8 Amazing Peanut Butter Benefits: How to Make Peanut Butter and Yummy Recipes

Aashna Ahuja, NDTV  |  Updated: September 28, 2017 18:39 IST

8 Amazing Peanut Butter Benefits: How to Make Peanut Butter and Yummy Recipes
“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” - James A. Garfield

Admit it - there’s nothing that a spoonful of peanut butter cannot fix. There’s just something about the way it sticks to the roof of the mouth and melts. Slathered on a piece of freshly toasted bread or combined with jelly for a perfectly good sandwich, a giant scoop of peanut butter is all you need to satisfy a sweet craving. But then you grow up, and start analyzing everything you eat and worry about your health. You tend to ditch this old time favourite, because how could something this scrumptious actually be healthy! Here’s why you’re wrong…

Peanuts are not fattening - it’s just a myth. Yes, peanuts have fat but it’s the good for you monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kind, which makes peanut butter fairly nutritious. Peanut butter actually supplies all 3 macronutrients in 1 serving - carbohydrates, protein and fat. It may not be as healthy as spinach or broccoli, calorie for calorie, but it’s a great source of vitamin E, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, copper and manganese. It also contains vitamin B5, iron, potassium, zinc and selenium in small amounts. Nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat remarks, “Peanut butter contains a certain antioxidant called resveratrol, which has been known to fight free radicals that can cause heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown that peanut butter actually slows down cellular aging and promote heart health.” It’s the one food that can be a dieter’s and a foodie’s best friend. So before you pass on the peanuts, we’ve listed 8 reasons you need to eat a spoonful of heaven daily. You’re welcome!

Peanut Butter Benefits

1. Weight Loss
With 180 to 210 calories per serving, calling peanut butter a diet food may seem counter-intuitive. But truth be told, eating peanut butter actually suppresses hunger which leads to weight loss. It has the enviable combination of fiber (2.6 g per serving) and protein (7-8 g per serving) that keeps you feeling full for longer, so you end up eating less overall. And since there's nothing more indulgent than licking peanut butter off a spoon, once you do - you try to stay on track after.

2. Heart Healthy
Peanut butter contains a substance called p-coumaric acid which helps in offsetting the damage done to cells associated with cardiovascular diseases. Also, peanut butter contains more unsaturated fat than saturated fat making it a fat friendly food which lowers the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.

3. Lowers Risk of Cancer
Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja, Sukhda Hospital, says, “Research shows that eating a vitamin E–rich diet lowers the risk of stomach, colon, lung, liver, and other cancers” and you guessed it - peanut butter is packed with cancer-fighting vitamin E.

4. Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases
Peanuts are one of the foods highest in niacin, and people who eat foods rich in niacin i.e. Vitamin B3 are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other memory disorders. The niacin contained within peanut butter helps in the recovery of cell damage of the brain, which provides protection against this disease. Also, the p-coumaric acid content in peanut butter helps fight the oxidative stress on the cells of the body associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

5. Prevents Gallstones
Studies have shown that consuming peanut butter in moderation can actually reduce the risk of gallstones by 25%. This is because a large percentage of gallstones are cholesterol stones, which are linked to high levels of 'bad' cholesterol. Peanuts have the ability of lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing 'good' cholesterol i.e. HDL, thereby reducing the possibility of developing gallstones.

6. Lowers Risk of Diabetes
Peanuts and peanut butter have been shown to positively affect blood sugar control and help decrease the risk of diabetes. According to a study published in the Journal of The American Medical Association, “Eating about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter at least 5 days a week can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30%, particularly Type 2 Diabetes”.

7. Promotes Strong Bones
Iron and calcium are found in abundance in peanut butter which are important for transporting oxygen in the blood and promoting healthy, strong bones. According to The Orthopedic Group, P.C, “Including healthy protein in your daily diet like peanut butter is a good option to maintain strong bones.”

8. Bodybuilders Rejoice!
Each 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains more than 8 g of protein, 2 g of dietary fiber, 208 milligrams of potassium, more than half a gram of iron, 24 micromilligrams of folate, 188 calories and 3 grams of sugars. It fits a bodybuilder’s nutrition needs perfectly by supporting intense weightlifting. All you have to do is keep a jar of peanut butter at your office or in your gym bag, providing quick protein directly following a workout. You can also slather it on a few slices of apple - a quick fix for energy and calories.

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's recommended to have 2 tablespoons of peanut butter per day.

Side note: Peanut butter is a relatively unprocessed food, but many commercial brands add sugar, hydrogenated fats and other ingredients to peanut butter. What you need is natural, old-fashioned organic peanut butter minus the additives. So check the label before buying a jar, or just whip up some DIY peanut butter and become your family’s hero in minutes.

How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter

You have no idea how truly, incredibly, ridiculously easy it really is to whip up peanut butter.

2 cups shelled peanuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons honey
1-2 tablespoons peanut oil

1. Heat the oven to 350°F and roast the peanuts on a baking sheet for 10 about 10 minutes, until lightly golden and glossy with oil.
2. Transfer the peanuts while they are still warm to a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times just until chopped. If you want chunky peanut butter, remove 1/2 cup of chopped nuts and set aside.
3. Process for another 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. The mixture will look glossy and soft. Now run the food processor or blender for another minute, scrape the sides and get excited: you’ve almost made peanut butter.
4. Sprinkle salt, peanut oil and honey over the top of the peanut butter and process for an extra 1 or 2 minutes till the mixture becomes completely smooth.
5. Transfer the peanut butter into a storage container. Refrigerate it and turn it upside down in the fridge so the peanut oils and solids can re-mix. There you have it, pure roasted-peanut flavor and a spreadable but chunky texture!

If you’re part of the rare breed that gets bored of peanut butter after eating a spoonful, you can mix it up with your other meals to reap the benefits. Try shaking up a protein smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal before a workout. You can also whip up cheesecakes and cupcakes made with peanut butter and chocolate, or blend it with spices in a sauce for chicken or tofu. Here are a few scrumptious recipes you’ll love.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Recipe by Chef Vicky Ratnani

An egg-less cake combining the nutty flavour of peanut butter with the crunchy texture of chocolate chips. What do you need? Butter, peanut butter, castor sugar, all purpose flour, baking powder, chocolate chunks and icing sugar to dust.

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Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Combine 2 bananas (broken into chunks), 2 cups milk, ½ cup peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey and 2 cups ice cubes in a blender for 30 seconds. Voila! You’ve got yourself a protein-packed smoothie that tastes too delicious to be healthy.


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Tags:  Peanut Butter