Skip The Skippy: 5 Healthy Nut Butters
If the only nut butter you know is peanut, you're missing out! While a PB&J sandwich can be a comforting snack, there's so much more to ground nuts and seeds than you probably know. And if you're already indulging in cashew butter or tahini, perhaps you don't know just how beneficial these butters are for your health.
Buyer beware: not all nut butters are created equal. Your average store bought peanut butter contains ingredients that are harmful and unnecessary. Hydrogenated oils, excess salt, refined sugar and even corn syrup are common ingredients in the nut butters on our supermarket shelves. It is incredibly important to choose natural peanut and nut butters. Natural and organic nut butters allow you to reap all of the nutritional benefits without consuming potentially dangerous additives.
Their is no shortage of natural nut and seed butter options that are free from additives, contain protein, unsaturated fats, and antioxidants, and are naturally low in carbs. Additionally these tasty alternatives have the potential to fight cancer and improve overall health.
Here are our favourite nut butters and the health benefits they provide:
Peanut butter is a great source of protein and, like other nuts has the ability to lower the risk of heart or cardiovascular disease. Peanuts are also a source of a phytochemical called resveratrol that may also prevent cancer.
Compared with peanut butter, almond butter contains more calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, which are all important minerals for building and maintaining strong bones. It helps maintain muscle and nerve function, making it ideal for athletes. These nutrients also boost the body’s immune system and help ward off disease and infection.
Cashew butter contains iron, which, combined with its high protein content, will help muscle development. It has less fat than other nut butters and is rich in protein. It is rich in B vitamins, which boost metabolism, increase skin and muscle tone, improve the immune and nervous system function, and promote cellular health.
Soy butter is lower in fat than most nut butters and it provides protein, fibre, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Soybeans are the only significant food source of isoflavones. Isoflavones are proven to reduce bone loss, relieve the symptoms of menopause, combat cancer, and lower cholesterol and blood glucose.
A single serving of tahini has less saturated fat than peanut butter, as much protein, and even more fiber. Tahini contains calcium, iron, and vitamins B and E.