Peanut butter has galloped on to establish itself as a food of international repute - combining the powers of guarding against disease and providing nutritional support into one flexible, affordable package.
Whether you want to live longer or live better, this is one shape-shifting superfood whose nutritional profile warrants an instant place on you plate.
And why wouldn't it? One serving of peanut butter gives your protein intake a huge boost.
We could keep singing our bae's praises but let's reel off some of the choicest health rewards.
1. Keeps you full for longer
I speak from personal experience here. During one of my foodie experiment phases, I swapped my 2-parantha-daal-sabzi dinner for a child-sized portion of high protein chicken and barley for dinner every night. I was sure I was going to be starving. But shockingly, I was full after what seemed like a tiny meal. No cravings, no bingeing at midnight!
Out of proteins, fats and carbs, protein is the one that helps you feel full for longer with less food. This is partially brought on by the fact that protein lowers ghrelin, the hunger hormone. It also increases peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full.
2. Helping lay a foundation for strong bones
Iron and calcium, found in plenty in peanut butter, are useful for transporting oxygen in the blood. This promotes healthy, strong bones. According to The Orthopaedic Group, P.C., "Including healthy protein (1) in your daily diet like peanut butter is a good option to maintain strong bones." As you hit your 40's and 50's, this benefit becomes super important to keep feeling that spring in your step.
3. Reduces cravings and desire for late-night snacking
Normal hunger is different from a food craving. Your brain also needs fuel and nutrition because it needs to feel rewarded. However, cravings can be exceedingly difficult to suppress. Wouldn't it be best if you could prevent them from happening in the first place? Increasing your protein intake is one of the best preventative strategies.
4. The shield against Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases
Oxidative stress on the cells of our body is associated with neurodegenerative diseases. There is something called p-coumaric acid and niacin contained within peanut butter that helps in the recovery of cell damage in the brain. This, in turn, helps provide protection against Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders. Vitamin B3 consumption, anyway, is a must for good brain function!
5. Pumping for your heart
Thanks to p-coumaric acid again! Peanut butter contains more unsaturated fat (2) than saturated fat making it a fat-friendly food that lowers the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
6. Helping to keep cancer at bay
Cancer is the monster we all dread. And yet here's peanut butter, effused with vitamin E, which helps lower the risk of stomach, colon, lung, liver, and other cancers. Research has shown that eating a vitamin-E rich diet (3) is particularly effective in fending off cancer.
7. Slashing the extra kilos with peanut butter
No rocket science here, just plain facts to envy for other foods and combinations. Peanut butter contains a generous dose of fiber and protein, which together promote satiety, keeping you feeling full for longer, so you end up eating less overall.
8. Helps in diabetes care
Natural peanut butter and peanuts are low glycemic index foods (peanut butter has a glycemic index as low as 14). When you consume food low in G.I., your blood sugar levels do not rise suddenly and are better managed. This is in line with a study published in the Journal of The American Medical Association, which suggests eating 2 tablespoons of peanut butter at least 5 days a week to reduce the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30%, particularly Type 2 Diabetes.
9. Peanut Butter - Preventer of gallstones
Upon a closer look, you would find that a large percentage of gallstones are cholesterol stones; linked to high levels of 'bad' cholesterol. Studies have shown that peanut butter has the capacity to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase 'good' cholesterol i.e. HDL, thereby reducing the possibility of developing gallstones by 25%. When taken in moderation, that is.
10. The buddy fitness freaks didn't know they had!
On average, each 2-tablespoon (32g) serving of peanut butter contains close to 8g-10g of protein, 2g of dietary fiber, 208mg of potassium, more than half a gram of iron, and 24 micro mg of folate, 188 calories and 3 grams of sugars. In short - A perfect, hassle-free fix to cater to a fitness bodybuilder's nutrition needs perfectly and by supporting intense weightlifting.
When done with your gym time, all you have to do is chuck a spoonful onto the fruit of your choice to make for an energy-boosting treat! (You would have done this anyway, wouldn't you?)
Be Careful of the Ingredients List
Always flip the jar and check the detailed ingredient list on the back of your peanut butter pack. Here's a few things we bet you didn't know.
- To be called a 'peanut butter' according to the US FDA, 90% or more of the contents of the jar must be peanuts. If the peanut content is less than this, the product should be termed a 'peanut spread'.
- Natural peanut butters don't use preservatives, synthetic/fake sugars or hydrogenated fats. The purest form peanut butter has only 1 ingredient - peanuts. And no, this doesn't mean it has a short shelf life.
- Many brands add Fructooligosacharide, Maltitol, Xylitol, Dextrose, and Stevia to add sweetness but they can still claim they have no added sugar because these are all chemical substitutes, and not sugar. Don't be fooled by fancy words. They're all sugars, and your body doesn't need them. You'd be better off eating a spoon of white refined sugar.
- Hydrogenated fat, palm oil or refined oil are often added to improve texture or lengthen shelf life. These ingredients are not good for your body. Don't eat them. They also prevent oil separation so the peanut butter with these additives is not flowy & smooth.
Read this blog to know how to read & understand a nutrition label.
Why Happy Jars is a Crowd Favourite
We at Happy Jars believe less is more. We use very few ingredients, all of which you'd find in your kitchen cupboard at home. You deserve a natural, old-fashioned peanut butter minus the additives. Don't you agree? That's why we don't use any added oils or hydrogenated fats. We have a zero preservatives policy, and we don't use chemical sugar substitutes.
With only the best quality, clean ingredients going in, Happy Jars promises to be the most delicious peanut butter you've ever tried. To top it off, each 32g serving of our peanut butter gives you up to 10g of natural protein - that's equivalent to 1.5 eggs!
If you don't believe us, read some of our verified reviews here.
How to Eat Peanut Butter
Let us paint you a picture in vivid, typical Happy Jar colours, broken down meal-wise.
Chug down on a peanut butter smoothie amped-up with our bestselling Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter for breakfast.
Lunch options like salads with our Vegan Peanut Butter Combo or the mildly spicy chilli chutney have a nice and healthy ring to them.
Our superstars, the Jaggery Crunchy & Creamy, are right at home in warm oatmeal or yogurt.
The Unsweetened Peanut Butter by Happy Jars peanut butter drizzled on fruit make for a perfect pick-me-up-post-workout snack.
And whenever you head over to the ingredients section, you'll find you're getting the best bang for your buck. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
So go on, try your first jar. The hype is real.
P.S. - Who would have thought indulging in a spread so divine would actually benefit you in so many amazing ways? Remember: To get the full benefits of peanut butter, it is recommended to have 2 tablespoons of peanut butter every day.
We certainly won't judge, but indulge responsibly!