A lot of people love peanut butter. They use it as a spread, an ingredient in various dishes and a flavouring agent. After all, it’s so delicious and versatile, who wouldn’t? Aside from being a delicious treat, peanut butter is oozing with health benefits. In fact, peanut butter can help control Alzheimer’s, reduce the risk of degenerative nerve disease, combat cancer, protect against heart disease and ease diabetes. Not only that, it is also essential in reducing hypertension and the risk of contracting fungal and viral infections. Give this article a read to learn more about the wonders of peanut butter.
What is Peanut Butter?
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Peanut butter is a paste that comes from roasted, dry peanuts. Generally, this paste is used as a spread on sandwiches or toast. It is a healthy food, ull of nutrients like
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Pantothenic acid
- Monounsaturated fatty acids
Peanuts are a type of nut that belongs to the Fabaceae plant family and the Arachis hypogaea species. The peanut plant itself is small, so the branch of the flower touches the ground and the peanuts often grow in the soil. The plant is believed to have originated in the Americas, but Spanish travelers introduced it globally. Unlike other nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios and cashews, peanuts are affordable and offer the same health benefits.
Moreover, peanut butter comes in two different famous varieties: crunch and creamy. The first commercially marketed peanut was introduced in 1884 in the United States.
Nutritional Facts of Peanut Butter
Eating peanuts or peanut butter will give you a high intake of fats, proteins, folate, vitamin E, vitamin A, fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients. Furthermore, peanuts contain no saturated fats, just unsaturated fats, which is good news for those who don’t want to gain weight. In fact, peanut butter is a great addition to your diet if you’re looking to lose weight.
Precautions Against Peanut Butter
One of the major risks that comes with the peanut butter is allergies. If you are allergic to peanuts, you shouldn’t eat a lot of peanut butter, and you may even want to avoid it altogether. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include angioedema, asthma, anaphylaxis, abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. If left untreated, the anaphylactic shock may be deadly. About 3 million people in America are affected by a peanut allergy at any given time.
Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
Here are some of the most remarkable health benefits of peanut butter:
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels. Peanut butter is a great source of magnesium, an essential nutrient for muscle and bone development, as well as immunity.
- Helps prevent cancer. This is one of the best health benefits of peanut butter and is all thanks to its B-sitosterol, a variety of phytosterol that helps fight off cancer. More specifically, peanut butter can treat breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
- Rich in antioxidants. Due to the presence of thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, niacin and folate in peanut butter, it possesses antioxidant properties. Furthermore, it also possesses resveratrol, which is essential in controlling various types of cancer and chronic illnesses.
- Good source of essential vitamins. There are lots and lots of vitamins in peanut butter which are essential for the overall health.
- Helps prevent type 2 diabetes. Peanut butter helps reduce type 2 diabetes through its protein and unsaturated fats. These kind of fats are essential in improving the insulin sensitivity of the body.
- Helps lower cholesterol. The fat content of peanut butter is almost the same as that of olive oil, containing both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Since these fats are unsaturated, they’re not likely to cause any risks to the heart health.
- Rich source of protein. Peanut butter has an enormous amount of protein. The protein that we eat is broken down into essential amino acids which are then utilized by all of the cells inside the body to repair and build.