Peanut butter: nutritional values, properties and benefits

Peanut butter: nutritional values, properties and benefits

Peanut butter is a superfood rich in calories, fat and protein, useful for recovery after sport or to provide energy in the morning

Index

  • What's this
  • Nutritional values
  • Proteins
  • Properties and benefits
  • Where to buy it and how to choose it

What's this

Peanut butter is a thick and creamy paste obtained by grinding toasted peanuts, that is, from the seeds of the Arachis hypogea, a plant of the Fabaceae family and native to Brazil.

Peanuts are legumes and, like other foods in the same category, are rich in protein. Compared to other legumes, however, peanuts are characterized by a high fat content, about 50%. A very considerable amount, if we think that beans and beans have only 2% and soy about 20%. For this reason, peanut plants are grown in various areas of the planet precisely for the production of oil, obtained by pressing the seeds and used in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors. Also thanks to the considerable amount of lipids it is possible to obtain peanut butter, a very popular food in America and considered a superfood since it can provide energy and proteins, useful for the recovery of the body after intense physical effort or to ensure right charge in the morning.

Nutritional values

Calories and macronutrients

Peanut butter is a very energetic food, as it provides the body with a large amount of calories. In addition to being very caloric and rich in fat, even saturated, therefore its consumption should be limited in quantity. Also, peanut butter is not recommended when following a low-calorie diet to lose weight. Below is a summary of the nutritional values ​​of peanut butter for one hundred grams of product:

  • Energy (kcal) 625
  • Protein 24.9 g
  • Carbohydrates 8 g
  • Fat 50 g

The fats of peanut butter are made up of about 53% of monounsaturated fatty acids, about 26% of polyunsaturated fatty acids and the remaining 21% of saturated fatty acids.

Mineral salts and vitamins

  • Sodium 370 mg
  • Potassium 680 mg
  • Calcium 47 mg
  • Magnesium 18 mg
  • Phosphorus 370 mg
  • Iron 2.5 mg
  • Copper 0.68 mg
  • Zinc 3.5 mg
  • Manganese 1.8 mg
  • Selenium 4 μg
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 0.18 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflafin) 0.10 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) 13.6 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 1.70 mg
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.63 mg
  • Vitamin B8 (biotin) 107 mg

Proteins

Peanuts are legumes to all intents and purposes, therefore they contain a good percentage of proteins: one hundred grams of peanuts contain in fact quantities of proteins between 25 and 27 grams, a share similar to that found in beans, broad beans and peas. Proteins are essential macronutrients for the body's functions since the amino acids that constitute them are used to build the proteins in our body, which will form muscles but also fundamental elements of our cells such as enzymes and transport proteins. In addition, proteins increase the sense of satiety and this can help maintain the right body weight, as you avoid resorting to calorie snacks between meals or overeating at lunch and dinner.

Legumes are an excellent source of protein: they contain an amount equal to or even greater than meat and double that found in cereals. However, these are proteins lacking in some essential amino acids, in particular methionine and cysteine. In order to synthesize proteins, our body needs all twenty amino acids, so it is always recommended to consume legumes together with cereals, so as to cover the amino acid requirements.

Properties and benefits

Peanut butter is considered a real superfood, capable of providing the body with many calories, fats and proteins. The best time to consume peanut butter is at breakfast, to refuel in the morning, or as a mid-morning snack. Peanut butter is also recommended after intense physical exertion, for example following sports training, for a quick recovery.

To enjoy the benefits of peanut butter, you can enjoy it by spreading a teaspoon of it on a slice of toasted wholemeal bread or on fresh fruit, for example on a sliced ​​apple. Alternatively, peanut butter can be added to protein shakes and granola, to make them creamier and tastier and to increase the protein share.

Where to buy it and how to choose it

Peanut butter is easily found in all supermarkets and grocery stores and online as well. Before buying it, it is good to check the list of ingredients, so that you can choose a quality product. In fact, peanut butter is often added with sugar or salt and with palm oil or other saturated fats, to improve its flavor and texture. Considering the high intake in calories and fat, even saturated, it is good to choose a product made only with peanuts, even if the cream obtained in this way is more liquid and with a stronger and more decisive flavor. A good quality peanut butter can be purchased at specialty organic food stores or superfood sales. Alternatively, if you have a good food processor, you can make peanut butter at home.

The procedure for preparing peanut butter is very simple: just chop 300 grams of shelled peanuts without the external cuticle for a few minutes, until you obtain a homogeneous and dense mixture. If you do not have a sufficiently powerful food processor, the advice is to add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons of water to facilitate the work of the appliance. Homemade peanut butter can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of one week, in a clean, dry and airtight glass jar.

Source:

Food and Nutrition

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