Peanut butter is one of America’s favorite foods. It’s used in hundreds of different recipes, from Thai peanut sauce to classic peanut butter cookies. November 4, 2013 marks the 118th anniversary for the patent for peanut butter in 1895. Americans loves peanut butter so much that the recognition of this staple has grown to a month-long celebration; Americans ate more than 65 million pounds of peanut butter in November, which has been proclaimed Peanut Butter Lovers Month!!
Consumed as part of a healthy diet, peanut butter can help prevent some conditions and manage weight. Here are a few reasons to go nuts over peanut butter:
· Blood Sugar Control: The protein and fiber in peanut butter are beneficial for blood sugar control. If you are at risk for or have been diagnosed with diabetes, adding unsweetened peanut butter to your diet may help control your blood sugar levels.
· Heart Health: Peanuts are a wonderful source of healthy monounsaturated fat and have been linked to a decrease in the risk of heart disease.
· Peanuts also contain fiber. Consuming a high-fiber diet has been shown to decrease bad cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy.
· Energy Boost: Packed with calories, protein, and nutrients, peanut butter is perfect for a midday pick-me-up or to boost a tired morning. Remember that the serving size is 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, so eat mindfully, since the calories can add up!
· Cancer Prevention: The antioxidants and fiber in peanut butter help reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants help clean up free-radical damage while fiber helps keep waste moving through the intestines.
Some studies suggest that antioxidants in peanut butter may even help reduce the appearance of wrinkles!
Enjoy peanut butter on whole wheat toast, apples, celery, swirled in a smoothie, or create your own recipe! How do you like to eat peanut butter with your family?
Submitted by Christina Rogers, WIC Nutritionist -East Boston WIC Program