Peanut butter – the delicious spread that doesn’t get nearly enough credit as to all of the health benefits it brings us.
Most people see peanut butter as a quick and easy snack fix. But for those who lift, peanut butter holds an entirely different, pivotal purpose. Just take a look into any fitness geek’s cabinet – you WILL find peanut butter, and usually multiple jars! Here’s exactly why: peanut butter is packed with nutrients, has the good, essential fats, aids in weight loss, and even prevents disease- all while tasting delicious!
Potassium in Peanut Butter
Protein and potassium are the main two components of peanut butter. Potassium is excellent for lowering your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Another benefit of potassium is that it can actually counter the negative effects of too much sodium in your diet, which can lead to a poor cardiovascular system, and aids in proper nerve function, as well. Plus, you can never have too much protein!
Protein in Peanut Butter
One of the reasons peanut butter can help with weight loss is because of its protein properties, which makes it satiable and satisfying (plus, it simply tastes amazing). Protein builds metabolism-boosting muscles and keeps you full longer. In this case, you won’t be mindlessly snacking- score! Add a nice glass of milk, and you’ll be boosting the protein value in the peanut butter, enhancing the essential amino acids needed for muscle repair and growth. That’s a tasty win-win.
Good Fats in Peanut Butter
It sounds contradictory, right? But the truth is, peanut butter possesses the same saturated to unsaturated fat ratio as olive oil. All the fat in peanut butter is completely heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat. This is the type of fat that keeps the waistline at bay, and also prevents multiple diseases.
The healthy fats in peanut butter can lower the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream, which lowers your risk for developing heart disease AND type 2 diabetes. Other vitamins and nutrients found in peanut butter, such as folate, vitamin E, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B6, fiber, zinc and resveratrol all aid in the preventative measures against heart disease, diabetes, and can heal and strengthen your immune system. Eating at least one ounce of peanut butter five days a week can reduce the chance of getting diabetes by a whopping 30%. The niacin in peanut butter helps people remain 70% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and to top it all off, eating peanuts and peanut butter has been linked to a lower rate of colon cancer in women. Now that’s impressive.
How to Find the Right Peanut Butter
Simply read the label. Any peanut butter without hydrogenated oils is a great choice, and if you can deal just fine without sugar, even better. Natural, old-fashioned, one-ingredient peanut butter will be your best option. Another way to choose is to look for the peanut butters that contain only peanuts and salt in the ingredients. This is the most flavorful peanut butter, and it won’t have all those extra additives. So, all you need to do is look for natural or organic peanut butter, or those that only contain salt and peanuts, then you won’t have the added junk to worry about.
As James A. Garfield once said, man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.