We loved peanut butter as kids, but have we underestimated its health benefits as adults?
Many people simply adore peanut butter! Its sweet-savory and creamy flavor adds taste to whatever you spread it on! It is one of life’s simple pleasures, and if you agree, you would be delighted to learn that your body loves it as much as your taste buds!
Some avoid its consumption out of the concern that it is high in fat, but today we decided to convince them to reconsider this decision. In fact, peanut butter may provide a surprising number of benefits, as it is full of vitamins and minerals that can improve health.
Here are 9 reasons why you should incorporate it into your daily diet:
1. Blood Pressure Control
Peanut butter, apart from fiber and protein, is also rich in magnesium and potassium, and all of them can help you to keep your blood pressure under control. Note that it is important to choose peanut butter that does not have any added salt to it.
2. Lower Diabetes Risk
A 2002 Harvard study has shown that women who consume nuts and peanut butter on regular basis had a lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t.
Researcher Rui Jiang, MD, of Harvard School of Public Health, explained that the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in peanut butter can improve glucose and insulin stability.
The study showed that women who ate a tablespoon of peanut butter at least five times per week had a 21 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those that didn’t.
3. Weight Loss
Many times people avoid peanut butter because they think the high amount of fat will cause weight gain. In fact, it is just the opposite. It can actually help losing weight.
It is a great source of protein, containing eight grams in just two tablespoons. It is also a source of nearly two grams of fiber, and also twelve grams of healthy fat. This will make you control your hunger and late-night cravings.
Plus, it causes a very low rise in blood sugar, as it is also very low in carbohydrates. This is great for people with type 2 Diabetes. Yet, even with these benefits, it is still high in calories, so don’t eat it with a soup ladle!
4. Brain Health
Peanut butter can help stimulate brain activity and memory since it contains various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, and niacin. These vitamins are helpful in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Furthermore, it contains the bioactive compound Resveratrol, which may improve blood flow to the brain by up to thirty percent. This can decrease the risk of getting a stroke, and boost cognitive abilities.
Peanut butter is high in antioxidants too, including p-coumaric acid, which has been found to reduce arthritis in animal studies. Actually, peanuts have as many antioxidants as many fruits.
6. Lower Breast Cancer Risk
In a 2013 research study, that followed nine thousand women from 1996 to 2010, it was discovered that the risk for developing breast cancer is nearly forty percent lower in those who consumed peanut butter three days per week.
In fact, researchers found out that eating peanut butter decreased the participants’ risk of benign breast disease.
Dr. Graham Colditz, the senior study author, says that approximately one in four women have a benign lesion, confirmed with a biopsy, and added:
“It’s very clear there is a strong link between the benign lesion and the subsequent risk of invasive breast cancer.”
He explained that it is unclear why peanut butter has these effects, but they suspect it might be due to the protein content.
Putting other benefits aside, preteen and teenage girls should consume peanut butter, if they are not allergic. Just a couple of tablespoons weekly could decrease the risk of breast cancer later in life.
7. Muscle Recovery
Peanut butter is abundant in protein, which can help your muscles recover from a strenuous workout. The International Society of Sports Nutrition advises people to consume high-quality protein in a two hours range after a workout.
8. Good during Pregnancy
Due to the high folate content, peanut butter helps in reducing the risk of neural tube defects in the newborn. Therefore, pregnant women, who are not allergic to peanut butter, should seriously consider consuming peanut butter regularly.
9. Improved Sleep
Peanut butter is a source of tryptophan, which increases the levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and serotonin, the hormone for happiness. This can calm you down and help you get a good night’s sleep.
To sum it up, the health benefits of peanut butter are numerous.
Yet, as with all things in life, you should consume it in moderate amounts. It is also crucial to note that you should avoid brands that add a lot of extra ingredients, like sugar, salt, and hydrogenated oil.
Look for all-natural or “just peanuts” peanut butter.
To reap all its benefits, enjoy a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter a day, a few days per week, and enjoy the enriched taste of your healthy recipes!