Everyone knows that butter is bad for you, especially because of its high levels of cholesterol. But what about nut and seed butter? Ever since the time I spent in the United States, I just love starting my morning with an organic peanut butter and blueberry jam on toast, but I always catch myself worrying whether my little guilty pleasure affects my health. If you, like me, consider yourself a nut butter aficionado, then this article will tell you all you need to know about it.
Is the Nut Butter Good For You?
Let me start by answering the most important question: is the nut butter good for you? The answer is YES. It is packed with vitamins, and minerals, contains high amounts of protein, healthy fats, it fights bad cholesterol and can assist you in your weight-loss efforts. Pretty great, right? Moreover, it is suitable for various categories of people, including vegetarians, vegans, and the raw food diet followers, as well as for children and adults. There are two important notes that have to be made before proceeding to describing different nut butters’ amazing benefits. First of all, nuts may cause allergy, in fact about 90% of all food allergies are caused by nuts, so one has to be completely sure before trying the nut butter for the first time. Secondly, nut butter should be consumed in moderation, as the calorie count for nut butters is quiet high.
Types of Nut and Seed Butters and Their Benefits
It’s curious, but peanuts are actually not nuts, but legumes. Organic peanut butter is an excellent source of protein, antioxidants, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, group B vitamins, vitamin E, as well as folic acid, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and phosphorus. It helps to maintain the heart health, decreases the risk of diabetes, aids weight loss and is a real energy booster.
Almonds are considered world’s healthiest nuts, capable of lowering cholesterol and reducing diabetes risk. Almond butter contains copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, zinc, protein, mono and polyunsaturated fats.
Cashew butter is known to prevent gallstones, to lower risk of weight gain, and to boost metabolism, increase skin and muscle tone and to keep bones healthy. It contains phosphorus, zinc, and copper and less fat, than other nut butters.
Walnut butter helps to strengthen cardiovascular system, to increase brain function, to lower risk of diabetes, and to fight inflammation. It contains the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids among other nut butter, as well as large amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, biotin, B vitamins, protein, and monounsaturated fats.
Sunflower Seed Butter
Albanians will be happy to know that their favorite sunflower seeds can be made into butter as well. Sunflower seed butter promotes cardiovascular health, balances cholesterol levels, and supports a healthy mood. It is an excellent source of B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, healthy fats, fiber and protein.
Pumpkin Seed Butter
Pumpkin seed butter boosts the immune system. It is an essential food for men’s health, as well as for postmenopausal women. This butter has proven anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects and promotes heart and liver health. Pumpkin seed butter is the highest source of zinc, comparing to other nut and seed butters. It also contains manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, healthy fats, protein and fiber. This butter is rarely sold in stores, so you should try to make it at home.
Sesame Seed Butter, aka Tahini
Those of you, who have been to Greece or Turkey, have most certainly tried a tahini. Sesame seeds are extremely beneficial for health. They have the ability to prevent diabetes, to lower blood pressure, to strengthen bones, to increase heart health, to improve digestion, to reduce inflammation and to detoxify the body. It is the highest in calcium than other butters, and contains copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, fiber and protein.
Generally speaking, any type of nuts or seeds can be made into butter; some of them are sold in specialty stores. Nut and seed butters can be eaten alone, on a piece of toast, made into desserts, smoothies, ice-creams, and even added to vegetable sandwiches, soups, and Asian noodle dishes for a unique touch.
Here is a bonus tip for all of you nut and seed butter lovers out there! YOU CAN ACTUALLY MAKE ANY OF THESE BUTTERS AT HOME! The process consists of only two easy steps. Step 1: Take 1 cup of nuts or seeds of your choice and add just a pinch of sea salt. Step 2: Blend your nut or seed mixture in a high-speed blender with nut grinder attachment until smooth or leave it a bit crunchy, if you prefer it to be nuttier. In case your blender is giving you a bit of trouble, add a touch of coconut oil to make the process smoother. I just tested the recipe and it literally took me about 4 minutes to do it. Try it out and let Agroweb know what your favorite nut or seed butter is!
*Albania eye-witnessed by a Russian researcher, living in Tirana since 2013. Liana Suleymanova studied history at the American University in Bulgaria where she got introduced to Albania, whose past particularly captured her. Her interest in the small country developed even more during her master studies in the Central European University in Budapest and Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, where she focused on Albanian history, especially on the transition from communism to democracy.