Peanut butter has a satiating effect while providing vegetable protein, minerals and fiber. The latter support the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Quality Nutrient Supply
A peanut butter supply can be quite important from a nutritional standpoint. In addition, it will keep your appetite satiated for longer.
Due to its nutritional properties, apart from its ability to calm hunger, peanut butter is used in many weight loss diets.
Nutritional Properties of Peanut Butter
Understanding the potential of this food may encourage you to include it as part of a healthy diet. Apart from being a very complete product, it has a good energy supply per 100g, a remarkable nutrient supply and low sugar content. But above all, its fat profile is mostly made up of mono and polyunsaturated fats.
As we have already mentioned, peanut butter is a very dense food in terms of calories. However, it also contains a great nutrient supply even in small portions. It provides a number of vitamins and minerals that we all need on a daily basis for our growth, metabolism and immune system. All the nutrients from peanuts have their own properties, but together, they work in synergy in order to improve our health.
Nutrient Facts about Peanut Butter
Protein for Athletes
Due to its high protein content, it is specially good for muscle growth. Protein-rich products are advised during childhood, adolescence and pregnancy because we need a higher supply of this nutrient during this periods.
For athletes, due to muscle wear, it can be an excellent protein source as well as its protein supply. These features will support the recovery processes and the regeneration of muscle fibers. At the same time, vegan athletes will also benefit from peanut butter since it is a vegetable product.
Vitamins and Minerals
Peanut butter is a good source of group B vitamins. These elements are necessary so that our body can use the energy from the food we eat::
- Niacin helps to transform food into energy for our metabolism. In addition, it is also involved in several tasks directly connected with the digestive system, the skin or the nervous system. A portion of peanut butter meets around a 24 per cent of our daily requirements.
- Folate is another vitamin B that is very important during childhood and specially for pregnant women.
- Pantothenic acid is actively involved in the energy metabolism of carbs and fats. Moreover, it contributes to the digestion and absorption of protein.
- Thiamine is crucial for the proper functioning of the heart and the transmission of nerve signals to the muscles. On top of that, it also helps to transform carbohydrates into energy.
- Riboflavin is a coenzyme that performs chemical reactions in our organism. It is actively involved in the cell energy metabolism, apart from preserving tissues like the ones from the nervous system, eyes and skin.
- Vitamin B6 is involved in the red cell metabolism and the protein metabolism. It works as a cofactor in several physiological processes. Moreover, it has the ability to intervene in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin or norepinephrine.
- Choline is essential when it comes to preserving the structure of the cell membrane and its functioning. At the same time, it is important for the cognition and memory, specially during childhood.
- Peanut butter is a great source of vitamin E. Apart from being a great antioxidant, taking vitamin E lowers the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases and reduces some of the symptoms of diabetes.
- Zinc, a mineral that performs several chemical reactions in the body. In fact, it is an essential mineral for the protein synthesis that helps to regulate the production of immune cells. A serving of peanut butter approximately provides 10% of the RDA.
- Magnesium, possibly one of the minerals that performs more tasks. It preserves the proper functioning of the neuromuscular system and the heartbeat, as well as keeping the blood pressure under control. A serving of peanut butter provides around a 12% of the RDA.
- Potassium preserves the proper balance of fluids and electrolytes in our body. In fact, is is essential for the brain function and nervous system, apart from contributing to the growth of muscle tissues. A serving of peanut butter provides a 5% of the RDA approximately.
- Phosphorus supports the formation of bones and teeth. Moreover, it also helps to synthesize proteins for the growth, maintenance and repair of cells and tissues. A serving of peanut butter provides around a 15% of the RDA.
- Iron, a crucial component of different proteins and enzymes for our health. Above all, it is mainly involved in the oxygen transport. A serving of peanut butter supplies around a 10% of the RDA.
- Copper plays an important role in the production of some proteins like collagen and hemoglobin, which is in charge of transporting the oxygen. A serving provides around a 20% of the RDA.
- Manganese works as an enzymatic cofactor in many chemical reactions of the body. A serving of peanut butter provides a 25% of the RDA approximately.
- Selenium, an antioxidant agent that protects the cells against the free radicals. In addition, it helps to regulate the thyroid function and the maintenance of the nervous system. One serving of peanut butter provides around a 5% of the RDA.
The antioxidants are beneficial substances for our health due to the fact that they counter and reduce the harmful effects of the free radicals.
Peanut butter contains polyphenols, compounds that are present in plants and which have antioxidant properties. Above all, they have anti-inflammatory effects that support our health in general against the free radicals and cell oxidation. Polyphenols can also reduce the risk of suffering cancer and cardiovascular diseases. On top of that, they can also produce anti-aging effects and positive effects on arthritis.
The plants produce resveratrol, an anti-microbial substance that protects the organism against the threats during growth stages. A high dose of resveratrol can considerably lower the blood sugar levels. Moreover, it has positive effects on cardiovascular health. Resveratrol can produce anti-aging effects, although it is being currently studied.
Source of Dietary Fiber
Peanut butter is a great source of dietary fiber which supports the digestive tract. A proper fiber intake can help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. Moreover, it can also prevent constipation and regulate the blood cholesterol levels, among other benefits.
Source of Health Fats
The main function of the peanut butter will be providing a source of healthy fats according to the objectives of a fitness diets. Peanuts are an excellent source of Essential Fatty Acids which help to lower the cholesterol levels and keep the heart healthy.
A high Unsaturated Fat content such as…
- Monounsaturated Fats
- Polyunsaturated Fats
…when compared to the Saturated Fat content, is one of the main properties of Peanut Butter as an excellent source of nutrients.
Benefits of Unsaturated Fats
- Increasing the HDL cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol
- Reducing the risk of suffering a heart problem
- Providing a source of energy that the body uses instead of storing, like saturated fats
- Contributing to the absorption of fat soluble vitamins
Peanut Butter for Cutting or Bulking Phase?
Peanut butter can help both to gain weight and to lose weight, when controlling the amount will be the most important aspect:
- If we want to get some extra calories to our diet, adding 2 extra spoonfuls will be enough
- On the contrary, if we want to lose weight, we will have to eat products with a high satiety rate. That is the case of peanut butter.
On the other hand, it does not have many carbohydrates, which is why it would also fit in a low carb diet. Then, peanut butter is quite versatile and it can be used in many recipes. For instance, you can add some to a protein shake, spread it on toasts, or cook some pancakes or muffins…
What type of Peanut Butter should I buy?
In a perfect world, when it comes to purchasing Peanut Butter, that should be precisely the only ingredient.
After all, peanut butter is simply smashed peanuts. Therefore, anything else will not be necessary at all.
We suggest avoiding those products that claim to be “low-fat”, since they have most certainly been treated. In fact, in the worst cases, they will include partially hydrogenated fats or even sugars, which are not good for our health. If the peanut butter has been combined with whey protein or flavorings, we will have to check the label carefully.
In some cases, we can find the “Smooth” variety where the peanut butter has been completely smashed. On the other hand, the “Crunchy” version will include delicious peanut bits!