Having nuts in your diet can provide many benefits ranging from reduced risk of heart attack to better brain function. If you don’t enjoy the taste of nuts, you can always opt for a nut butter instead. Peanut butter has long dominated the market for nut butters. Recently, however, many are beginning to switch over to a healthier alternative. Almond butter and peanut butter are very similar, and can even be substituted in most recipes. Both are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. The focus of this post is on the health benefits of almond butter compared to peanut butter.
Magnesium is an essential macro-mineral and is involved in many of the body’s processes. Sufficient magnesium intake is associated with a decreased risk of many common ailments including diabetes, osteoporosis, and hypertension (high blood pressure). A tablespoon of almond butter contains about 48 mg of magnesium. A tablespoon of peanut butter, on the other hand, contains only about half that amount (24 mg). The recommended daily amount of magnesium is dependent upon gender and age. The table to the right shows the recommended daily amounts of magnesium estimated by the National Institute of Health.
Vitamin E is known for its anti-oxidative properties. Your body uses vitamin E to combat against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage your cells and are even seen to be associated with cancer. Vitamin E is also necessary to maintain proper immune function. Almond butter contains about 4 times as much vitamin E than does peanut butter (4mg per tablespoon in almond butter and 1mg per tablespoon in peanut butter). The table to the right shows the recommended daily amounts of Vitamin E also estimated by the National Institute of Health.
Iron is necessary in the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin; proteins that regulate oxygen transport throughout your body. Iron also assists in proper bone development and supports metabolism. A tablespoon of almond butter provides about 0.6 mg of iron while a tablespoon of peanut butter provides only 0.3 mg. The table to the right shows the recommended daily amounts of iron estimated by the National Institute of health.
Do It Yourself
Store bought almond butter usually has added preservatives. Manufacturers add preservatives in order to increase shelf life. Before purchase take a look at the ingredients. If there is anything on there other than almonds, it is not organic almond butter.
I like to make my almond butter at home. I have provided a very simple recipe.
Ingredients and Tools
- 3 cup almonds
- Effective food processor (preferably with an S blade)
- Place almonds into food processor and blend for 30 minutes.
- Every 5 minutes use the spatula to scrape the almonds that get stuck to the side.
- After about 15-20 minutes you will notice the almond oils begin to release.
- Keep blending for another 10-15 minutes.
- Voila, you have now made your very own homemade almond butter!
- Use the spatula to add the almond butter into a glass jar.
- Place in refrigerator after use.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the health benefits of almond butter please leave them in the comment section below. Also, if you have any tips about the uses of almond butter I would love to hear about them!