What are the Health Benefits of Peanut Butter?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Not many people think of peanut butter as a healthy food, owing to its high caloric content and the amount of fat that is found in commercial peanut butter products. There is a surprising amount of nutritional value found in the product, however, especially in some organic brands. Most of the fat in it is monounsaturated, which is considered one of the better types of fat. Peanut butter also contains fiber, protein, and a number of vitamins and minerals.

Peanut butter contains fiber, which is especially important for the colon.
Peanut butter contains fiber, which is especially important for the colon.

Its fat content has led to the perception that peanut butter is not a healthy food. The truth is that the fat in many brands is monounsaturated. This means it is gentler on the body and may in fact help with keeping bad cholesterol at bay. While it is still a good idea to enjoy peanut butter in moderation, there is no real reason to avoid it due to the amount of fat it contains.

Peanut butter contains protein, which helps keep the body strong.
Peanut butter contains protein, which helps keep the body strong.

One of the health benefits of peanut butter is the amount of fiber found in each serving. The fiber is helpful in maintaining a healthy colon and also contributes to helping the body regulate blood glucose levels as well as fight bad cholesterol. Fiber can also help minimize the chances of developing colorectal cancer. In order to boost these benefits slightly, it is a good idea for individuals to go with one of the organic or natural brands.

A jar of peanut butter.
A jar of peanut butter.

Peanut butter also has a relatively high amount of protein in each serving. Protein is necessary to build muscle and keep the body strong. This makes it a good choice for a quick snack.

Adding peanut oil to peanut butter for creaminess also enhances its nutritional value.
Adding peanut oil to peanut butter for creaminess also enhances its nutritional value.

There are also some important nutrients found in the peanut butter. In varying amounts, just about any type will contain niacin, vitamin E, calcium, copper, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Again, the organic products usually offer more nutrition for the body to work with. One of the benefits of peanut butter that many people are unaware of is the presence of resveratrol; this agent has anti-microbial properties that help the body to effectively deal with bacteria and various types of fungi.

While the nutritional content of various brands will differ slightly, the bottom line is that there are a number of benefits of peanut butter. In order to get the most benefit, some people may want to consider making their own peanut butter at home, taking care to use the skins in the recipe as well. Peanut oil can be added to help make the consistency creamy. This will also provide a boost in the nutritional value.

Natural peanut butter contains only ground up peanuts, which can be a healthier option for peanut butter lovers.
Natural peanut butter contains only ground up peanuts, which can be a healthier option for peanut butter lovers.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

anon269071

I am vegan and peanut butter is one of my best allies. Rye bread and peanut butter plus an apple is a satisfying and thrifty meal at work, easy to pack and easy to eat. Believe me, it keeps me going until tea time. --ella

anon153101

Peanut butter is good. I make mealie meal porridge and blend it generously with peanut butter. My kids love it! --Florence

anon152676

I agree. Peanuts and salt only! No hydrogenated junk oils!

I'll take peanut butter over steak any day!

anon152632

Hey, I do not buy peanut butter anymore. where I live they do not sell anything but the junk kind. I blend my own peanuts and add one or two tbsp extra virgin olive oil to soften. Yumm!

anon152618

A handful of nuts a day is great for Vitamin E and fiber, etc. Well recommended! Then you know it isn't adulterated. I do love my PB though!

Adrian75220

I gave up on the Skippy's and the Jif and other "doctored" brands a long time ago and now buy and eat only the "natural" product, "organic" or not. There should be only two ingredients in any peanut butter: Peanuts and salt. Anything else is an adulteration and should be avoided like the Frankenfood it is.

(Those criminal food corporations that make adulterated peanut butter squeeze out the beneficial peanut oil and sell it off as high-priced cooking oil. They replace the peanut oil in their "peanut butter" with cheap oils that have nothing to do with peanuts and isn't healthy for you as peanut oil can be. Shame on those greedy food manufacturers!)

anon123670

I start every day with an apple cut in half, topped with peanut butter and flaxseed (and sometimes sunflower seeds. It's a great way to start the day.

anon83729

I have UC and have been on so much medication for the last 20 years that I get frustrated at just the thought of taking all the pills. On some days I take more than 20 pills.

For the last three months I've been eating peanut butter and no pills. I have not had any flare ups in four moths.

My medication is over $5800.00 a year and doctor bills are more than $20,000.00 year. Peanut butter is almost free, taste better that medicine, has no side affects and only one serving per day.

anon78235

peanut butter is the best!

milagros

Peanut butter has been found to give some protection against lung cancer. In particular it is vitamin E in peanut butter that does the job.

It is not vitamin E in any form, but specifically found in foods like peanut butter, seeds and nuts.

So having some peanut butter often, might have great health benefits. I like to pair it with a crisp, juicy apple. A great treat.

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