Peanut Butter! An all time favorite food enjoyed by many and most likely never thought of as a health food. One of the biggest misconceptions to a healthy balanced diet is eating fat will make you fat. This is not the case if your taking in the correct fats. Natural Peanut butter being one of these correct fats has many health benefits that your body can benefit from as well as benefiting your taste buds.
- 71% calories from fats
- 14% calories from carbohydrates
- 15% calories from protein
This means that the vast majority of calories come from fats, which is why it is generally advised that obese people avoid eating too large an amount of peanut butter.
The total calorie content in 100 grams of peanut butter is 589Cal, placing it among the most caloric foods in the typical U.S kitchen. Most of the fats contained are however monounsaturated, and have been shown to improve the cholesterol profile by lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol. This effect is compounded by peanut butter containing polyunsaturated fats, which in turn help raising the "good" HDL cholesterol; the synergistic effect makes this spread a very good cholesterol regulator.
Peanut butter contains fairly high quantities of dietary fiber, amounting to about 8%, which again helps in regulating both blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Dietary fiber has also been shown to significantly reduce the risk of colo-rectal cancer and atherosclerosis.
Proteins are present in high amounts (about 24% in weight), together with very important micro-nutrients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin B3 and large amounts of beneficial minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and calcium.
Vitamin E is one of the most powerful liposoluble antioxidants, shown to significantly reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases; Vitamin B3 (also known as Niacin) is a water-soluble vitamin that aids in the recovery of cell DNA damage (thus protecting from cancer) and in improving sexual bodily functions by assuring the proper secretion of sexual hormones.
One of the most interesting and peculiar nutrients found in peanuts is Resveratrol: this is a natural antimicrobial agent, produced by the peanut plant to ward off potential pathogens. Resveratrol is also found in red wine. click here for the health benefits of red wine.
Another peculiar substance contained in peanut butter is p-coumaric acid, a polyphenol that helps combat oxidative stress.
Moderation is KEY when it comes to natural peanut butter consumption. Just like with anything too much will slow your progress. I suggest having 1 to 2 tbsp a day to reap the benefits of this delicious health food and make sure that your purchasing Natural Peanut Butter