
- Other fatty foods such as butter, margarine and regular oil have an opposite effect compared to peanut oil, which is unsaturated fat.
8. Good Source Of Potassium
We have all heard by now that potassium is beneficial for us, but most of us do not include enough potassium in our diets. One of the benefits of peanut butter is that it happens to be a great source of potassium. The main function of potassium is to counter-fight the ill effects of sodium. Our diets are overloaded with sodium, and it can wreak havoc in our normal body functions. Some of the side effects of sodium accumulation over time include chronic illnesses such as high blood-pressure, obesity, heart diseases and much more.
- To up your intake of potassium, you could simply take some veggies such as carrots or celery and use the healthy peanut butter as a nice dip for them.
- You could do the same if you are fond of having crackers, just spread some peanut butter on your crackers to reduce the long term effects of sodium in your crackers
- Make sure you get the unsalted peanut butter, which is now commonly available.
7. A Dose Of Manganese
Manganese is another mineral which plays an important role in maintaining health and vitality. Two tablespoons of healthy peanut butter is equals to 0.58 mg of magnesium, which covers a large percentage of daily recommended value. One of the pivotal roles of manganese is activation of enzymes which lower our levels of toxicity. Healthy levels of manganese are important for digestion, as these enzymes help in breaking down of nutrients from our foods and their absorption in the blood. Need some more prompting to eat peanut butter?
- Manganese is important for tissue repair and development. This is very important in healing in case of cuts and wounds.
- It is good for bone health and increases bone density.
- Manganese forms a barrier for our cells against physiological stress.
“This vitamin is responsible for breaking down of food into energy and works as a catalyst for the chemical reactions required to carry it out. It also plays a pivotal part in cell regeneration and maturity, and tissue formation.”
6. Gives A Boost Of Niacin
Niacin or vitamin B3 is very important for the functioning of our cells. A healthy amount of Niacin is required for regulating our metabolism. This vitamin is responsible for breaking down of food into energy and works as a catalyst for the chemical reactions required to carry it out. It also plays a pivotal part in cell regeneration and maturity, and tissue formation. Another important vitamin is vitamin B6; vitamin B6 strengthens your immunity system keeping common colds and flues at bay.
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter provide you with 4.4 milligram of Vitamin B3 and almost 0.17 milligrams of vitamin B6
- This might sound like a nominal amount but in the long run, these little amounts can add to overall improvement of your health.
5. Immense Source Of ‘Good Fats’
By now you must be aware that not all fat is bad, and our body requires some fat to stay healthy and perform everyday functions. Biggest concern most people has when it comes to peanut butter is that, it is fattening. Yes, it has a high fat content but guess what? All the fat in peanut butter is the ‘healthy fat’, or unsaturated fat. This is the good kind of fat which helps in reducing the cholesterol levels in your blood, and thus help our heart and liver. A lot of problems are caused due to high levels of cholesterol, so if you include these healthy fats in your diet you can actually be rid of the cholesterol or at least lower it to some extent.
- The type of fat present in peanuts is similar to that in olive oil, fish oil and avocadoes.
- These healthy fats work like fuel and keep you active all day long.
4. Instant Energy Booster
As we have already told you peanut butter has good amounts of proteins and fats, it can provide you with the ample amounts of energy to go on whole day. This makes it a perfect breakfast. It is also good to have it in the evening when you are feeling drained of energy and need an instant boost to your energy levels. Sometimes our sugars levels go down when we haven’t eaten for too long, so next time you feel that way you know just what to reach for.
- If you suffer from diabetes or any other problems which causes sudden drop of sugar level, you should keep a jar of peanut butter close by.
- A peanut butter sandwich in bran bread makes a great post-workout meal.
- Another great energy booster drink is blend together two bananas, 1/4th cup milk and two tablespoons of peanut butter, blend well and you have an instant pick me up.
3. Laden With Fiber
Did you know with all the other nutrients, peanut butter is also a good source of fiber? Dietary fiber plays a number of important functions; the most important one being it aids in digestion and regulates your bowel movement. Doctors and nutritionists have been emphasizing on switching from white starchy foods to whole grain ones which are a good source of fiber, for years now. Fiber doesn’t just come from those brown cardboard like cereals, you can actually augment your fiber intake with a number of tasty alternatives as well like fruits, vegetables, lentils and obviously peanut butter as well!
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter gives you about 2 grams of fiber
- This might seem like a small amount, but works like a supplementary source of fiber.
- Peanut butter and raisin cookies with oats not only make a yummy snack, but are laden with fiber
- Peanut butter can also be added to granola bars, this makes a delicious fiber packed meal.
“Biggest concern most people has when it comes to peanut butter is that, it is fattening. Yes, it has a high fat content but guess what? All the fat in peanut butter is the ‘healthy fat’, or unsaturated fat. This is the good kind of fat which helps in reducing the cholesterol levels in your blood, and thus help our heart and liver.”
2. Aids In Weight Loss
One very common question ‘is peanut butter good for weight loss’ and the answer to that is ‘YES’; this also happens to be one of the many benefits of peanut butter and not vice versa. The way it works is pretty simple. When you are trying to lose weight you are suppose to add fiber and proteins into your diet and stay away from the carbohydrates and fats. We have already told you peanut butter nutrition facts. It is rich in both these food groups.
- Another reason to indulge on peanut butter, especially when you are trying to cut down on calories is that often you lack energy. Peanut butter provides you with the necessary energy.
- If you are trying to cut down on meal portions, peanut butter does just that too! Since it has proteins and fiber both take longer to digest and you don’t feel hungry for a long time.
- Peanut butter sandwiches make great snacks for those midday hunger pangs.
1. Provides A Shield Against Several Health Problems
We often reach for multivitamins and supplements as our diets don’t give us adequate nutrients necessary to live a healthy diet. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is always better to intake these vitamins and minerals in natural form. Organic, unsalted peanut butter is packed with all these good nutrients. Peanut butter is packed with benefits of peanuts.
- Regular consumption of peanuts reduces chances developing type-2 diabetes
- Peanuts are nuts as well as legumes, and regular use of peanut and peanut oil prevent gallstone formation
- The potassium content of peanut butter wards off the effects of sodium; thus protecting us against problems such as blood pressure, heart problems and stroke
- The natural vitamin E of peanuts work like antioxidant is also great for the hair and skin
You should add peanut butter in some form in your daily diet to reap from the benefits of peanut butter we have told you of.
Choosing The Right Peanut Butter
Now that you know of the many benefits of peanut butter, we bet you can’t wait to get your hands on a jar of this yummy goodness. With so many peanut butter brands available, it is important to know these few tips so you can maximize on the benefits of peanut butter.
- Always look for all natural peanut butter. Sometimes to enhance the flavor commercially flavored peanut butter may have high amounts of sugar and artificial flavors. This might add to the flavor but take away the goodness from peanut-butter.
- Read the back label for sodium content. This is the most important thing to look out for. Too much sodium is not just bad for you but it also takes away the nutty flavor of peanuts
- Try to choose the organic brands, whenever possible.
- If you want to use peanut butter for cooking, you should chose an artificially flavored brand as it will give you a much enhanced flavor