Ah, peanut butter! This beloved childhood snack has gotten a bad reputation among adults. Perhaps it is because peanut butter is used to such spectacular effect in desserts and other sinful indulgences, and therefore we can’t help but associate something so rich and delicious with junk food.
As it turns out, we’ve been looking at this food in the wrong way. It’s true that over-processed peanut butter can be loaded with extra sugar rendering it unhealthy, but all-natural peanut butter is making a comeback on grocery store shelves, and you should definitely consider adding some to your diet.
It’s Loaded With Potassium
The average person’s diet probably contains too much sodium. One great way to counteract this is by taking in adequate potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte which balances out the negative effects that sodium can have on the body – namely high blood pressure and water retention.
Potassium is also very important for nerve and muscle health. If you’ve ever heard a friend recommend eating bananas as a cure for leg cramps, this is why. All-natural peanut butter contains over 200 mg of potassium per serving, helping to propel you toward your 3500 mg daily recommended intake.
It’s Rich in Fiber
Some adults struggle to maintain an adequate intake of fiber in their diet, which can lead to digestive issues. You may be surprised to know that something as smooth and creamy as peanut butter still contains fiber – 2 g per serving, to be exact. This may not seem like much, but remember that you have the option of spreading all-natural peanut butter on a slice of high-fiber toast, making it a delicious way to aid digestive health.
It’s Heart Healthy
There is often confusion about dietary fat. Make no mistake, your body does need to take in fat in order to function properly, but there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Peanuts happen to be full of monounsaturated fats – aka, the healthy kind.
Adults who consume enough healthy fats tend to have better heart health, as well as less belly fat. There have been many studies linking the accumulation of fat around the midsection to an unhealthy cardiovascular system. So, replacing unhealthy fats in your diet with healthy ones like all-natural peanut butter can be beneficial for your heart.
It Can Help You Lose Weight
No, we’re not kidding. Foods that are high in healthy fats can be very satisfying, meaning you are less likely to go on the hunt for snacks later on. But appetite suppression is only one piece of the weight loss puzzle.
Peanut butter also contains an amazing substance called piceatannol. When nutritionists studied the effects of piceatannol, they were surprised to find that it appears to help the body prevent immature fat cells from developing into mature ones. So peanut butter may actually be one of your best allies for fat loss – assuming it’s the all-natural variety!
Feeling a little less guilty now? Peanut butter is a much-misunderstood food, but by opting for a high-quality, all-natural brand, it seems you really are doing your body a favor by welcoming this decadent favorite back into your diet.