Smooth and creamy or thick and crunchy, you can easily add nut butters in the form of spreads to your diet. And, while the much-loved peanut butter still dominates shelf space – there are different other nutrient, protein and fibre rich nut butters out there. But what are the health benefits?
1. Makes you feel fuller
The monounsaturated fat and protein in nut butters is highly satiating. Using the spread on toast or on an apple can prevent you from overeating. However, you have to consume it in moderation. Two tablespoons is a good serving.
2. Reduces your diabetes risk
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, consuming 2 tablespoons of peanut butter at least five days a week can help lower your risk of developing diabetes by almost 30%.
3. Boosts energy
The protein, fiber and healthy fat in peanut butter gives you the boost you need to start the day. It’s also a great midday pick-me-up. What’s more, it helps keep blood sugar stable, thus, preventing the dreaded crashes later on.
4. Aids weightloss
Peanuts in particular aid weight loss because they contain more protein than other nuts – 8 grams in 2 tablespoons. Furthermore, the high fat and fiber content helps you stay fuller longer resulting in less caloric intake later in the day. In fact, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, found that the metabolic rate can jump by 11% when you eat about 500 calories of peanuts daily for 19 weeks.
5. Helps control cholesterol levels
If you have a problem with your cholesterol levels, you need to give almond butters a try. When you consume it regularly, the almond promotes the production of HDL Cholesterol or good cholesterol which helps inhibit the production of LDL or bad cholesterol. The increase level of HDL ensures the cholesterol level in body system is under control.
6. Maintains healthy nervous system
Magnesium powers more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Nut butters are high in magnesium, thus, can assist in body-temperature regulation, energy production, detoxification, the formation of strong bones and teeth, and maintenance of a healthy nervous system.
7. Boosts brain power
Studies have found that the monounsaturated fats found in foods like nuts and olive oil are protective of brain health and function. The antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties in nuts help reduce/oxidative damage to the brain.
8. Fights effects of stress
Peanut butter particularly, contains beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol. In studies involving endurance in athletes, beta-sitosterol which also boosts immunity helped to normalize high cortisol levels and also bring them into balance with other hormones during times of stress.
9. Maintain Skin Health
Nut butters especially almond are a great source of vitamin E and other antioxidants that nourish the skin and reduce signs of ageing. Almonds contains high concentrations of compounds that fight skin cancer and damage by reversing oxidative stress from a pollution, poor diet and UV light exposure. Furthermore, the healthy fats in almonds and their ability to improve circulation helps keep skin hydrated and better able to heal wounds.
10. Combats toxins and aids bone health
The mono- and polyunsaturated fats in nut butters help fat-soluble vitamins like E and K be absorbed by the body. Vitamin E protects against toxins and soothes premenstrual syndrome. Furthermore, it combats eye disorders such as cataracts and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Vitamin K aids in the transport of calcium throughout the body for bone health and is also essential for normal blood clotting.
11. Help Maintain Dental and Bone Health
Nut butters are a good source of trace minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus which your body needs to build and maintain strong teeth and bones. The nutritional benefits also include the ability to fight cavities, help prevent tooth decay, lower the risk for bone fractures and fight osteoporosis.
12. Lowers death risk
Eating nuts every day can lower total death risk, according to a Vanderbilt University study. This is all thanks to their density of health-promoting and protective nutrients. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids help decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lowering the risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.