‘You are what you eat.’ This is beyond true in the Swisse Me office right now. We’re going absolutely nuts over nut butters and their health benefits! Before, we used to turn our noses up at them due to their high fat content. That’s until we learnt it’s in fact healthy unsaturated fat, which plays an important role in reducing LDL (AKA ‘bad’) cholesterol and protecting our bodies against cardiovascular disease (Zong et al. 2018, FDA 2019). So; out came our jars, spoons, pens and paper. The result? A definitive list of our top three nut butters: peanut, almond and cashew. Read on to find out why these made the grade.
Peanut butter: the classic one
American President James A. Garfield once said; “man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” He was definitely onto something. Delicious and nutritious, peanut butter is a staple in the Swisse Me office. One reason for this is its protein content (USDA 2019), which may contribute to feelings of satiety (Paddon-Jones et al. 2008) and can therefore help curb food cravings.
Almond butter: the trendy one
Almond butter hit supermarket shelves a few years ago, and was snapped up faster than it could be restocked. Almond butter aficionados love its sweet taste as well as health benefits. Like other nut butters, almond butter is a great plant-based protein source and contains an impressive amount of fibre (USDA 2019). Fibre is essential in helping our guts do their job, getting enough means it can digest food properly and beat bloating (Sizer and Whitney 2017). Fibre alongside antioxidant vitamin E (that’s also found in abundance in almonds (USDA 2019)), may also be vital in decreasing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as colon cancer (Kunzmann et al. 2015) and heart disease (Pryor 2000).
Cashew butter: the creamy one
Just like almond and peanut butter, cashew butter is a winning nutritional combination of protein, fibre and healthy fats (USDA 2019). However, this nut has the edge when it comes to texture: the creaminess means it’s top on our taste list. Moreover, it has an extra health point in the form of Zeaxanthin (USDA 2019), an antioxidant pigment which may assist in preventing damage to our eyes by harmful UV rays (Bernstein et al. 2016).
Cashew nuts are also extremely high in magnesium (USDA 2019). Whilst often completely overlooked, magnesium is key for keeping our bones strong and energy levels high (Sizer and Whitney 2017). It may also be important when looking to manage the symptoms of stress-related conditions. This is because magnesium assists in the release of GABA (Möykkynen et al. 2001), a neurotransmitter that calms the brain and central nervous system.
Nut butters may as well be considered a superfood; they’re brimming with health benefits, taste unreal, and are so damn versatile when it comes to how we can use them. For example, we’ve been adding peanut butter to our morning porridge to last us till lunch. However, we love nut butters so much that we’ve squirrelled them away(!) in our new range of protein balls. Choose between Cacao Hazelnut, Raspberry Chia and Matcha Cacao for your cashew butter fix. Team almond? Give our Cinnamon Almond protein ball a try.
Bernstein, P.S. et al. (2016) Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin: The basic and clinical science underlying carotenoid-based nutritional interventions against ocular disease. Progress in retinal and eye research, 50, 34-66.
Kunzmann, A.T. et al. (2015) Dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal cancer and incident and recurrent adenoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 102(4), 881-890.
Möykkynen, T. et al. (2001) Magnesium potentiation of the function of native and recombinant GABAA receptors. Neuroreport, 12(10), 2175-2179.
Paddon-Jones, D. et al. (2008) Protein, weight management, and satiety. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(5), 1558S-1561S.
Pryor, W.A. (2000) Vitamin E and heart disease: Basic science to clinical intervention trials. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 28(1), 141-164.
Sizer, F.S. and Whitney, E. (2017) Nutrition Concepts and Controversies 15th Edition. Cengage Learning Inc.
USDA (2019) Food Data Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/index.html
Zong, G. et al. (2018) Monounsaturated fats from plant and animal sources in relation to risk of coronary heart disease among US men and women. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 107(3), 445-453.