The health benefits of peanut butter

One thing is certain – South Africans love peanut butter as, according to Stats SA, 0.05% of every R100 spend on groceries in SA goes towards a bottle of peanut butter.

Although it’s not easy to get definitive numbers, it appears that South Africans consume around 81,496 tonnes of peanuts each year.

The Pietermaritzburg- based family business, International Food Group, which is bringing a new brand of peanut butter to SA, has released information on why good ol’ PB is good for you.

1. Peanut butter contains at least 7g of protein per 100g serving.

Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles.

2. Peanut butter is a good source of vitamin B-6, which plays a role in more than 100 enzyme reactions in the body and ensures that the heart and immune system are healthy.

3. Peanut butter provides minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Magnesium is essential for health, playing a role in more than 300 chemical processes in the body.

Zinc is necessary for immunity, protein synthesis, and DNA formation.

Potassium decreases the risk of stroke, lowers blood pressure, protects against loss of muscle mass, preserves bone mineral density and helps prevent kidney stones.

4. Peanut butter is rich in phosphorous which helps the body build healthy cells and bones and helps cells to produce energy.

5. The niacin in peanut butter assists with both digestion and nerve function and helps produce energy.

6. Eaten in moderation and as part of an overall healthful diet, peanut butter may help with weight loss according to several studies. That’s because peanuts help one feel full thanks to their protein, fat, and fibre content.

7. Peanut butter boosts heart health by providing nutrients such as monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, niacin, magnesium and vitamin E.

Peanut butter has even been likened to olive oil, which is a heart-healthy option. 8. Peanut butter may help manage blood glucose levels.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) includes peanut butter in its diabetes-friendly diet because it is a relatively low-carbohydrate food with good amounts of fats and protein, as well as fibre. 9. Peanut butter could reduce the risk of breast disease according to a study in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, which suggests that eating peanut butter and nuts may lower the risk of developing benign breast disease (BBD), which increases the risk of breast cancer. 10. Peanut butter is a stress buster.

It contains the plant sterol, beta-sitosterol.

In studies of endurance athletes, beta-sitosterol was shown to normalise high cortisol levels and bring them back into balance with other hormones during stressful times.

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