Peanut Butter as a Sports Superfood

Peanut butter is amazing, tastes delicious, and provides nutrient-dense calories to fuel the body. Whether working out regularly, running for distance, or involved in a competitive sport, you require the best nutrition to feed your body and mind.

Peanut butter gets a lot of flak for being an unhealthy fattening food. But this is far from the truth. Peanut butter contains healthy fats, and is packed with protein for energy that lasts. According to the National Peanut Board, world-class athletes "rely on peanut butter to provide long-lasting energy for their competitive lifestyles."

A 2010 study published in Nutrients detailed the health benefits of nut consumption and the positive impact on health outcomes like improved cardiovascular and metabolic function.

The only unfortunate drawback, however, is that peanut butter is one of the eight most common foods linked to allergic reactions in children and adults. Peanut allergy affects around 1.2% of the general U.S. population and is the most common food allergy among children. But if allergies are not an issue, peanut butter is a superior superfood well-suited to a physically active lifestyle.

Let’s dive into some peanut butter health benefits and reasons why you should grab a spoonful.

1

Peanut Butter Has Superfood Nutrients

Peanut Butter

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Peanut butter has reached the status of a superfood. Natural forms of this creamy spread line the pantries of athletes in a wide range of sports.

Peanut butter is a rich source of niacin, folate, and Vitamin E along with a host of other essential nutrients and minerals. It's also high in fiber and protein.

2

Peanut Butter Fuels the Body

Peanut butter

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Fueling the body requires quality nutrient-dense foods. Peanut butter certainly falls in this category. Peanut butter supplies sustaining energy at 100 calories and 4 grams of protein per 2-tablespoon serving. 

When we challenge ourselves with hard workouts or long endurance runs, we benefit the body with peanut butter and its powerhouse of nutrients. Exercise becomes more efficient, and the body can more readily repair itself from the physical demands of the workout. This is a great reason to add protein-packed peanut butter your nutrition lineup.  

3

Peanut Butter Contains Protein for Muscle Repair

Peanut Butter for Muscle Repair

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Did you know peanuts contain 7 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving compared to other nuts providing only 4-6 grams per serving? 

Pass the peanut butter for more protein, because workouts break down muscle tissue and need amino acids to repair the damage. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and play a crucial role in our cells, muscles, and tissues to maintain optimal bodily function. 

Depending on our sport and lifestyle, daily protein requirements can range from 0.8 grams to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. 

Peanut butter is a great source of plant protein to enjoy while reducing saturated fats and cholesterol in a physically active diet.  

4

Peanut Butter Helps With Heart Health

Peanut Butter for Heart Health

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The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends choosing healthy fats like peanut butter, and advises stirring in the oil that collects at the top of natural peanut butter rather than pouring it off.  

Peanut butter is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Research shows that nut, tree nut, and peanut butter consumption is associated with a 44% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

5

Peanut Butter Promotes Weight Loss

Peanut Butter and Weight Loss

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Weight gain is attributed to consuming too many overall calories throughout the day and not burning them off with enough physical activity—not necessarily from eating peanut butter.

However, it's still important to monitor your portion sizes when it comes to peanut butter to maintain your optimal weight.

Studies indicate a serving of peanut butter helps with satiety (feeling satisfied). The Peanut Institute recommends peanut butter as part of a balanced diet to promote weight loss.

A 2014 study published in Nutrients found that women who incorporated nuts such as peanuts and tree nuts into their regular diet averaged less weight gain over time than women who rarely at nuts at all. The researchers concluded that long-term nut consumption was associated with less weight gain and prevention of obesity. 

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