By: Nick Thomas
Most of us have a life memory of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a snack, school lunch, or even college survival on a budget. Even now, it is possible one may be prone to simply grabbing a spoonful of peanut butter right out of the jar while trying to keep up with a busy schedule and craving yummy comfort food. While this feels like just trying to survive life and quench a craving, it actually is bettering overall health. Eating peanut butter regularly can help lower the risk of developing some serious health disorders and increase energy.
By calories alone, peanut butter may not look like such a great choice; but the truth is, it actually has the perfect combination of fiber and protein to keep hunger pains away which cuts back on other less healthy snacking temptations. Fat content may be another concern while reaching for the peanut butter, but do not let that prevent this choice because the fat found here is actually good. This healthy fat, known as monounsaturated fat, is proven to help fight off disease and help the body function at a higher level. Studies have even shown that those who eat fats like this on a regular basis tend to have less belly fat. Another added bonus is that regular consumption of peanut butter can even help reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Peanut butter packs quite a few health benefits, but one unexpected benefit is magnesium. This mineral is essential to body function, helping over 300 processes in the body. This high amount of magnesium aids in overall detoxifying, energy production, building stronger bones and teeth, and maintaining a much healthier nervous system.
That “guilty” spoonful of peanut butter you grab during a midday snack attack is really an excellent choice because peanut butter is a triple threat of greatness for the body. It is packing fiber, protein, and healthy fat giving an extra energy boost without a crazy blood sugar spike, which would only result in a major crash later. More than avoiding the crash and quenching the hunger is that satisfying calm that comes after you indulge in this spoonful of goodness. This is not just from nostalgia. Turns out, the high amount of beta-sitosterol, a natural chemical found in peanut butter, helps bring down cortisol levels and balance them against other hormones, which means peanut butter is actually helping fight stress. This is more than enough to back up peanut butter addiction for anyone, but I want to give two more huge reasons to keep it going strong.
There are several studies that suggest eating peanut butter every day increases intelligence. The large amount of monounsaturated fats found in peanut butter help protect brain health and function due to their antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. This prevents free radicals from damaging the brain so intelligence and intellectual growth can continue for years to come.
Finally, and just maybe the best part, is that peanut butter is actually proven to help you stay thinner, even if that goes against individual genetic makeup. Peanut butter contains the compound genistein which acts directly against the genes that cause obesity.
The next time you reach for that jar of peanut butter, you don’t have to have any guilt! You can rest easy and defend the addiction fully knowing you are really helping overall health in multiple ways while enjoying every last bite.
For more information regarding a personalized general or sports nutrition plan contact me at Prime Performance 423-805-0870.
By: Nick Thomas
Prime Performance Training, and Certified Sports Nutritionist