6 Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
Last updated on August 7, 2011
Peanut butter was first made by the Aztecs hundreds of years ago. Today, peanut butter is a staple in many kitchens. It is healthy if you avoid brands that use unnecessary ingredients like sugar and added oils. Peanut butter with no added ingredients is the best. The only ingredient in peanut butter should be peanuts! If possible, you’ll also want to buy organic peanut butter because conventional peanuts are grown with a long list of pesticides that end up in the peanut butter.
One caveat: both conventional and organic brands of peanut butter may contain trace amounts of aflatoxin, a toxin created by the Aspergillus flavus fungus. Aflatoxin is becoming less of a problem these days thanks to better methods of growing, storing, and processing the peanuts. Most experts say that the amount of aflatoxin in commercial peanut better is usually well below the FDA’s recommended safe level.
Here are six health benefits of peanut butter.
Peanut butter is high in calories and each bite packs a bunch of nutrition. It contains both protein and healthy monosaturated fats, which will give you the energy pick-me-up that you are looking for. Additionally, peanut butter has other nutrients including vitamin B3, tryptophan, and manganese.
The monounsaturated fat in peanut butter has been linked with a decrease in the risk of heart disease. Also, peanuts contain fiber, and a diet high in fiber will reduce bad (LDL)cholesterol levels. Peanut butter also contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with lower levels of heart disease.
Peanut butter is a great source of iron, which helps to maintain good circulation. Other minerals in peanut butter include calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium.
Blood Sugar Control
The protein and fiber in peanut butter are both beneficial for blood sugar control. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, or you are at risk of diabetes, including peanut butter in your diet may be beneficial because it will stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Peanut butter contains resveratrol , an antioxidant that has been linked with lower levels of heart disease and cancer. Some studies suggest that resveratrol may reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
The antioxidants and fiber in peanut butter help to reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants are effective because they clean up free radical activity within the body and fiber will reduce the risk of colon cancer because it keeps waste moving efficiently through the intestines.