Peanut butter is my favorite snack food. I love it so much that I buy it in a 4-pound jar (yes, really!) and gobble it up every month. I love the taste and the fact that you can pair it with anything – bananas, crackers, jelly, on a sandwich, on pancakes – try it! But now I’m so excited to learn there are tons of health benefits of peanut butter that make it even better for me to eat! For example, peanut butter:

1. Is a great source of protein.

If you eat two tablespoons of peanut butter, you’re getting seven grams of protein! Because it’s so full of protein, peanut butter is a very filling snack – this means you can eat less, but feel fuller, and for longer! Protein is also good for building and repairing muscles, which is really good, but especially beneficial if you work out a lot and strain your muscles. Eat some peanut butter on toast for breakfast, and you’ll feel satisfied until lunch time!

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2. Is good for your heart.

Studies show people who regularly include peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease of type 2 diabetes than people who rarely eat nuts or nut products. You can still be healthy without eating nuts, but these studies show there is clearly a benefit of nuts that helps your heart. It might have something to do with all the other vitamins, minerals and nutrients found naturally in peanut butter.

3. Gives you more potassium.

I love salty foods, don’t you? The only problem is, sodium isn’t that good for us. We have to eat it in moderation, but it’s hard because it’s so present in every food! Sodium can be bad for your cardiovascular system, but potassium can counteract the dangers of sodium. And, guess what? Peanut butter is an excellent source of sodium! Pair it with your salty snacks (in moderation!) and feel better about what you eat.

4. Is a source of healthy fat.

A lot of people think peanut butter is bad for you because it contains saturated fats. In reality, saturated fat isn’t as big of a toxin as people make it out to be. Peanut butter actually contains more unsaturated fat than saturated, which means it has “healthy fats.” I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true! A healthy body needs healthy fats like avocado and olive oil and… you guessed it, peanut butter!

5. Is an energy booster.

Since peanut butter contains a decent amount of protein and “healthy fat,” it has the perfect amount of calories to give you energy for your activities! Just another great reason to eat peanut butter for breakfast and get a good kick off for your day!

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6. Is rich in fiber.

Who would have thought, but those two tablespoons of peanut butter that give you seven grams of protein also give you two grams of fiber! You need a fair amount of fiber to ensure healthy bodily functions, but it’s nice to know you can get some from delicious peanut butter instead of just cardboard-tasting cereals.

7. Helps with weight loss.

Peanut butter is so delicious it seems more like a treat than a healthy food. But after reading all the perks so far, it doesn’t seem like a stretch that peanut butter helps with weight loss, does it? Because peanut butter has good protein and fiber content, it makes you feel fuller longer. This means you’re less hungry, and you’ll crave less junk food or unhealthy snacks. Focus on the peanut butter, and you’ll eat less overall, and your weight loss goals will be easier to manage!

8. Packed with nutrients.

Think about all the excellent points you’ve already learned – peanut butter contains protein, fiber, potassium and healthy fats. Additionally, one serving of peanut butter will give you 3 mg of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Also you get about 49 grams of magnesium, which helps with bone-building and muscle recovery. But wait, there’s more! You even get small, but important, amounts of zinc and vitamin B6, which helps boost immunity.

Featured photo credit: Denise Krebs via flickr.com

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