Today things might get a little sticky…but that’s only because we’re talking about peanut butter. That delicious spread which makes up one half of the perfect pairing knows as the PB and J.
If you’re allergic to peanuts, then you probably won’t like this article because we’re talking about all the health benefits of peanut butter.
Is it really good for you? Can I eat too much peanut butter? Can it help you lose weight? We’re talking all that and more!
Just before we get into the good stuff, when we say peanut butter, we’re talking about organic, basically non processed PB.
Often you’ll find commercial brands have added sugar and oils that helps prevent separation and can make them pretty unhealthy. Always read the label, the only thing that should be in your peanut butter is, well..peanuts!
1. It’s A Popular Source Of Protein.
You’ve heard us talk about protein before on this channel but basically you need protein for virtually every body part and tissue in your body. It’s a key part of any diet and peanuts are just one of the many plant based sources.
Because peanut butter is about 25% protein it can help keep you full for longer, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals and is also a good source of dietary fiber.
You should try and get your protein from as many different sources as possible to make sure you’re getting all the different combinations of amino acids and essential amino acids (which are the ones that come from food) your body needs.
This is especially important if you’re a vegetarian. You can also get plant based protein from other legumes, whole grains, and many vegetables like corn, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
If you’re trying to be more environmentally conscious, as we all should be, you can get most of your protein from plants, fish or poultry and limit red meat and cheese as the impact on the planet is pretty staggering when it comes to red meat.
The protein and fiber content in peanut butter can help keep you feeling full for a longer period of time so that must mean it can also…
2. Help With Weight Loss.
Peanut butter can help you feel fuller for a long time, which is great when it comes to losing weight. In a 2018 study that compared diet and lifestyle data for over 370 thousand people it was found that eating peanuts (and other types of nuts) could reduce the risk of being overweight or obese.
Another study gathered data on over 51 thousand women showed that those who were eating nuts twice a week gained slightly less weight than women who rarely ate nuts over an 8 year period.
However, this is another scenario where moderation is key. One tablespoon of all natural peanut butter (just the nuts and nothing else) is about 90 calories and seven grams of fat.
So it can add up quickly if you’re eating it straight from the jar. Here’s how it breaks down:
The average woman needs around 2000 calories a day to maintain her weight, while the average man needs around 2500 per day. If you want to lose weight you have to eat less than that amount depending on your lifestyle.
If you’re active, you can have more calories in a day, and if you have a habit of sitting all the time, then you’ll need even less.
So having a few tablespoons of PB could really affect your calorie count quickly if you’re not active. Remember proper diet and exercise should be your go-to if you’re trying to lose weight in a healthy way.
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3. A Good Choice For Those With Diabetes.
Because Peanut butter (remember the kind with no added sugar, salt or oils) is a low carb food that has fiber, protein and a good amount of fat it won’t spike your glucose levels and can be a healthy choice for those with diabetes.
Half of the fat in peanut butter is made up of oleic acid, which is a type of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is a “healthy fat” because it can lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Oleic acid is great for the body and has many health benefits like improving your insulin sensitivity.
Not to mention peanut butter also has lots of magnesium which is an essential nutrient for those with diabetes. Low magnesium has been linked to prediabetes and type two diabetes.
Magnesium is also great for muscle recovery, your mental health and for building strong bones.
4. Great for your Heart.
Show your heart a little love and give it some peanut butter! Research shows that eating nuts has many health benefits and can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E which can be hard to get in a regular diet.
Peanut butter is a lot like olive oil when you are talking about a balance of unsaturated fats to saturated fats, and olive oil is a heart healthy option, so that means peanut butter is too.
A bag of mixed nuts can also be expensive but peanut butter is a cost effective way to improve your heart health. Other heart healthy foods in the same camp as peanut butter are olive oil, wheat germ and tofu.
5. Rich in Antioxidants.
If you’re trying to eat a healthy diet you want to stick to whole unprocessed foods. That’s where peanut butter comes in.
If you get the kind that is made up of just peanuts, you’re getting more than just the minimum vitamins and minerals, you’re getting all the other health benefits nature intended, like antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect your body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals play a role in things like heart disease, cancer and other illnesses.
6. Peanut Butter Is Full of Great Stuff.
We’re talking vitamins and minerals. When you eat whole foods that haven’t been processed, or minimally processed you’re keeping all the nutritious elements in tact.
A 100g serving of peanut butter contains: 45% of your daily Vitamin E, 67% Of your vitamin B3, 73% Manganese, and 39% of your daily Magnesium.
Not to mention there’s decent amounts of Copper, Folate, Iron, potassium, zinc and selenium.
7. Can Decrease the Risk of Breast Cancer.
You can thank your parents if they started giving you peanut butter at a young age because one study shows that eating peanut butter can lower the risk of benign breast disease or BBD, which increases the risk of developing breast cancer later on.
Eating peanut butter when your young can reduce the risk of developing BBD before the age of 30. It’s also believed that those who have a family history of breast cancer should eat peanut butter more often because it can lower the risk of developing it significantly.
Ok those are all pretty great health benefits but how do you pick the right peanut butter?
We get it, there are a million and one options when it comes to the type of peanut butter you can choose at your local supermarket.
To get any of the health benefits we talked about earlier you need to look at the ingredients and make sure the only thing listed is peanuts. It’s likely that this type of peanut butter will have separated, and that’s normal.
While it can be a little annoying to mix together in the beginning, the benefits are worth it. You can store it in the fridge to keep it from separating again and to make it last longer, too.
How can I incorporate More Peanut Butter Into My Healthy Diet? You can try this healthy peanut butter smoothie for breakfast for a boost of protein:
Blend ⅓ cup of oats in a blender for a few seconds, then add two frozen bananas, one tablespoon of peanut butter and a pinch of salt. Cover the mixture with some almond milk and blend until smooth.
Speaking of breakfast you can also add a spoonful of peanut butter to some warm oatmeal. You can add peanut butter to a healthy snack like apples, bananas, or rice cakes.
Remember peanut butter can be high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. If you’re eating it by the spoonful out of the jar, chances are you’re overdoing it. You can eat it as a snack, just don’t eat the whole jar.
Do you like peanut butter? Are you gonna switch to healthy peanut butter after reading this article?
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