As kids, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is easily a favorite and you couldn’t possibly get enough of it. Then you grow up, start worrying about your health and put your diet under the microscope to analyze everything. You get to peanut butter and you wonder, do I ditch this old fave or can it possibly be part of my diet?
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. It is a healthy food  that is full of nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, monounsaturated fatty acids, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, sodium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, copper, iron, and zinc.
The health benefits of peanut butter cannot be denied. This kitchen favorite has a number of plus points so don’t ditch it just yet. Keep reading…
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. The plant is thought to have originated in the American continent and through Spanish travelers, 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
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).
Prevents 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.
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 has been found to be effective in controlling certain types of cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, viral and/or fungal infections, and degenerative nerve diseases.
Peanut butter contains B-sitosterol, a phytosterol that has a great property  of fighting against cancer, particularly colon, prostate, and breast cancers. Peanuts and its products, such as peanut oil and peanut butter are ideal sources of phytosterols.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Peanut butter is a good source of magnesium (170mg/100 grams). This makes up for 42% of the daily recommended value of magnesium. Magnesium has an important role to play in muscle, bone, and immunity development in the body. Magnesium also helps in regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Its presence in our body helps in more than 300 biochemical reactions that are extremely important for our survival.
High in Potassium
Peanut butter contains potassium (70 mg/100g) that acts as an electrolyte and is a fluid-balancing element in the body. In comparison to sodium, which directly puts pressure on the cardiovascular system in the form of hypertension, potassium does not put any pressure either on the blood or on the cardiovascular system. In effect, potassium is a heart-friendly element that is found in high quantities in peanut butter.
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  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 fiber. One cup or approximately 125 g of peanuts and peanut butter has 12 g and 20 g of dietary fiber, respectively. Dietary fiber is one of the most important parts of our diet since a lack of dietary fiber can lead to several health problems and diseases such as constipation, diabetes, cholesterol, and various heart diseases.
Word of Caution: Peanut allergies are one of the major risks associated with peanut butter, according to a survey  conducted in the United States.
The symptoms of the allergy include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anaphylaxis, asthma, and angioedema. If untreated, the anaphylactic shock can be fatal. According to the study, about 3 million Americans are presently affected by peanut and tree nut allergy.
Someone like you and me, who clearly loves their peanut butter, asked the Harvard Medical School if the health benefits of peanut butter extended to heart health. And despite your misgivings, the answer is yes! Peanut butter has its share of saturated food, but like olive oil, it also has a high percentage of unsaturated helping it qualify itself for the healthy camp.
When consumed in moderate amounts, eating a high quality peanut butter like this can actually improve your heart health, especially when compared to those who seldom or never eat nuts.
A common worry about eating peanut butter is the fat content. However, as mentioned above peanut butter contains more unsaturated fat than saturated fat. This means, it is actually a great source of “healthy fats”. A healthy body needs a good supply of healthy fats and like olive oil and avocado, peanut butter is a friendly fat food.
As already discussed, peanut butter contains good amounts of healthy fats and protein. This means it contains plenty of calories that will give you lots of energy for your activities. Again, perfect for a morning meal as it gives you an energy hit for the day.
Aids Weight Loss
Okay yes, this one sounds crazy but it’s not. Despite all it’s fat and sodium content, we have already established peanut butter is actually good for you. Due to its protein and fiber content, when you eat peanut butter you actually feel fuller for longer. This means, you’re less likely to crave junk food and unhealthy snacks. This means you eat less overall, and voila weight loss made simpler.
How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter:
On some level, you probably already know that, sure, it’s pretty easy to make your own peanut butter. But if you’ve never actually made homemade peanut butter, I don’t know if you quite understand how truly, incredibly, ridiculously easy it really is. Peanuts, meet blender. Blender, it’s go time.
Watch the video :