To some people with an eating disorder, peanut butter is a fabulous food, and to others it is a fearful food. I am going to try to set the record straight on this misunderstood food!
Peanut butter is NOT a “fattening” food. As you all know by now, there is NO such thing as a fattening food. Foods that are high in fat are NOT fattening, they are merely a good source of fat which is an ESSENTIAL nutrient. Fat is as essential as calcium, as vitamin C, as carbohydrate, as water! Fat in food does NOT equal fat on the body.
Some of you may avoid it because it has been a binge food for you. I would encourage those of you who have had this issue to try to eat it only when you are feeling like you can eat it in safe amounts, or bring a small container of it with you to work or school etc, so it is self-limiting.
Here are the facts:
Peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts, and they originated from Brazil.
Most of the fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated, and has been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. Peanut butter also contains polyunsaturated fat, which helps raise the “good” HDL cholesterol. By having this great combination of fats, peanut butter is an excellent good cholesterol regulator. Also, fats in your diet are a form of energy (second to carbohydrates), they help you make hormones, help your brain transmit messages more effectively, and they are part of every cell membrane in your body.
Peanut butter contains a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps in regulating both blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Dietary fiber also reduces the risk of certain cancers and helps you go to the bathroom.
Peanut butter is a great protein source.
It also contains micronutrients like Vitamin E, Vitamin B3, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and calcium.
Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants, which reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Peanut butter contains much higher quantities of antioxidants than apples or carrots.
Vitamin B3 (also known as Niacin) is a vitamin that helps in the repair of cell DNA damage (protecting from cancer).
Iron is essential for the health of your red blood cells, and calcium promotes healthy bones and shields against muscle spasms.
Peanut butter has a fairly good amount of potassium, an essential electrolyte. Diets rich in potassium help you maintain a healthy fluid balance and offset the effects of dehydration. (Bananas are an even better source of potassium, so you might want to make a banana and peanut butter sandwich!).
One of the most interesting and unusual nutrients found in peanut butter is resveratrol, a natural anti-microbial and anti-fungal ingredient. There are studies that show many health benefits of resveratrol, ranging from anti-cancer, antiviral, anti-aging, brain-protective and life-prolonging (most of these tests have not been carried out on humans yet though.)
The next time you say you won’t eat peanut butter, remember how healthy and delicious it is! Peanut butter is also such a versatile food. You can have it creamy or chunky, natural or regular. You can eat it on a sandwich, in a celery stalk, on rice cakes, mixed in a smoothie, mixed in ice cream or yogurt, made into cookies, mixed in chocolate, or just on a spoon. The sky is the limit!
Please share some of the ways you enjoy this fantastic food!Share on Facebook