By Myprotein Writer
There are few foods out there that are generally considered to be delicious and healthy, yet, if you make the right choices, there can be a few exceptions here and there. Peanut butter for example, is an incredibly rich, decadent, and delicious treat that can also potentially be healthy, if you purchase the right varieties.
We all crave rich and delicious foods from time to time, yet if we’re training, one moment of weakness can set us back days, even weeks, which is hardly ideal now, is it? Peanut butter however, is one of those foods that we crave regularly, and can actually include as part of our diet plans and training routines.
Here’s a look at five primary health benefits of peanut butter.
#1 Source of Protein
Peanuts are a natural source of protein that many people tend to overlook in favour of foods such as meat, and seafood. With peanut butter however, as it is so delicious, well, people are far less likely to overlook it.
Protein is vital for cellular function and repair, not to mention the fact that it plays a vital role in protein synthesis, and muscle growth and recovery.
✓ Two tablespoons of peanut butter will provide around 7–8 grams of protein, which is very reasonable indeed, and will certainly help you on your way to your daily macro-nutrient goals and targets.
#2 Good Cholesterol
Another benefit of natural peanut butter, is the fact that it has been suggested to be a heart healthy food (1).
The reason for this is that peanuts are packed full of healthy fats, which have been suggested to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
✓ This in turn may help to reduce fatty deposits and build-ups in the arteries.
When people talk about the health benefits of bananas, one of the first examples that tends to come to mind, is the fact that they are a great source of potassium. Well, pound for pound, peanuts are even higher in potassium than bananas, which makes them very healthy and beneficial indeed.
Potassium helps to reduce the build-up of lactic acid, plus it can help to reduce the harmful effects of too much sodium in the diet. Too much sodium can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, obesity, hypertension, renal failure, stroke, and much more besides.
✓ To reap the main benefits, look for a completely natural peanut butter containing no added salt, and no added anything else for that matter.
#4 Energy Booster
People often think that carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the human body when in reality, evolutionary speaking at least, it could be debated that fat that is a quality source of energy. As mentioned previously, peanut butter is packed full of healthy fats and proteins, which provide a substantial amount of calories for the body.
What’s more, the calories provided in the form of these healthy fats are immediately utilised by the body, allowing them to not be stored in the form of body fat – and with this, your body could receive an instant energy boost (2). Peanut butter, in small amounts, could therefore be considered a suitable pre-workout fuel source before you hit the gym and train.
✓ Try pairing a tablespoon of peanut butter with rice cakes for a pre-workout or anytime snack!
Fibre is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fibre helps to:
✓ Promote healthy digestion
✓ Increase nutrient uptake and absorption
✓ Help keep you feeling full for longer
Generally, two tablespoons of peanut butter will provide around 2g of fibre.
✓ We require around 30g per day according to government guidelines, but that 2g is certainly a substantial amount, especially when supplemented with other foods.
Take Home Message
Peanut butter can definitely be a great source of fats and proteins implemented into your diet. Just ensure to look out for those with additives including salt, sugar, oil, and other artificial preservatives.
Good quality peanut butter contains nothing but, well, peanuts!