We all have certain types of food that we enjoy from time to time, and sadly for most of us, the foods that many of us tend to enjoy are the foods that are packed full of calories, fats, salt, sugar, and other unhealthy ingredients, that taste absolutely amazing. It’s rare that people get cravings for healthy foods, as generally speaking, a person is far more likely to crave a slice of chocolate fudge cake than they are to crave a steamed chicken salad. However, believe it or not, but there are certain foods out there that not only taste amazing, but, if chosen correctly are actually incredibly healthy and beneficial for us. Natural peanut butter is one of those foods, and it is a weakness of many a health and fitness enthusiast. Whether you’re trying to maintain your figure, lose a few pounds, build muscle, or simply get fitter and healthier, if your diet does not include natural peanut butter, you may wish to address this pretty quickly, as natural peanut butter provides a number of health and fitness benefits for the human body. Here are a few examples.
Rich in protein
Protein is a vital macronutrient as our cells need it to function correctly, plus it is vital for muscle growth, regeneration, and recovery. When we think of typical sources of protein, commonly we picture meats, fish, seafood, and eggs as primary examples, and whilst the aforementioned food stuffs are indeed great sources of protein, so too is natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter should be made from nothing more than ground peanuts, with nothing added, and nothing taken away. Forget about the shop-bought commercial brands, which are loaded full of added salt, sugar, and extra oils to make them more spreadable, we’re talking natural and organic peanut butter. Whether crunchy or smooth, the peanuts used to make the butter are loaded full of healthy proteins and amino acids, making it a great food for athletes, bodybuilders, and people looking for an extra protein alternative to meat and fish.
Great for the heart
People ironically avoid peanut butter when they are eating with heart health in mind, as they believe the fact that it is rich in fat, means that it is bad for the heart. The cheap junky butters with added salt, sugar, and hydrogenated oils are indeed bad for the heart, but if you go with a natural and organic peanut butter, the mono and poly unsaturated fats found in the butter make it incredibly healthy and beneficial for the heart. The healthy fats found in natural peanut butter actually work to reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is cholesterol that is harmful to our bodies as it can leave fatty deposits in our arteries and cause them to become blocked, putting us at risk of a heart attack and other heart-related health issues. HDL cholesterol is healthy cholesterol that lowers LDL, so if you want to improve your heart health, embrace natural peanut butter rather than avoiding it.
Rich in potassium
Potassium is a very important mineral when it comes to our health and well-being, and it is one of the main reasons why bananas are considered so healthy, because they are a great source of it. So, as it happens, is natural peanut butter. Potassium helps to ward off the effects of lactic acid and fatigue on the muscles, plus it helps to neutralize the damaging effects of sodium. As you know, sodium in large dosages can lead to heart disease, it can cause heart attacks, it can increase blood pressure, it can damage the kidneys, and much more besides. If your sodium levels are dangerously high, potassium is a fantastic mineral to have at your disposal.
Great source of energy
When we think of high energy foods, generally it is high carbohydrate foods that spring to mind, and whilst the body does find it easier to convert carbohydrates into energy, experts have proven that the body actually prefers fat as its primary source of energy. Peanut butter is loaded full of healthy and beneficial fats, so if you’re lacking in energy and are feeling the effects of fatigue, a heaped spoonful or two will quickly perk you up and have you firing on all cylinders. The high calorie content will keep you ticking over for a good few hours, plus it will help to ward off the detrimental effects of hunger.
Great source of fiber
Dietary fiber is also incredibly important for optimal health and well-being, and the good news is that natural peanut butter provides fiber in droves. Fiber helps to detoxify the body, it aids in digestion and nutrient absorption, it promotes healthy digestion and excretion, plus it can help to prevent certain forms of cancer, and it can allay the effects of hunger. Once consumed, the soluble fiber found in peanut butter combines with water naturally present in your stomach to form a thick paste, which coats the lining of the stomach and the intestines. This promotes satiety – keeping you feeling full for longer, plus it actually helps to sweep the lining of the intestines, helping to keep them clean and free of harmful toxins.
Peanut butter is not only rich in protein and healthy fats, it also, as mentioned, contains dietary fiber and potassium. The nutrients don’t stop there however, as it is also loaded with other hugely beneficial nutrients, all of which improve our health and well-being in a variety of different ways. One very important benefit associated with peanut butter’s naturally high nutrient content, is that it boosts the immune system, which helps to keep us fit and healthy, and ensures we are able to adequately fight off infection, illness, and disease. Just some of the other nutrients you can expect to find in natural peanut butter include: vitamin E, vitamin D, Magnesium, and Calcium.