A common breakfast meal of the West is the Peanut Butter Sandwich. Although quick and easy to make, it is a highly nutritious snack which can be a great way to start your day. The best part about peanut butter is- that it is yummy and a kids’ favourite. A peanut butter sandwich can serve as one healthy snack for kids who love throwing tantrums and do not eat healthy food. However, due to a myth that peanuts are fattening, many health-conscious people are afraid to embrace and include peanut butter in their diet. But this is far from the fact. A scoopful of this nutty deliciousness is loaded with a number of health benefits. Besides being a source of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein, they are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, Vitamin B3, folate, magnesium, copper and manganese.
Health Benefits Of Peanut Butter
Let us now discover how peanut butter uses can benefit our health:
Peanut butter is hailed by diet and fitness experts as it is a great way to boost weight loss. Although a serving of peanut butter contains 150-200 calories, consuming a serving of high protein peanut butter suppresses hunger. This is even true for emotional eaters. This works because peanut butter is rich in fibre and protein, which help us feel full for longer.
2.Promotes Cardiac Health
We already know that peanut butter is rich in healthy fats or unsaturated fats. Besides that, peanut butter helps in restoring the damage done to cells by an existing cardiovascular disease. Being rich in unsaturated fat, peanut butter is a good option and lowers the risk of coronary heart disease.
3.Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Being low in carbohydrates, peanut butter is a good choice for people who have type 2 diabetes. It contains magnesium which helps control blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels. Research also suggests that eating 2 tablespoons of high protein peanut butter 5 days a week helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes by about 30%.
4.Promotes Sleep and Improves Mood
For those late-night snacking sessions, a scoop of peanut butter can help improve your sleep. This is because peanut butter contains an amino acid called tryptophan which regulates your body’s sleep hormones, mainly serotonin and melatonin. Coincidentally, serotonin is also known as the happy hormone and eating peanut butter boosts the production of serotonin.
Gallstones are hard deposits of bile in the gallbladder. They commonly occur because of the high percentage of cholesterol. Since peanuts have the ability to reduce our body’s bad cholesterol, ‘LDL’ and increase the level of good cholesterol of ‘HDL’, consumption of peanut butter reduces the possibility of the formation of gallstones.
6.Aids in Bodybuilding
High protein peanut butter is useful for bodybuilders as they require a good amount of protein in their diet. A spoonful of natural healthy peanut butter contains 8g of protein, 2g of fibre, 208 mg of potassium and over half a gram of iron. It, therefore, contains the perfect blend of nutrients required by a bodybuilder to support heavy lifting.
7.Promotes Strong Bones
Being abundant in iron and calcium, peanut butter helps to promote strong and healthy bones in our body. Vitamin K, also found in peanut butter, helps in the efficient transportation of calcium throughout the body and promotes the absorption of essential nutrients. Subsequently, high protein peanut butter prevents muscle cramps and fatigue. Thus, regular peanut butter use can improve our body's bone and muscle health of our body.
Besides being a source of essential vitamins and minerals, peanut butter also contains antioxidants like folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, resveratrol, and pantothenic acid. Each of these performs a specific function in our body. For instance, niacin helps in lowering cholesterol levels and improves digestion and nerve function. On the other hand, riboflavin helps convert food into energy and helps our body absorb essential nutrients. To fight chronic diseases, resveratrol comes into play.
9.Keeps Cancer at Bay
Many studies have confirmed that peanut butter has the capability of preventing various types of cancer, especially those of the colon, breast and prostate. Peanut butter is able to do so as it contains a substance called Beta-sitosterol, which controls the formation and spread of cancerous cells in our body.
10.Suppresses Sugar Cravings
Healthy peanut butter can help us to kick our sugar cravings and reduce junk food and other food high in sugar. Peanut butter has a unique salty and sugary flavour and can be used as a substitute for sugar while preparing healthy dishes. High protein peanut butter can be used to make healthier versions of laddoos and peanut butter banana muffins. Being high in healthy fats, peanut butter helps one feel full for a longer period of time.
Peanut butter is rich in dietary fibre and consequently prevents the onset of constipation, obesity and stroke.
Types Of Peanut Butter
So you have decided to incorporate peanut butter into your daily diet. You go to the market and find that there are about 3 main varieties of peanut butter offered. Broadly classified, these are chunky or crunchy peanut butter, creamy or smooth peanut butter and natural or organic peanut butter. Which of these is the healthy peanut butter? Let’s find out!
Both chunky and creamy peanut butter varieties can be bought in natural, organic, homemade and regular varieties. The healthiest peanut butter of these is the natural, homemade and organic versions of peanut butter. While the regular peanut butter contains hydrogenated oil, sugar and preservatives to ensure longer shelf life, it can be harmful because of the hydrogenated oil.
For healthy peanut butter uses, go for the natural peanut butter, which only contains peanuts and oil from the nuts. Since this doesn’t have any added preservatives, this needs to be refrigerated. Another healthy peanut butter variant is the organic peanut butter, which contains no pesticides in the nuts. This might be more expensive but is free of exposure to harmful chemicals. Organic peanut butter also needs to be refrigerated.
The best of all of these varieties is the homemade peanut butter which is budget-friendly as well as healthy. If made and stored properly, this peanut butter can be stored for up to 3 months.
How To Make Peanut Butter At Home:
It is not a very time-consuming process to make peanut butter at home. By following a few quick and easy steps, you can make healthy peanut butter right in your kitchen. To make healthy peanut butter, you would need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups of shelled peanuts
- 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
- 1-2 tablespoons of honey
- 1-2 tablespoons of peanut oil
- First, heat your oven to 350 degrees F to roast the peanuts. Use a baking sheet to roast them for 10 minutes. They should turn light golden in colour and release oil.
- Transfer these roasted peanuts to a food processor and grind them until they are finely chopped. Just pulse them lightly if you want chunky peanut butter. Alternatively, you can remove half a cup of chopped nuts and set them aside.
- Now finely grind the peanuts for 2 minutes until the mixture becomes smooth and glossy. Sprinkle salt, peanut oil and honey and grind them for another 1 or 2 minutes till the mixture becomes completely smooth in texture.
- Your homemade healthy peanut butter is now ready. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three months. Turn the container upside down while using it so that the peanut oils and solids can mix again.
Peanut Butter Uses
There are several peanut butters uses. Popular recipes with peanut butter are - peanut butter and banana smoothie, peanut butter with ice cream, peanut butter with oats, and peanut butter on toast.
Peanut butter used with salads and gravies such as Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce is also becoming increasingly popular due to its health benefits of peanut butter. If you love baked goods and want healthier bakes, the peanut butter used in baking is also quite popular. Some easy-to-make baking items with peanut butter are flourless peanut butter cookies and peanut butter cupcakes. If you want simple desserts without any hassle of baking, peanut butter can be used to create oatmeal peanut butter energy bars, peanut butter crepes, and no-bake peanut butter cookies with oats and flax seeds.
If you are hitting the gym and need a quick snack or a refreshing drink, peanut butter in smoothies and energy bars is exactly what you need. Peanut butter protein is an excellent way to amp up the protein intake of fitness freaks which is equivalent to any branded protein powders and supplements.
Peanut butter protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals provide our body with many benefits. We should try to include peanut butter uses in our daily routine to maximise and experience its positive effects on our bodies. In fact, I don’t know of another healthier snack which is so crunchy and delicious at the same time. Do you?
Also try Auric Peanut butter and herbs
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.