Peanut butter is a spread made from ground peanuts and additives such as salt, sugar, oil, and emulsifiers, and is usually spread over bread, fruits, sandwiches, and crackers. It can also be utilized in various recipes for baking, such as brownies, cakes, smoothies, and even some sumptuous dishes. But is it a good source of protein?
Peanut butter is a good source of protein, and it’s packed with many other vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. The protein content in peanut butter isn’t enough to meet the recommended daily nutritional requirements, but it adds a good amount of protein to your diet.
This article will discuss the following:
- The advantages of taking in the right amounts of protein.
- The drawbacks of consuming much more protein than your body needs.
- The various health benefits you can expect from peanut butter.
- The downsides of over-indulging in this all-time favorite snack.
How Much Protein Is in Peanut Butter?
There are 7 grams (0.25 oz) of protein in 2 tbsp (28.3 g)of peanut butter. Foods that are, in fact, high in protein usually offer at least 15 grams (0.53 oz) per serving. However, peanut butter is still a good protein source, as it has acceptable levels of this nutrient.
This data points out that relying solely on peanut butter for your body’s protein needs isn’t good. You might also want to consider adding another protein-rich food to your diet.
Is Protein Good for the Body?
Protein is good for the body and is an essential part of a well-balanced diet. It’s a macronutrient, which means that your body needs large amounts of it to stay healthy. The primary role of protein is to create, fuel, and maintain the cells in our body.
Below are some other benefits we get from protein:
- Building blocks for bones, cartilage, muscles, and skin. Fun fact: our nails and hair are made up mostly of protein.
- Repairs body tissue.
- Supplies oxygen and nutrients to the whole body.
- Prevents muscle loss.
- Aids in muscle recovery after exercise and even illness.
- Provides energy for the body.
- Curbs hunger, thus aiding in weight loss.
The Problems Of Not Enough Protein
Protein deficiency occurs when you can’t meet your body’s requirements. Your health and wellness will be at risk if your body is deprived of protein benefits.
Here are a few symptoms of protein deficiency to watch out for:
- Shrinking and weakening of muscles.
- Anemia, which means there are insufficient red blood cells to distribute oxygenated blood throughout the body.
- Persistent feeling of weakness or tiredness.
- Edema, which is swelling due to fluid build-up, especially in the arms, hands, legs, feet, and ankles.
- Slow growth in children.
The Problems Of Too Much Protein
Despite its many health benefits, consuming too much protein will be detrimental to your wellness. Here are some reasons why you’d always stay within the recommended amount of protein consumption:
- Kidney stress: Consuming too much protein will strain your kidneys, which can only process so much at any given time. The amount they can’t process builds up and causes complications. This will put you at risk of developing kidney stones.
- Liver stress: Too much protein may be too hard for your liver to handle, which can make you feel more impatient and irritable. Chronic health problems may eventually arise.
- Increased risk for colon cancer and heart disease: The strain experienced by your kidneys and liver may very well affect your other vital organs.
Other Vitamins and Nutrients Found in Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a versatile, heart-healthy food, which is loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients to help make you look and feel healthier.
These are some of the other essential nutrients found in peanut butter:
- Omega-6: Lowers bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
- Arginine: Prevents heart disease by improving the functions of blood vessels.
- Oleic acid: Reduces the body’s resistance to insulin, thus minimizing your risk for developing diabetes.
- Resveratrol: An antioxidant that lowers cancer and obesity risk.
- Zinc: Aids in boosting immunity.
- Niacin: Promotes better nerve function and digestion.
Moderation Is Key With Peanut Butter
Too much of a good thing is bad, which is true for peanut butter. Remember that this tasty, nutritious food is loaded with saturated fats, sodium, and calories.
- Saturated fats: Consumption of fats is linked to the development of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and acid reflux.
- Sodium: Excessive sodium consumption may put you at risk of developing high blood pressure, kidney stones, enlarged heart muscles, and heart failure.
- Calories: Your body converts the calories you consume into energy. Excess calories that aren’t burned are stored as fat. Over time, too many calories may lead to obesity and chronic health issues.
How Much Peanut Butter a Day Is Healthy?
Eating no more than 2 tbsp (28.3 g) of peanut butter a day is healthy. This is a general rule of thumb since we may have varying nutritional needs, depending on age, activities, and health status. Eating too much peanut butter isn’t healthy.
Avoid eating peanut butter straight out of the jar, as it’s easy to mindlessly snack on the sticky stuff if you’re distracted and unaware of how much you’re taking in.
Combine it with some other type of food, preferably one that’s nutritious too. Whole wheat bread, unsalted crackers, granola, apples, bananas, and oatmeal are just some of the more popular and tastier pairings.
You can mix it in with your smoothie or your salad, as well as in some sauces. Or you can make peanut butter cookies with a low-carb flour blend, and a non-sugar sweetener like Stevia or Monk Fruit.
Peanut butter is a nutritious, versatile food well-loved by young and old alike. The health benefits it offers are significant enough for you to include this healthy snack in your diet.
Keep in mind that its protein content, although considerable, isn’t enough for meeting recommended daily requirements. Consume peanut butter in moderation to reap the benefits without enduring the side effects of over-indulgence.