I never used to see so many peanut butter lovers in my practice but I seem to be seeing more and more every day and it’s not surprising with what is expected of us these days. I have even seen an increase in peanut butter products going into the market as well, peanut butter is almost up there with chocolate.
When you break down what is in peanut butter it comes down to the fats. Sometimes salt is the extra bonus in some peanut butter products. I am not a fan with salt in peanut butter as most salt in peanut butter has been processed. Any salt craving may be due to another sign of some other mineral imbalance occurring in the body.
The real deal of the craving comes down to a phytosterol known as Beta-sitosterol. Beta sitoerol has many benefits and has been widely used in therapeutic dosages for its benefits in assisting with high cholesterol and prostate enlargement. Beta-sitosterol also assists with balancing stress and calming the body down by reducing cortisol levels. Beta-sitosterol also assists in modulating the production of cytokines assisting in reducing pain, inflammation and boosting the immune system.
Peanut butter is quick, tasty, satisfying and assists with the stress response in the body. After having 1-2 teaspoon of peanut butter the stress levels drop quickly leaving you with a happy buzz like chocolate does.
Apart from peanuts being a common allergen, peanuts are also high in oxalates and have the risk of having small amounts of aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a poison produced by fungus that can grow off peanuts, this is the poison that can cause severe allergic reactions in anyone allergic to peanuts. The storage and handling can decrease the chances of the fungus growing on the peanut, small amounts can still remain. Raw peanuts are more at risk than roasted so adequate storage and handling is essential. Aflotoxin is also known as a carcinogen so consuming peanut butter in moderation is recommended.