The nutritional value of peanut butter is probably well-known to most people, and even if they’re not quite sure why peanut butter is praised as a positive food, at least they’re certain it doesn’t share a category with the likes of mayonnaise or butter. That’s a step in the right direction, right? After all, it’s just as common when placed on a piece of bread, but when it comes to receiving benefits from food it is leagues ahead of those and the like (although I’m being unfair to mayonnaise and butter, they’re not exactly meant to be eaten because of their nutritional value).
Although peanut butter is calorie-dense, it should be a very useful staple of any fitness-oriented individual. Not only are the nutritional benefits important, but also the flexibility that comes with its consumption. It can play a variety of roles, depending on your own personal fitness objectives.
1) Peanut Butter is satiating – it might not be oatmeal, but a serving or two of peanut butter will help you keep satiated for longer. It might sound crazy, especially since we’re talking about a few teaspoons, but imagine adding that serving size to some whole wheat bread. The combination of the peanut butter with the complex carbohydrates of whole wheat can do a lot for those looking to keep their overall caloric intake on the lower side of the spectrum. Peanut butter might have a decent dose of calories, but when you factor in the fact you probably won’t be requiring any snacking and are more likely to have a longer period of time elapse before eating again (and not over-eating as a result because of forcibly limiting yourself), you’ve got a good bargain.
2) Peanut Butter packs a caloric punch – running with the theme of flexibility, peanut butter can help those looking to put on some size by giving them a cheap source of quality calories. Where else are you going to get 100+ calories from a serving you can eat in one swoop? To add, peanut butter’s good fats and decent protein amount per serving provide you with solid nutritional value.
3) Peanut Butter + Nutrients/Vitamins/Minerals? – if you’re going to get some nice calories in, they might as well be giving you something you need, right? Besides the solid fats and protein, peanut butter has a decent amount of fiber, folate, Vitamin E, and magnesium.
Another great benefit of peanut butter is the fact it can be used to slow the digestion of protein. Due to its high amount of fats (which are slow-digesting), grabbing a night-time protein shake and throwing in a serving of peanut butter into the mix will help you get a constant dose of protein into your system as you sleep (at least, extend the digestion rate for longer than it would’ve been had you not included peanut butter or any other fat-rich food). This is also a recommended option for those who expect a longer gap between meals throughout the day, as it helps keep some protein in your system for a bit longer (and as discussed earlier, the peanut butter itself will reduce cravings by providing a satiating element). Good luck!