We Love Peanut Butter

July 19, 2014
13
Crunchy, Creamy Facts That Justify Your Love Affair With Peanut Butter
The Huffington Post  |  By Renee Jacques
Posted: 07/18/2014 7:00 am EDT  
A love for peanut butter is a love like
no other. The sometimes smooth, sometimes crunchy spread is so amazing, you
might start feeling like you’re legitimately addicted. Because peanut butter
goes so well with so many foods, you may have thought about having it for
breakfast, lunch and dinner. And when snack time rolls around, you can bet your
Skippy that you’re eating some PB straight out of the jar.
So, for those who are hopelessly
devoted to peanut butter, here are 13 ways glorious peanut butter can help your
body, your soul and even the rest of the world.
1. Yes, peanut butter has fat. But it’s good fat.
You know that eating olive oil in
moderation isn’t a bad thing at all. The same rule applies to peanut butter.
Two tablespoons of JIF smooth peanut butter has 2.5 grams of saturated
fat
. Two tablespoons of
Barilla extra virgin olive oil contains
four grams of saturated fat
.
Contrary to popular belief, consuming moderate amounts saturated fat is not
problematic. Dr. Walter C. Willett , a well-know nutrition expert, told
Harvard University
that the body
responds to saturated fat by increasing the amount of “both harmful LDL
[cholesterol] and protective HDL [cholesterol] in circulation.”
2. It’s usually vegan and gluten-free, so everyone
can eat it.
The ingredients in natural peanut
butter are pretty simple, at least if you’re getting a quality spread. All it
should include are crushed peanuts and maybe a little bit of salt. But most of
us get a big commercial brand, like JIF or Peter Pan, which usually contains
some more ingredients — most likely hydrogenated oils, sugar, and salt, which
are also gluten-free and
vegan-friendly
.
3. Peanut butter is good for your dog.
If Cesar
Milan approves of feeding his dog peanut butter
, then you should too. Little does your
dog know, it’s giving him some great vitamins and nutrients, like vitamin E and
protein.
4. It provides some essential vitamins to humans, too.
Did you know that peanuts are one of
the best sources of magnesium? It’s true. Two tablespoons of smooth peanut
butter contains
49 milligrams of magnesium
,
which is 12 percent of your daily value. And magnesium is really good for your
body! It helps in carrying calcium and potassium across cell membranes. The
National Institute of Health explains

that this process is “important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle
contraction, and normal heart rhythm.”
5. Peanut butter and bacon are a match made in heaven.
In 1983, the Evening Independent
decided to introduce their readers to something called the
“Peanut Butter Banana Club.”

The recipe calls for six (!) slices of bacon, one large banana, brown sugar,
lemon juice, whole wheat bread, lettuce and crunchy peanut butter. And a lot of
people seem to enjoy this version of the club sandwich. In fact, former New
York City mayor Michael Bloomberg once said that his last meal on Earth would
have to be a version of the peanut butter-banana-bacon sandwich. And he has
some pretty detailed specifications. He told New
York Post
, “[…] it
would be Wonder Bread toasted, with Skippy Super Chunky melted on it, slices of
overripe banana and fresh crisp bacon.”
6. On the topic of salty bacon, peanut butter can help
counteract too much sodium in a diet.

This is a peanut butter hamburger topped with bacon from Half
Baked Harvest

If you have found yourself eating too
much salty food, peanut butter can come to your rescue. It’s chock full of
potassium, a mineral that, according
to the American Heart Association
,
relaxes blood vessels, which helps lower blood pressure. They also state that
eating more potassium allows for more sodium to be released through one’s
urine. Peanut butter ranks as a
“high potassium food”

with 210 milligrams in a two-tablespoon serving of the smooth variety.
7. Peanut butter could really help you stay on that diet.
You may be shocked to believe this, but
it’s true. Even though peanut butter has a good amount of fat in it, don’t
forget that it’s a healthy kind of fat. It’s also a very filling food.
Therefore, it keeps dieters fuller for longer, helping them resist the urge to
mindlessly snack. Researchers
at Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found in a study
that people eating moderate-fat items,
like avocados, oils and peanut butter, were able to stay on a diet longer and
keep weight off for a longer period of time than those who ate a low-fat diet,
which involved eating items with only 20-percent fat.

8. The more peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches you eat, the more you could be helping the earth.
In an effort to get people to start
consuming less meat-based food to reduce our carbon footprint, The PB&J Campaign urges
people to eat plant-based sandwiches

(specifically PB&Js) instead of meat-based sandwiches for lunch every day.
What a difference it makes! The campaign’s website states that each time you
eat a PB&J for lunch instead of red meat, like a burger or a ham sandwich,
you’re shrinking your carbon footprint by almost 3.5 pounds of greenhouse gas
emissions. You’ll also save 133 gallons of water and 24 square feet of land per
each peanut butter and jelly lunch.
9. It can help you get the gum out of your kid’s hair.
We’ve all been there. Your kid’s
chewing some gum and then all of a sudden it’s stuck in her hair. What’s a
parent to do? Grab the peanut butter, of course! All you have to do is rub some
peanut butter on the gum-affected area

and the natural peanut oils will loosen the stiff gum, allowing for easy
removal. Just make sure it’s the creamy kind (unless you like peanut bits in
your hair).
10. Girls who eat peanut butter could lower their risk of
developing breast cancer.
In a study done by the
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard Medical
School
, it was discovered
that girls between the age of nine and 15 who regularly ate peanut butter were
39 percent less likely to develop benign breast disease by 30. We guess that
means it’s good news that the average American kid eats 1,500
PB&Js
before he or she
graduates high school!
11. Peanut butter has literally saved thousands of children
from starvation.
Back in 1996, a French scientist named
André Briend desperately wanted to find a way to create a fast, ready-to-eat
nutritional food for malnourished babies in underdeveloped countries. He made a
product called Plumpy’nut
,
a 500-calorie silver foil package that contains a peanut butter paste filled
with nutrients and vitamins that helps children get the healthy nutrients they
need.
In a New York
Times article
, Doctors Without
Borders nutrition specialist Dr. Milton Tectonidis explained just how much
Plumpy’nut helped countries in crisis: “We’ve seen it working. With this
one product, we can treat three-quarters of children on an outpatient basis.
Before, we had to hospitalize them all and give them fortified milk.”
In 2010, the PlumpyField network (the
producers of Plumpy’nut) came together with the United Nations to
officially endorse a world action plan against malnutrition
.
12. Peanut butter probably has as many antioxidants as your
healthy juice.
Now you don’t have to feel left out
when your friends keep boasting about all the antioxidants in their juices. You
can tell them that your peanut butter sandwich has just as many antioxidants. According
to the Peanut Institute
,
peanut butter contains phenolic acids, which are known to possess an
“antioxidant function” that helps protect your body against various
cancers and coronary heart disease.
Also, after testing a dozen
different peanut varieties for their antioxidant count
, Steve Talcott, an assistant professor
of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida’s Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences, concluded, “When it comes to antioxidant
content, peanuts are right up there with strawberries.” So now you can
definitely call peanut butter (as long as it’s natural) a superfood.
13. Last, but definitely not least, you have the potential
to eat peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Peanut butter is versatile. You have
the option of spreading it on something, mixing it with noodles, coating meat
with it or turning it into a delicious sauce, just to
name a few
. Seriously, the
options are endless. This would be our perfect — albeit, gluttonous — peanut
butter-filled day:
We would totally start the day off
right with these peanut
butter and jelly pancakes from Heather Christo
.
For lunchtime, we’d stray away from the
usual PB&J and whip up this “Peanut Butter and
Jel-brie” from Finding Clairity
.
When dinnertime rolls around, we would
get down with these Crispy-Roasted
Indonesian Peanut Wings from Food 52.
Then we would finish the day off with a
sweet note with this “Peanut
Butter Ice Cream with Concord Grape Coulis” from Food 52
.

                               

Peanut butter forever…

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