Ever feel guilty about taking multiple swipes of peanut butter on every visit to the fridge? Well, that may be a tad bit indulgent, but the health benefits of peanut butter cannot be ignored. We love bringing tasty foods, which are traditionally considered unhealthy, into our diets, and making the most of them. As much as it is tasty, peanut butter is an healthy alternative to regular butter or spreads. But like all good things, this must also be had in moderation. A daily dose of 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is all you should have if you want to stay healthy. This equals 7 grams of protein, and can be that balancing factor in a vegetarian sandwich. It’s also why peanut butter on toast makes for a great pre-run meal/snack.
Balance is critical when it comes to your diet. Too much sodium can wreak havoc on your cardiovascular system, and most of us have way too much sodium in our bodies already. Potassium can go a long way towards countering the dangers of sodium, and peanut butter is an excellent source of potassium.
A common worry about eating peanut butter is the fat content. Yes, it has a lot of fat content, but that’s more unsaturated fat than saturated fat. This means, it is actually a great source of healthy fats and your body needs a good supply of healthy fats. Healthy fats and proteins mean more calories, which translate into more energy. For a quick boost, turn to a spoonful of peanut butter.
In two spoonfuls of peanut butter, you also get 2 grams of fibre. As we all know adequate consumption of fiber is important for the functioning of your body, especially your metabolic system. You could definitely get fibre from other sources, but if you somehow miss out on it, peanut butter helps supplement this.
Another great fact is that one serving of peanut butter will give you at least 3 mg of the antioxidant Vitamin E, which does wonders for energy production and immunity. Additionally, you will also get magnesium (about 49g) which is great for building bone strength and aiding muscle recovery – both really important to runners.
So don’t stop yourself the next time you want a spoonful of peanut butter, but remember that like anything else, having a lot more than the daily need is a big no-no.
Image: Gene Arboit