“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.”
– James A. Garfield
All might agree with James Garfield that bread without peanut butter is boring. However, the kids’ lunchbox partner is not just a delicious filling for sandwiches but also used as an ingredient in many delicacies around the world. It is used for smoothies, desserts, viands, cookies and more. Perhaps you already have a specific food in mind when mentioning it.
But before your mouth waters and your appetite turn in full gusto for peanut butter, leaving this article alone, let’s explore about the peanut butter that will make you want it even more. For instance, it’s health benefits?
Great! Keep reading.
Brief facts and history
Peanut butter source is unquestionably peanuts. Peanuts are part of the family of legumes and one of the protein source of vegetarians.
Peanut paste is created by milling and roasting peanut until it turns semi-fluid, mixing it with additional spices such as salt or sugar.
At first, in the early 1900s, peanut butter is considered as a fancy food for wealthy people as it was found inside their tea rooms. Only high-class health institutes also served the product by that time.
George Washington Carver is not the inventor of peanut butter, but his paper in 1916 entitled, “How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it For Human Consumption” has a great contribution in the science world, making the food scientists, doctors, and pharmacist come up with a lot of method of preparing peanut butter.
Peanut butter health benefits
In addition to the delicious benefits of peanut butter, eating it can also result in having a healthy body. Unless you are allergic to peanuts, which can literally kill you, peanut butter is recommendable for its positive outcome.
Peanut butter is good for losing weight as the protein and fiber it possesses make you feel full for longer hours, resulting in lesser consumption of food. It is also advisable to include in a low-carb diet as a pure peanut butter possesses 20% carbohydrates.
Peanut butter can also make you energize, which make it a good choice to serve in breakfast.
Furthermore, a serving of peanut butter consists the following nutrition:
- 0.17 mg of vitamin B6 (for boosting the immune system)
- 208 mg of potassium (which is good for the building and repairing muscles; it is also good for the kidney and nervous system to work in order)
- 49 mg of magnesium (for bone building, better mental health, and muscle recovery)
- 3 mg of vitamin E (which is an antioxidant)
On the other hand, a 100 grams serving of peanut butter has the following benefits:
- Seventy-two percent calories because of the 50 grams of fat
- Twenty-five grams of protein, totaling about 15% of calories which is higher compared to other protein plant sources
- Twenty grams of carbohydrate, which 6 are fiber, totaling about 13% of calories
Peanut itself can result in a lesser risk of diabetes, heart problems, and other chronic diseases. In fact, a study shows that an ounce of peanut butter (this is equal to two tablespoons) can reduce the risk of diabetes by 30% if consume 5 times a week. The all-time favorite filling is even high in monounsaturated fats. These fats are also found in olive oils which is heart-friendly.
If you are looking for an anti-cancer food, peanut butter is also your buddy. It is full of polyphenolic antioxidants which will make a person free from cancer in the stomach.
Lastly, the spread is rich in resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant which acts as a protector against diseases such as heart problems, cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, degenerative nerve disease, and fungal or viral infections.
There was a study which states that the chemical compound niacin found in food helps reduce the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, peanut butter is one of the sources of niacin.
So, if someone pointed that you are spreading too much peanut butter on your bread; stop talking to that person immediately. The kind of pessimism he or she is delivering is barely beneficial for you.
But of course, this part is just sarcasm. You might want to listen for that someone’s explanation of why too much peanut butter is not so good.
The downside of peanut butter
And so everything has its downside.
First and foremost, the spread is not advisable for people who are allergic to peanuts. Remember that peanut butter is made of peanut and will, therefore, cause the same allergic reactions once take in.
Also, peanuts can have a harmful substance called aflatoxins, which source is the mold Aspergillus. As peanuts are grown underground, they tend to be attacked by the mentioned mold resulting for the harmful substance to affect it.
The effects of aflatoxins are short-term and humans are noted to be resistant to it. However, it is not fully recognized what aflatoxins can do down the line. There are some studies which connect the harmful substance to mental retardation as well as liver cancer, but these studies need more evidence to be proven.
On the bright side, say that peanuts are really infected with aflatoxins, the process of making it into a peanut butter can decrease the substance by 89%.
Peanut butter is basically not a processed food because the process only includes roasting peanuts until it turns almost liquid. However, this is not the case for the other commercial brands. Some brands contain ingredients that can be harmful to the health if consumed too much. For example, heart diseases are linked to too much consumption of trans fat and added sugar; and many of peanut butter products have these ingredients.
To have the full benefits of peanut butter, you better choose real peanut butter instead of buying these commercial brands. Basically, peanut butter has identical properties as of peanuts because it is simply a semi-liquid form of the nut, spice with a bit of salt.