Did you know that peanut butter and peanuts have been associated with reduced risks of heart disease, colon cancer, weight gain, gall stones, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of age-related cognitive decline? Well, it’s true. Peanuts and peanut butter are very good sources of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, and they have small amounts of resveratrol, a flavonoid found in red grapes and red wine, which has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke. In addition, a quarter cup of peanuts contains 20% of the daily value for Vitamin B3 (niacin), which protects against cognitive decline. But, be careful of your portions. A scant quarter cup serving of peanuts (or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter) can pack up to 200 calories. My recommendation is to store your quarter cup measure inside the peanut jar OR store a tablespoon measure inside your peanut butter jar. Make sure to level it off before eating–no heaping tablespoons!
Quick tip: When choosing peanut butter, go for the “natural” versions and check the ingredients label for added trans fats (hydrogenated oils) and sugars. The ingredients should simply say “peanuts” and possibly also “salt.”