Go Nuts for Peanut Butter
As well as being a tasty snack at any time of day evidence suggests that peanuts and peanut butter have beneficial effects on many aspects of health. Here we’ll look at some of the latest research into the health benefits of peanuts. Keep reading for a delicious peanut butter recipe that will enhance the bioavailability of nutrients from the foods you eat with it.
Protect Yourself with Peanut Butter
You’ve probably heard about the benefits of drinking red wine. The reason it’s touted as a healthy tipple is due to its resveratrol content. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant that protects against cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease, as well as slowing ageing. Well, it turns out you don’t have to rely on red wine for your resveratrol intake as it’s also found in peanuts and peanut butter (1). Other food sources include grapes, mulberries and rhubarb.
Properties of Resveratrol
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of resveratrol can play a beneficial role in the prevention and progression of chronic diseases including:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Auto-immune diseases
- Other chronic inflammatory diseases (2)
Peanuts Protect the Heart
Research involving over 5 million people found that those who ate 28g of nuts 5 or more times a week, compared with people who hardly ever ate nuts, were at a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease. Even eating nuts as little as twice a week has beneficial effects on heart health (3). Eating nuts not only protects against developing heart disease but also reduces the risk of death in those who already have it (4).
Peanuts, Blood Sugar and Weight
Eating a low carbohydrate diet that replaces some staple foods with nuts, has been shown to reduce weight, improve blood glucose, and regulate blood lipids in patients with type 2 diabetes (5).
Peanut Butter, Vitamin A and Skin Health
Eating vegetables with oils and oily foods such as nuts and seeds has been shown to increase the bioavailability and absorption of fat soluble nutrients. This can be a useful way of enhancing one’s diet in an easy and inexpensive way.
For example, vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin needed for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones. It is also important for the immune system and repair and healing of the body. It is only found in animal foods but a precursor to it, beta-carotene, is found in plant foods. A healthy body can convert beta-carotene to vitamin A but not everyone converts beta-carotene very efficiently.
This is where peanut butter can help. For example, eating cooked kale with peanut butter has been shown to increase the bioavailability of beta-carotene from kale as well as aiding its conversion into vitamin A in the body. This is particularly valuable for vegans and vegetarians or people on restricted diets (6). Luckily it also makes the kale super delicious!
Protect Yourself and the Planet with Plant Protein
Tom Oliver Peanut Butter is a great source of plant protein at 27g per 100g. There is much evidence to suggest that getting protein from plants rather than animal foods is protective to health as well as being better for the environment.
There are many diet trends at the moment that support reducing carbohydrates and increasing foods rich in healthy fats and protein such as peanut butter. So whether you are on a keto, Paleo, Low Carbohydrate, vegan or mixed diet Tom Oliver Peanut Butter could be just what you need.
Tom Oliver peanut butter is delicious eaten straight from the tub but can also be used as a spread or dip, added to soups, sauces, smoothies and many other sweet and savoury dishes.. Here’s a recipe for a sauce that can be poured onto steamed vegetables, salads, stir fries and cooked grains, or used as dip.
Gluten free, vegan, sugar free, low carbohydrate
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Approximately 2 cups of water
2 tbsp coriander, chopped (optional)
- Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and cayenne and cook for a minute.
- Turn down the heat and add the peanut butter, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ½ a cup of water. Stir well to incorporate the water into the peanut butter.
- Gradually add more water and continue stirring until you have a smooth sauce of the desired consistency.
- Stir in the chopped coriander and serve over vegetables.
- Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(6):734-70. Resveratrol in peanuts. Sales JM, Resurreccion AV.
- 2019 Apr 26;11(5). pii: E946. Influence of Resveratrol on the Immune Response. Malaguarnera L.
- J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Nov 14;70(20):2519-2532. Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Guasch-Ferre M, Liu X et al.
- Nutr Rev. 2019 Jul 30. pii: nuz042. Nut consumption and incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular disease mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Becerra-Tomas N, Paz-Graniel I et al.
- 2018 Oct 23;10(11). pii: E1565. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Compare the Effect of Peanuts and Almonds on the Cardio-Metabolic and Inflammatory Parameters in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Hou YY, Ojo O et al.
- Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2017;26(6):1039-1047. Peanut butter increases the bioavailability and bioconversion of kale β-carotene to vitamin A. Muzhingi T, Yeum KJ et al.