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Nut butters are spreads that are created by grinding nuts into a paste. Peanut butter is the most popular one right now, but nut butter can be made from all kinds of nuts. Nut butter made with nuts other than peanuts are becoming more popular as the years go by. There are many reasons for the shift, and one of those reasons involves health. Some nut butters are healthier than others. They even have somewhat different textures and flavors that will make some of them more appealing than others, especially when added to something like a smoothie bowl.
A smoothie bowl is a delicious mixture of blended fruits and nuts that can be greatly enhanced with the addition of a nut butter. With several nut butters to choose from, you might not know which one is the healthiest. There is peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, walnut butter, and even pistachio butter. Butter can be made with any nut there is. There are serious health benefits offered by each one of these nut butters, but when it comes to the healthiest nut butter, that can depend on your particular needs.
Different Nut Butters and Their Benefits
Almond butter contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats. This fat is known as “good” cholesterol, and is known to lower “bad” cholesterol levels in a person. This fat is heart healthy and helps to prevent heart disease. Almond butter contains about 200 calories and 19 grams of fat. Some of that fat includes omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains a good amount of vitamins. It contains vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium.
Almond butter contains more vitamin E than other nut butters do. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that can help prevent certain cancers, magnesium can lower your risk of developing diabetes by helping to increase insulin sensitivity, and calcium promotes bone health. The existence of magnesium also helps the body absorb the calcium better.
Peanut butter contains a fat called oleic acid. It is an omega-9 fatty acid that is heart healthy and known to help lower cholesterol and maintain good blood pressure levels. Another fat that peanut butter contains are omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that has similar effects of oleic acid. These healthy fats take longer to digest in the body, making you feel fuller for longer, which reduces the risk of overeating.
Peanut butter is also a source of manganese, vitamin E, and several B vitamins. Those vitamins can serve as antioxidants in the body. But by far, peanut butter’s most powerful antioxidant is coumaric acid. The effect of this antioxidant is made even stronger when the peanuts used for the peanut butter are roasted. A lot of the peanut butter that you’ll find on the market is made with roasted peanuts. Peanut butter also had 8 grams of protein per serving, the highest protein levels of all the nut butters.
Cashew butter is slightly lower in fat than other butters. It is full of monounsaturated fats, protein, and vitamins. Cashew butter does contain some saturated fats, which are known to be harmful in high quantities, but the concentration of unsaturated fats is much higher. About 80 percent of the fats inside of cashew butter are unsaturated ones, and only 20 percent of those fats are saturated.
A serving of cashew butter contains 6 grams of protein, which is close to the amount of protein found in peanut butter. Cashew butter also contains iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, and calcium. Potassium affects the way your heart functions and iron is an important component of hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen from your lungs into other parts of the body.
Walnut butter has the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids of all the butters. That makes it the most effective at reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Walnut butter also has the second highest level of antioxidants of all the nut butters. Some of the vitamins found in walnut butter include vitamin E, melatonin, and folate. Melatonin aids in the sleep cycle and folate is a B vitamin that can help prevent anemia. It is an important part of red blood cell formation. Because of its healthy fat content, walnut butter will help you feel fuller for longer, preventing you from overeating.
Pistachio butter is lower in calories than other nut butters. It is also higher in fiber and antioxidants. It contains potassium, vitamin B6, and copper. Pistachios have a higher amount of vitamin B6 than many foods do. Vitamin B6 helps to regulate blood sugar among other things. The amount of potassium that you can get from just once ounce of pistachio butter is equal to half of a banana. Pistachio butter contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which contribute to eye health.
Which of these Nut Butters is Healthiest?
Nut butters in general are very healthy. Which nut butter you use for your smoothie most depends on what benefits you need at the time. Each of them has a wide array of nutrients that are beneficial for different things. If you need more protein in your diet, peanut butter is a great choice, if you need more omega-3 fatty acids walnut butter is a good option, and if you need to improve your eye health, pistachio butter is a good nut butter to try. Each nut butter is useful for its own reasons.
Nut butters are all pretty healthy, so the one you add into your smoothie bowl should most depend on what nutrients your body needs at the moment. No matter which one you choose, your body will be better for it.