If you aren’t allergic to nuts, adding them to your diet is a quick and easy way to get extra protein, healthy fats and fibre. Nut butters contain a wealth of health benefits, says naturopath Melissa Hohaia. “The combination of healthy fats, good protein and dietary fibre helps support nerve function, keeps blood sugar levels stable, allows healthy hormone production, improves digestion, protects cell membranes and assists with weight loss,” she says.
Worried about that oil pool at the top of the butter jar? Don’t be – it’s actually a good sign. “In all good nut butters you will get an oil pool on top [which] results from the oils not being hydrogenated,” says Hohaia. “Hydrogenation is a process that turns the liquid oil into a solid so that it will no longer separate from the spread, creating trans fatty acids, which are not good for our health.”
With so many different kinds of nut butter available today, we’ve laid out the health perks of a few favourites to make your shopping choices that much easier.
The classic peanut butter contains one of the highest quantities of proteins. All of peanut butter’s fat is monounsaturated – meaning it’s the good kind of fat. Peanut butter is also high in potassium, fibre and magnesium for healthy, strong bones and organs. It has the added benefit of being able to banish sugar cravings, so if you ever feel your sweet tooth coming, slather some peanut butter over a banana and indulge in a guilt-free snack, instead.
Try our delicious Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Biscuits.
While it has less sugar than peanut butter, cashew butter also has less protein. It is still rich in nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamin E and riboflavin, however, so don’t rule it off your list. Plus, it’s rich, creamy and very tasty.
Try our scrumptious Raw Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups.
Rich in folate, hazelnuts are great for providing energy. They are also a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, which aid brain growth and function, and the essential mineral copper. Hazelnuts are full of antioxidants and promote heart health, while managing diabetes.
Try our Hazelnut Chocolate Cake.
If health is your priority, almond butter is the best choice when it comes to nut butters. Containing important nutrients such as calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, folate and iron, almond butter supports brain production and strong bones. It contains more vitamin E than any other nut butter, which balances cholesterol, repairs skin damage and fights free radicals – among other things. A few other benefits of almond butter is its capacity to reduce the risk of strokes, diabetes and heart disease.
Try our Spring Rolls with Almond Satay Sauce.