Posted on Mar 25, 2019, 5 p.m.
Peanut butter is one of the most popular spreads around the globe, it can be used in a variety of ways and consumed at any time of day; consuming it in moderation during your last meal of the day may provide some benefits, provided one is not allergic.
Peanut butter is high in fat at nearly 100 calories per tablespoon, but despite that it can still help you to lose weight via helping to control your appetite. Eating tree nuts or peanuts before a meal or snack has been shown to help promote the feeling of being fuller for longer periods, which results in eating less that can help you to lose weight.
Peanut butter can also help with managing blood sugar levels. Processed and starchy foods can cause unstable blood sugar levels which is associated with obesity and diabetes. Although naturally sweet peanut butter has a low glycemic index, allowing for consumption of healthy fats, protein, and fiber without causing blood sugar spikes.
Peanut butter is one of the best desserts to eat after dinner as it can also help you to sleep better, due to it being loaded with tryptophan amino acids that help to release serotonin and its calming effect on the brain. Carbs make tryptophan more available to the brain as they promote insulin release, indirectly helping to send it across the blood brain barrier.
Avoid snacking on unhealthy foods late at night as this results in increased calorie intake and weight gain. Instead reach for fruits and vegetables, or foods rich in carbohydrate, protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients which don’t contain more than 200 calories. One tablespoon of natural peanut butter with five whole grain crackers is an ideal snack; two tablespoons of unsalted peanut butter contains about 188 calories, 8g protein, and 1.9g fiber which can help to curb hunger without causing the feeling of bloat.
Peanut butter can also help to build muscle. Consuming proteins such as peanut butter at night has been shown to contribute to muscle growth. While in deep sleep muscles undergo repair, at the same time growth hormones increase. A study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed those who consume proteins before bed experienced better muscle recovery than those who took proteins after a workout. Those who drank protein drinks were found to experience enhanced muscle growth, strength, and muscle fibre size in another study.
Choosing the right kind of peanut butter is important to get the most benefits. Try to choose one that is organic; natural peanut butter will reduce exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and GMOs. Also try to avoid unnecessary ingredients like added sugars, sweeteners, and oils that can do more harm than good to health. Making homemade peanut butter is fairly easy, simply blend organic unsalted peanuts until a paste forms, then add a dash of sea salt, cinnamon, or vanilla for an added bit of flavour.
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