Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have been a staple in most homes for decades, but it may surprise you that there are actual health benefits attached to eating peanut butter. Peanut butter is easily consumed with fruits, as a spread, and even by the spoonful. Regular consumption of peanut butter can help decrease your risk of developing a lot of serious health disorders and increase your energy. If you need a reason to dip into your kid's supply, here are some of the many health benefits of peanut butter.
1. It Can Help You Lose Weight
One look at the calorie count of peanut butter and you may be wary about calling it a diet food, but the truth is that peanut butter offers the perfect combination of fiber and protein to fill you up. Snack on some veggies and peanut butter and you will feel full for much longer than any other similar calorie snack. The result is that you will eat much less overall and still get the healthy calories you need.
2. It Can Lower Your Death Risk
Lowering your death risk may seem like a lofty goal for a household staple, but if any food item can do it, its peanut butter. The reason why is because peanut butter, and most nuts in general, have a high density of protective and health-promoting nutrients. They are packed full of a healthy fat profile with plenty of mono and polyunsaturated fats sitting right next to antioxidants, potassium, fiber, and phytosterols. In short, peanut butter is the superfood you didn’t know you are already consuming.
3. It's Packed with Good Fat
As a society, most people have been taught that fat is bad, but in reality, there are a lot of good fats that your body actually needs to ward off disease and work correctly. Peanut butter is packed full of these healthy fats known as monounsaturated fat. Studies have shown that those who eat these fats on a regular basis have less belly fat than those who eat saturated fats or more carbs in their place. Plus, when products lack salt, usually more ingredients are added which ups the calorie count, but with pure peanut butter this doesn’t happen.
4. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
New studies have suggested that regular consumption of peanut butter can actually help you reduce your risk of developing diabetes in the future. In fact, one study found that those who ate one ounce of peanut or nut butter at least five times a week lowered their risk of developing diabetes by almost 30%. The healthy fats and the many other nutrients packed into that one ounce of peanut butter are the reason why.
5. Healthier Nerves and Muscles
There is a reason why peanut butter is a common flavor and additive in protein bars and shakes because it is packed full of nutrients that your nerves and muscles need to gain strength. Peanut butter is very high in magnesium, which is an essential mineral that powers more than 300 processes in your body. The high amount of magnesium in peanut butter allows it to help you detoxify your body, produce more energy, form stronger bones and teeth, and maintain a much healthier nervous system.
6. Boosts Your Energy Levels
Peanut butter offers anyone who consumes it the perfect trifecta of nutrients: fiber, protein, and healthy fat. This results in an instant energy boost that can offer you a great kick off in the morning or a pick me up when you are dragging near the middle or end of the day. Additionally, it offers energy without causing a spike in your blood sugar, which means you are not going to suffer from a crash later on after you eat it.
7. It Counteracts or Prevents Inflammation
Peanut butter is a great way to prevent inflammation or counteract it because it is so high in omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats are inflammatory mediators. This means that they help to keep inflammation levels balanced in the body along with other healthy omega fats. If you want to get the most out of peanut butter's anti-inflammatory omegas, you will want to combine your peanut butter with a healthy serving of omega-3 containing foods like flaxseed, chia seeds, or fish.
8. Peanut Butter Can Calm You
Everyone likes to indulge in a childhood favorite now and then. Believe it or not, the calm you feel after eating a spoonful of peanut butter may actually be more about its chemical composition than nostalgia. Peanut butter has a high amount of beta-sitosterol. This is a plant sterol, that has been shown to help bring down cortisol levels and balance them against other hormones. This means that if you are stressed, consuming peanut butter can actually help your body level out your stress hormones so you can relax.
9. You May Get Smarter
A simple peanut butter snack every day may be a great way to gain a few intelligence points. Some studies suggest that the monounsaturated fats found in abundance in peanut butter are actually linked to brain fitness. Monounsaturated fats help protect your brain health and function via their antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, they prevent free radicals from damaging the brain so you can stay as sharp as you are now for years to come.
10. Peanut Butter Can ‘Turn Off’ the Fat Gene
Believe it or not, regular consumption of peanut butter may actually help you stay thinner against your genetic makeup. This is because they contain a compound called genistein that acts directly against the genes that cause obesity. It helps to turn down their effects and reduces the way that your body can store fat. Therefore, regular consumption of peanut butter can make your uphill battle to stay in shape a bit easier.