The health benefits of peanut butter keep stacking up and include a reduced risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and other general health benefits. It has also been associated with decreasing hypertension and the risk of contracting viral and fungal infections. What is Peanut Butter? Peanut butter is a paste made from dry, roasted peanuts. This paste is generally used as a spread on toast or sandwiches. Peanuts, a type of ground nuts, belong to the family of Fabaceae and species of Arachis hypogaea. The plant itself is small in which the branch of the flower touches the ground and grows underneath. It is thought to have originated in the American continent and through Spanish travellers, it was spread all over the world. Unlike costly nuts such as cashew nuts, pistachio nuts, almonds, and walnuts, peanuts are low-cost nuts that offer similar benefits. Health Benefits of Peanut Butter Apart from its great taste, peanut butter has vital nutrients that are essential for the body. The health benefits of this tasty butter include the following: Rich Source of Protein Peanut butter (100 grams) contains a high amount of protein (25 – 30 grams). Proteins that we eat are broken down into amino acids, which are then utilized in each and every cell for repairing and building the body. Lowers Cholesterol Levels Peanuts are an excellent source of compounds like resveratrol, phenolic acids, flavonoids and phytosterols that completely stop the absorption of cholesterol from the diet. The fat content in peanut butter is almost equal to that of the fats found in olive oil. It contains both polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. As these fats are not saturated, they are good to consume without putting the heart at any risk. The unsaturated fats in peanut butter help to lower bad cholesterol levels (low-density lipoprotein) and promote the circulation of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein). Prevention Type II Diabetes Consuming peanut butter can also be beneficial in reducing the risk of type II diabetes. Peanuts contain not only protein but also unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats have been noted to improve insulin sensitivity. Research into peanut butter consumption and diabetes showed that a higher intake of peanut butter and other nuts lowers the risk of type II diabetes. Good Source of Vitamins Peanut butter contains many vitamins that are good for our body to function properly. Vitamin A found in it is helpful for eyesight, while vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and heals simple ulcers faster. On the other hand, vitamin E found in peanut butter is a very important micronutrient needed by our body to dissolve complex fatty acid structures and fat blockages in the arteries. Antioxidant Properties Peanut butter contains antioxidant properties due to the presence of folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and thiamin. One of the antioxidants found in it is resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic antioxidant which may help in controlling chronic diseases. Reduce Risk of Gallstones Gallstones, a major health risk in developed countries, is caused by being overweight, crash diets, certain types of cholesterol drugs, and birth control pills. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on peanuts and nut consumption relating to the risk of gallstones was undertaken and the results of the study showed that over a period of 2 decades, women who consumed peanut butter and nuts on a regular basis had reduced their risk of developing gallstones. Rich in Dietary Fiber Peanuts and peanut butter are both high in dietary fibre. One cup or approximately 125 g of peanuts and peanut butter has 12g and 20g of dietary fibre, respectively. Dietary fibre is one of the most important parts of our diet since a lack of dietary fibre can lead to several health problems and diseases such as constipation, diabetes, cholesterol, and various heart diseases.
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