Peanut butter is just so good that it gets its own holiday (yes, there’s a National Peanut Butter Day). But it’s way more than just a delicious nutty spread — it packs a pretty big health punch, too.
1. It curbs your risk of chronic disease.
Thanks to its winning combo of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants (including vitamin E), regularly snacking on peanut butter to lowering the risk of heart disease and protecting against a number of other chronic diseases, like cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.
2. It can help you drop the pounds.
We’ve said it time and time again: Eating a healthy mixture of fiber and protein is essential for filling snacks that can stave off cravings later in the day. Guess what? PB has both. In fact, it’s a nutritional trifecta of plant-based protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats, which can actually help you lose.
That said: Peanut butter is easy to overdo. To be safe, measure a tablespoon (about 100 calories) and add it to fruit and veggie slices. Or, add on two tablespoons only as part of a heartier meal.
3. It’s a natural immunity booster.
PB is full of essential vitamins and minerals like the B-vitamin niacin, which helps with metabolism, and magnesium and potassium, which helps muscle function and blood pressure regulation.
Plus, since peanuts have both selenium and zinc, they can also help boost your immunity. How? Not only is zinc essential for cell functions, if you suffer from low levels of selenium you might be putting yourself at a greater risk for multiple types of cancer, including breast and lung cancers. Seriously. Peanut butter is just that good for you.
4. It tastes good with everything.
While it’s a sandwich staple, many don’t realize how versatile this spread can be. You can add it to smoothies and sauces, as well as a topping for snacks (think: fruit, crackers, and more). And, peanut butter is a delicious — and nutritious — alternative to other oils like canola oil that can inject some Asian flavors in your cooking.