Peanut butter has become a lunchtime, and even snack time staple consumed by kids and adults at home, school, and in the office. The food paste — primarily made from ground, dry roasted peanut — a legume and not a nut — was perfected into a more easily spread paste in 1933 and has since then been an ingredient in recipes. The cholesterol-free and protein-rich spread coming in at just under 200 calories is not only a tasty preference, but also a healthy food. So, it’s time to stop feeling guilty about reaching into the peanut butter jar, and learn the four ways the smooth or chunky spread is good for your health on National Peanut Butter Day.
1. Peanut Butter Helps You Lose the Pounds
Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter can be a dietary food for those looking to lose weight. Although, it can range anywhere from 180 to 210 calories per two tablespoons, the spread contains fiber and protein that can ward off hunger. High-fiber foods provide volume and also take longer to digest which is what produces a longer “full” effect on fewer calories. The National Peanut Board considers peanuts to be the “total package” when it comes its protein, healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin and mineral content.
2. Peanut Butter Keeps Your Skin Healthy and Smooth
The secret to fresh, healthy looking skin may lie in the peanut butter jar in the kitchen. The food paste is high in its vitamin B12 content and also contains riboflavin vitamin B2 — vitamins responsible for healthy skin. The University of Maryland Medical Centers says vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining healthy nerve cells, and also helps the production of DNA and RNA — the body’s genetic material. It can regulate the skin’s pigment production and location by preventing hyperpigmentation, the darkening of the skin, from ruining a person’s complexion. Vitamin B2 has been used to treat patients with rosacea and other skin conditions to promote healthy looking skin.
3. Peanut Butter Helps Build Strong Bones, Repair Muscle Tissue
Opening the peanut butter jar may require some physical strength, but in turn will provide you with stronger bones. Thirty-two grams or two tablespoons of peanut butter contain approximately one percent of calcium, which keeps bones healthy and strong. The spread is also considered to be one of the best sources of protein, a nutrient which expectant moms need to consume, according to Kidshealth.org. The 7 grams of protein in a two tablespoon serving helps the body use the amino acids found in the protein to help build and repair muscle tissue.
4. Peanut Butter Protects Your Heart
The tasty food spread, which comes in a smooth or chunky variety, contains 16 percent of the daily value of saturated fat. Although saturated foods are typically viewed as unhealthy, the Harvard Medical School says peanut butter contains the same amount of saturated to unsaturated fats as olive oil. The poly- and monounsaturated fats can help lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol which can reduce the risk of heart disease. The less cholesterol that is built up in the arteries, the better the blood flow traveling to and from the heart.